The Last of the Real Old Time Cattle Drives
By Cheri Sicard
MATAGORDA COUNTY , TEXAS, USA -- Where have all the cowboys gone? In the spring and fall, to the gulf coast of Texas.
Each spring and fall visitors to Matagorda County, Texas have a rare opportunity in the age of the new millennium - the chance to witness an actual bona-fide old west cattle drive in action. I'm not talking some staged event, or a demonstration at a fair or festival. I'm talking about a real live working cattle drive.
In fact, this cattle drive is so real, I can't tell you precisely when it will take place. It all depends upon weather and grazing conditions, as well as the Colorado river channel currents.
The drive has been a continuous bi-annual Matagorda County occurrence since 1919 when the Huebner family started driving hundreds of head of cattle from their inland family farms and ranches to winter grazing land, covered with nutrient dense salt grass, near the sea. In the spring, the cattle return to their ranch homes before hurricane season begins in the Gulf of Mexico. The journey takes three to four days each way.
The site of hundreds of cattle crossing the Colorado river, lead by real working cowboys on horseback, is not one soon forgotten. Not to mention the spectacle of a huge herd of cattle, flanked by cowboys on horseback, being shepherded down the center line of a Texas highway.
It's impossible to give exact dates when the next Matagorda County cattle
drive will occur, but they generally happen sometime in November and then
again in March. If you have the time to wait in or around Matagorda County,
you'll be well rewarded.