Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Oklahoma National Stockyards

Less than two miles from the exciting city center of the Bricktown, is the Oklahoma National Stockyards. It first opened in 1910, so will be celebrating its centennial this year.
The downtown Oklahoma City skyline can be seen from the catwalk above the cattle pens.
Sale days are Monday and Tuesday, so all was relatively quiet on a Friday afternoon. On any given week, an average of 10,000 to 12,000 head of cattle will change hands at this sales facility.
This year, our guide told us, the numbers are frequently in the 16,000 to 17,000 head range. The largest ever recorded was 70,000 head in one week.
Only a few stragglers are left in the empty pens now. The pens are all hard-bottomed, and the manure is scraped off weekly, combined with other materials and converted into a highly sought after compost. As Mike Rowe would say, brown before green! Except to be totally honest, it might go more like green, brown, green in this case if you get my meaning.
Another local landmark that is celebrating its centennial in 2010 is the Cattlemens Steakhouse that has been serving delicious food since the first cattle were driven into the stockyard.
We only had about fifteen minutes to spend here, but it was enough to discover that homemade pie is one of the Cattlemens signature offerings. If their steaks are only half as good as their pies, it's no wonder they've been around 100 years (and I'll just bet their steaks are better!)
The upstairs meeting room is cozy yet comfortable. You can see some of our group are showing amazing restraint when faced with this delicious pie.
Stockyards City is transforming itself into more than just a destination or starting point for thousands of cattle. There are wonderful shops, eateries and art in the area.
Do you remember the wonderful entertainment I told you about on our first night in town at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum? This is where they call home! The Centennial Rodeo Opry is located in the heart of Stockyard City.

Think you've seen it all yet? Not even close!! But we only have one more night on the town in Oklahoma City, so my narrative is drawing to a close.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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