This year I was looking forward to taking many pictures of the trail riders when would make their way to Memorial Park, while camping, and as they would make their way to downtown for the Rodeo Parade. I even took the above picture last month because I thought it would make a good cover for all the great pictures that I was going to take. The plans didn’t quite work out.
My day was busy on Friday so I didn’t have a chance to catch any of the trail riders on the streets. No problem I thought and as soon as I got home, I packed my camera pumped up the tires on my bike and rode to Memorial Park. The reason for the bike aside from exercise was to avoid parking hassles because I was expecting a lot of other people who also be there to welcome the trail riders, maybe have the kids talk to Cowboys, perhaps have different festivities set up, and otherwise believed that this was going to be a festival atmosphere. Not quite so.
I took the bike trail from 610 like I always do and even saw some other cyclists coming from the opposite direction.as I got close to the park, I noticed yellow tape showing that the driveway was closed to traffic but there was nothing indicating that the bike trail is closed. I have come to this park for about 15 years so I thought nothing of riding my bike through the parking lot. Again, this is a city park and I had been there scores of times before. There was really not a whole lot going on that would be photography worthy since it was mostly campers, horse trailers,and a whole lot of manure. I heard some music a little bit further down so I went to investigate and in front of the bright softball field lights, saw the band playing and cowboys sitting around so I quickly snapped this picture and kept on going to the front entrance of the park.
I was starting to feel a little bit out of place in this park that I had been to many other times because it was obvious that something was amiss so I got off my bike and was walking towards the entrance when this gentleman wearing a cowboy outfit and what looked like a badge of some sort, told me that the park was closed. The problem was by now there was no other way to the park except to get on the busy street with no bike path. Or to get on the jogging trail and walk with the bike that is for pedestrians only. Just to make sure, I asked the same guy again whether the Pats were closed as well and this time annoyed told me that the park was closed until the next day.
Fair enough. It just would have been nice to maybe have a sign at the other entrance. After all, this is one of the most popular places in the city for outdoor activities and it’s a public park.perhaps it’s common knowledge for everybody that the part is completely closed, but you know what they say when you Ass-U-Me. It wasn’t a complete loss because I did get some exercise and saw some horses, but the entire project never got off the ground. I really wanted to do some long exposures of people camping out under the stars (well, it’s the city so not so many stars), but even if I wouldn’t have gotten kicked out, I’m not sure how compelling the pictures would have been since it appeared that many of the riders had campers and Winnebagos and such with them so it wasn’t exactly the old West.
Perhaps next year I will try to get some sort of media pass. And this year I will pass on the parade.