Florida Cracker Trail: Participants train for 20th annual ride
Full story: Bradenton Herald
#1 Feb 25, 2007
I am a fortunate resident of Lorida in Highlands County who is producing shows for RFD-TV. The Florida Cracker Trail riders camped less than a mile from my home and I "saddled up" to videotape as much of this historic ride as I could for several days and nights. Meeting the ride's terrific organizational staff and carefully observing how well they did and then being able to interview riders each step of the way, was very revealing and rewarding. These folks, as a large group with large animals and a long symbolic re-enactment of the earlier "cattlemen's" journeys across wide expanses of Florida, were unanimous in their joy. The sights, animals, police and county-by-county volunteer escorts and support, the host farmers for overnight or lunchtime respites, the caterers and entertainment along the trail, the mounted "whip crackin'" parade through the final stopping place of Fort Pierce, are being praised by all. I feel blessed for meeting everyone and capturing many, many special moments on video to share with 28,000,000 Americans soon. Extra special thanks to the ride's 20th Anniversary's Trail Boss, Sam Harper, who "guided" me along the way.
As an aside, when I finally left Fort Pierce to return 60 miles to Lorida, ten large cows had broken through a field fence in the dark on Route 68 very near Route 98. I stopped to help Sheriff's Deputies do a night time "round up." My personal ending of the 20th year event became one of the greatest, most relevant, experiences in my life. Ya-hoo! Long live the Florida Cracker Trail ride!
#2 Feb 26, 2007
Thanks for helping load our friends reluctant paint into our trailer! We made the parade though downtown and then rode home after the parade! Your " round up " sounds like the icing on the cake!
#3 Feb 28, 2007
It was a truly amazing experience. This the 20th anniversary ridw was our second trip across and it was the best ever. The experience defies words. It is a joyous blending of forces; history, unique people, majestic (sometimes contrary) animals, pure fun, a bit of suffering and a total break form the hectic lives we lead. The Cracker Trail is better than a valium to sooth the battered soul. Hats off to Trail Boss Sam Harper and her crew who oversaw the safe passage of their 260 plus charges. It was a Hurculean task and it was accomplished with tireless energy and good humor.
Congratulations Fort Pierce for finally rolling out the red carpet for this historic event. The throngs who lined the streets and the charming festival really made the riders feel welcome at the end of a long trip.
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