The working cowboy has long embraced, and contributed to, the oral tradition of poetry and song. Some of the earliest records of cowboy songs date back to the 1870s. Today, folklore and storytelling are honored and celebrated at the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, at Sul Ross State University. More than 50 performers gather each year, usually at the end of February, in front of a crowd eager to experience an authentic piece of Western culture. Beyond the mic, the weekend in majestic high plains of West Texas can be filled with chuckwagon cuisine, two-stepping, and, once night falls, unparalleled stargazing around a campfire.