2017 : EL CAMINO REAL DE LOS TEJAS
The King's Road through Texas
The Heart of Texas Rally existed since 2010 and was run by James Stovall until 2016. In 2017, Paul Tong picked up the reins of the rally and began Texas history themed rallies starting with the 2017 Heart of Texas Rally : El Camino Real de los Tejas.
El Camino Real, or the King's Road, was a general pathway from the Spanish North American capitol at Mexico City to it's eastern most outpost (not counting Florida) at Natchitoches. The strategic importance of Natchitoches was to prevent French westward expansion into Spanish territory.
In 1915, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed pink granite markers along the route of the Camino Real through Texas, starting at the Texas-Louisiana border and then every five miles all the way to the Texas-Mexico border near Laredo. Of the many granite markers (some have been lost to time), 52 of them were chosen as key bonus locations for the 2017 rally. Each marker was designated as one of the cards in a typical 52-card playing deck. Although ultimately point based, the rally gave significant points to players who collected bonuses that comprised good poker hands. Other Texas history and Camino Real locations were included as bonuses in the rally.