It was an announcement we never thought would come. Or, at least, we hoped would never come. The announcement that George Strait would be retiring from the road was surprising to fans and supporters. But his upcoming ‘Cowboy Rides Away’ tour will by no means be the last we hear of King George.

Strait admits that the decision to stop touring was not an easy decision. He told Country Weekly, “I’ve [been touring] since 1981 and that is a long time…I have lost a lot of sleep over this decision.”

But George reassures his fans that this does not mark the end of his career by any stretch.

"I'm saying that this part of my career is coming to an end. I am still gonna make records. But as far as the old grind of going out on tour, that's done after these last two."

The legend, who turned 60 in May, shared more insight as to what was going through his mind when he decided to park his tour bus.

“I kinda always had it in the back of my mind, when I turned 60 it might be the time to start thinking about it. I didn’t want to show up sometime for a tour and nobody came...In 2016 I might say, ‘What a dummy,’ you know?' And if that’s the case, maybe I’ll reconsider, but at this particular time, I’m pretty sure I won’t.”

Not a single mention of the word 'never'.

Tickets go begin to go on sale October 12th for the 'Cowboy Rides Away' tour, which kicks off January 18th in Lubbock. Martina McBride will open for the historic tour. While the farewell road trip appears to begin and ends as it should - in Texas - expect more dates to be added in the coming months.

Jan. 18 Lubbock, Texas
Jan. 19 Oklahoma City
Jan. 25 Salt Lake City, Utah
Jan. 26 Nampa, Idaho
Jan. 31 Sacramento, Calif.
Feb. 1 Fresno, Calif.
Feb. 2 Las Vegas
Feb. 15 St. Paul, Minn.
Feb. 16 Grand Forks, N.D.
Feb. 22 Buffalo, N.Y.
Feb. 23 Hartford, Conn.
March 1 Knoxville, Tenn.
March 2 Lexington, Ky.
March 17 Houston
March 22 Greenville, S.C.
March 23 Greensboro, N.C.
April 5 Albuquerque, N.M.
April 6 Las Cruces, N.M.
April 12 N. Little Rock, Ark.
April 13 New Orleans, La.
June 1 San Antonio, Texas