Strait felt it was important to quit while he's ahead and not to wait for the public to end the relationship some day, leaving him crooning before dwindling audiences.
He also has no intention of preserving himself as a Las Vegas casino act. "I don't feel like I'll ever want to do that," he said.
When the stress of touring has evaporated two years down the road, Strait said he plans to spend more time playing golf and angling with a special partner.
"I have a new grandson, so I will certainly be spending a lot of time with him," Stait said. "I'll try to steal him away from his parents for a while and maybe take him fishing."
But he couldn't stop repeating that he is not through with music and even announced he will be recording a new album soon. "I think it's been the longest time right now between records for me ever since '81, so I'm pretty anxious to get something out."
He even left a back door open -- well, maybe just cracked -- on the possibility of touring again in the coming years.
"In 2016 I might say 'what a dummy,' " Strait quipped, drawing warm snickers from the audience, "and if that's the case, maybe I'll reconsider, but at this particular time, I'm pretty sure I won't."
It seems that for the cowboy, as his tour theme song says:
"Oh the last goodbye's the hardest one to say,"
And this is where the cowboy rides away."