In Texas, We Remember the Alamo…

November 18, 2009


The scene greeting Texas entrants at I10 entry station

We rolled into Texas from Louisiana on Sunday; weather was overcast, kind of blustery, not a real great scenery day. There at the entry center, you can see the big Texas Lone Star symbol, more about which later vis-a-vis the Alamo. We were figuring on staying somewhere near Houston, but along the way, we drove through the east Texas city of Beaumont, which seemed to have died and gone to heaven, if lack of any visible signs of life is any measure of that? 😉

25-foot Hydrant in front of Texas Fire Museum, Beaumont

Now of course, everything in Texas is BIG, but can you imagine the size of a dog using a 25-foot hydrant? Fortunately, this one is non-functional, just a hydrant statue to mark the site of the Texas Fire Museum there in Beaumont. We did find one open museum, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. You can see what it looks like in our daily gallery, but, uh, I wouldn’t make a special trip to east Texas just to see this museum’s collection, know what I mean?

While we were heading east out of Beaumont towards Houston, we saw this kind of amusing sight:

Mexican van vamoosing from America!

I don’t want to make any rash assumptions, but the plate on that van full of someone’s belongings, replete with a bunch of wheelie thingies on the back, reads “Nuevo Leon,” which any student of Mexican geography knows is a state in Northeastern Mexico, just beneath West Texas. This hombre was headin’ home! Then, through fairly heavy rain, we drove through Houston itself:

Houston skyline in the rain, through the windshield

Next day, the rain was gone, but the wind remained. We stayed a little west in Katy, and headed into what must’ve been about a 15 mph headwind, all the way to San Antonio. I can’t say for sure, but the Prius, tooling along the freeway at 70, typically will get ~45 mpg. Well, against that headwind, mileage fell to ~37 mpg. About the same as if we’d been driving at 85 in still air. (Aren’t you glad your blogger’s an engineer?) But we stopped, baited by some “Pecan” signs, in Schulenberg at a great spot, Potter Country Store. Worth the stop: Great pecans of all descriptions with samples of each kind. Other paraphernalia for the real Pecan nut. We bought some.

Potter Country Store, Schulenberg, Texas

The wind died down a bit by the time we reached San Antone. We decided to get right into the Alamo thing, parked nearby the Alamo, and bought tickets to see the iMAX re-enactment of the famous battle of the Alamo:

Screen shot from iMAX film of William Travis with Davy Crockett

This screen shot typifies the scenario portrayed by the movie of how the big battle transpired. Travis led the resistance, which ultimately succumbed to the siege and overwhelming attack by Santa Anna’s soldiers. But then we visited the Alamo itself:

Jane at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

I have to confess to ignorance about the history of this event, but between the film and hearing what a docent had to say about things, learned enough to want to learn more. The Texas territory or republic, was contested, maybe rightly or wrongly, between the Mexicans, the Spanish, and the British originally. The soldiers under Travis at the Alamo were fighting in 1836 for Texas independence, and though they lost that battle, their loss was soon avenged by Sam Houston and his troops, who turned around and defeated Santa Anna and his army. Texas then became an independent republic under the Lone Star emblem, from 1836 to 1845, when they were finally assimilated into the United States of America. Interesting history; I’m now reading a book said to be definitive about what REALLY happened in this era; I’ll report my findings in some future blog.

One other aspect of San Antonio familiar to experienced travelers is its famous “River Walk,” a river-level (below street level) network of walks bordering the San Antonio River as it meanders through San Antonio. We enjoyed a drink down there:

The Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas

We were anxious to head for the Texas “Hill Country,” so we left San Antone before sundown and settled for the night in Boerne, as I said earlier. It’s a great place, we’re now about to leave Fredericksburg after a very nice glimpse of this beautifully interesting region of the Lone Star State. But hey, I’m all blogged out!










One Response to “In Texas, We Remember the Alamo…”

  1. Gerry said

    Gaylene Gibson lives in San Antonio. I’ve always wanted to see it. Gerry

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