Remember The Alamo!


My journey today was interesting to say the least! I left my hotel at 8 am and 47 miles later I was still traveling on the Interstate through the suburban sprawl of Houston TX. I know that one of the nicknames for this city is Space Town because of its history with NASA but why oh why are all the houses made out of ticky tacky and they all look the same?

Ten miles later on I have started to run into open countryside. The six lane highway (each side) has been reduced to three and now to two and I’m motoring along through pleasant pastureland with the occasional forested area populated with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees. The latter’s grey skeletal structure can be clearly seen against the clear blue sky. The roadside and quite a lot of the pastureland is covered in wild flowers and the bright yellow, blue and magenta blooms are gently waving as I zoom past.

I see a Denny’s restaurant up ahead and my body tells me it’s time for breakfast. As Denny’s go this is a quite a large one and the car park is quite full of a variety of cars, large motor cycles (mainly Harley Davidsons) and clumps of what looks like Hells Angels or clones of the Hairy Biker chefs as per the TV show. I fall into step behind two of the aforesaid Bikers and as we got to the restaurant (that’s how Denny’s see their food operation) my biking neighbours throw open the entrance doors and with the utmost respect invite me into the eatery. It’s now obvious to me that a Corvette owner in the order of petrol heads is at a higher level than a hairy biker! Being a Sunday morning, Denny’s was busy. Apart from the biker crowd, there were the folk who had been gospel singing at the church that morning and of course there was a plethora of gentlemen wearing their ten gallon hats while eating!

Soon, San Antonio was in sight and having checked in at my hotel I walked down Crockett Street to Riverwalk. This most attractive area is beneath street level and is protected by a series of flood gates. There are lots of people promenading alongside the river which is a type of green in colour. The best way I can liken this shade would be the green you see in old stained glass windows. I decided to have lunch in the Cafe Ole and enjoyed a Fajitas Chicken Salad.

After lunch I left Riverwalk and perambulated along Alamo Street to The Alamo. I was very surprised to see how small this original Spanish mission was. Unfortunately, photography is not permitted within The Alamo shrine which is dedicated to the 189 men who lost their lives against a huge force on March 6 1836. We, of course have been indoctrinated by the movies and television as to why this battle was fought and it is true that the Texians were determined at first to be a separate governed state from the central government of Mexico but as the campaign progressed the goals changed and the Texians wanted to become an independent country. The movies have made the names Bowie, Crockett and Travis famous and Santa Ann infamous. Having listened to an excellent audio tour and studied the exhibits I was puzzled why the action was fought in the first place by the defenders of The Alamo rather than a strategic withdrawal followed by a guerrilla campaign. I was fortunate to meet one of the museums military historians, Jeffrey Passmore, and had a fascinating conversation with him. Although there is no doubt of the courage that was displayed by the volunteer garrison force their demise was due to a mixture of politics, ill-health, misinformation, and lack of experienced military command and most importantly, lack of manpower to remove the canon but I don’t have the time or space to write about it here!

Later that day I did the tourist bit and took one of the guided tours onboard one of the boats that plies up and down the San Antonio river and canal system which was most enjoyable. Towards the end of the day I ventured up The Tower of The Americas in Hemisfair Park (built for The World Trade Fair that was held here some years ago) and viewed San Antonio bathed in golden light as the sun sank beneath the horizon. Then it was back to Riverwalk for dinner at The Republic of Texas restaurant where I enjoyed a T-bone steak slathered with cheese and salsa, served with rice, beans and guacamole. Delicious!

For the techies among you the mileage covered today was 226.5 mles at an average of 67.2 mph and achieved 21.5 mpg.

Until my next post. Toodleoo!

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