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Old 01-17-2013, 07:42 AM   #67
Evomx971 OP
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Iowa
Oddometer: 306
WNWT Day 10

Ha! Not swallowed by Texas, just one long, sometimes uncomfortable, hug.

Woke up Wednesday to 22 degrees and frost on the seat. Ugh. Took my time getting packed up until it got into the 30's. Took a nice two lane road from Fredericksburg over to Blanco. The last part ran along the Blanco River... another really nice river running through this area. The banks of the rivers like the Blanco and Guadalupe are so neat and smooth, it's almost like they've been groomed. Makes them very picturesque.

From Blanco I headed south into San Antonio... at the tail end of a funeral procession for a good ways of it. Saw my first glimpse of Spanish Moss hanging from the trees, something I remembered clearly from when I was down here as a kid. I should start seeing more as I move east I imagine.

So far, this is the main cactus I've been seeing. It's been thick ever since I got south of Dallas. Apparently it's very good food and at least at one time, the ranchers would walk around with flame throwers to burn off the needles so the cows could eat it and not get hurt.

Easy drop into downtown San Antonio off of I-37. Found a place to park and walked over to the Alamo. The classic front view of the church.

Now, this is the image most people associate with the Alamo... however, as I learned during my visit, the actual church building itself played a relatively small role in the battle that occurred there. It didn't even really look like this. It didn't have a roof (it was never originally finished back in the 1700's) and the tall rounded center section (parapet) wasn't there. It was added later by US military when they put a roof on it and made it into a warehouse. During the battle, they had filled main area of the church with dirt up to the back wall so they could have some cannons aimed out the back, but those probably didn't really do much. The church's biggest contribution was as refuge for some locals that got caught up in the battle. They hid in one of the interior rooms and were released after the battle. The Alamo is considered a shrine and photos inside any of the buildings aren't allowed.

The overall Alamo mission complex was much bigger during the battle and a lot of it is under downtown San Antonio now, but historians think the final stand and hand-to-hand fighting occurred in the Long Barracks building, which at the time was two stories tall.

Proof I was there and not just sitting in my recliner in Iowa eating cheetos and drinking Natty:

It had warmed up into the low-to-mid 50's and the sun was shining. It was very nice walking about all of the Alamo complex. The Emily Morgan Hotel sit's next to the Alamo... impressive building. That's the outside wall of the Long Barracks in the foreground.

All hopped up on history, I strolled down to the Riverwalk and did a nice walking loop. This really is one of the coolest city attractions around... and while I was ok checking out the Alamo on my own; taking in the Riverwalk is something that would have been much better with The Girlfriend.

My Clif bar at lunch wore off so I ducked into the Iron Cactus, which is a little fancier place that I'd normally frequent, but as I walked by Happy Hour started at 3:00 and it was 2:59. Seemed like a sign.

Another really good pepper salsa (supposedly award winning) and at the bartender's recommendation I had the lobster tacos which were surprisingly delicious. Food and drink all for less than $10 even... sweet.

Decided to try and get out of San Antonio before rush hour. Although now I realize I should have checked out the other missions on the Mission Trail in San Antonio. Escaped to the east, then ran up to New Braunfels for the night. Found a Days Inn for cheap since it's getting remodeled. Cruised New Braunfels a bit. It's a much bigger town than I thought it would be, not nearly as 'lazy' feeling as Fredericksburg. Found a car wash and rinsed off at least the top layer of road grime.

Walked up the street a bit for a small bite and a beer at the Ironhorse Grill and Saloon. I wasn't super hungry, but it was one of the "order as you walk in" kind of places and I panic ordered a bacon cheeseburger and tater tots. Great burger, and not bigger than my head, so that was good.

Just 138 miles for the day... but 2,000 for the trip now.

Thursday I'll head for the Gulf and plan to be in South Padre on Friday.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ A. Lincoln
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