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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Two Days in San Antonio - Eclipse Epilogue

April 10-11, 2024

Hi Blog!

On Wednesday, April 10th, we said our final goodbyes to Eric and Ginny as they pulled out of Chalk Bluff ahead of us. Despite the cloudy weather, a good time was had by all.

After leaving Uvalde, we made our way to San Antonio to meet up with Jane and Kim one last time before they fly back to the UK. While we were busy moving our RV, Jane and Kim were busy visiting the Spanish Missions around San Antonio. Since we had already visited the missions, including the Alamo, we decided to meet them at the Grotto along the San Antonio River Walk.

While we waited we watched this Momma duck try to get all her ducklings in a row.

The turtles, on the other hand, had no problem lining up.

The Riverwalk Grotto was created by Carlos Cort├ęs. This fantastical grotto is filled with craggy faces carved into cave-like walls, splashing waterfalls and surrealistic, winding passageways with eerily realistic stalagmites and stalactites. The three-story, dream-like sculpted structure is located in a bend of the river between the Camden and Newell Street bridges.

We no sooner found a bench to wait when Jane and Kim arrived. Timing in life is everything.

After some interesting photos of the grotto, we decided to head over to the Pearl District for a pint. This section of the Riverwalk was expanded in 2008 to include five small waterfalls.

Located just north of downtown San Antonio, the Pearl District provides a unique experience as a top culinary and cultural destination. The former Pearl Brewery buildings contain mixed-use space featuring retail, dining, green spaces, a riverside amphitheater, and the campus of The Culinary Institute of America. The Pearl is filled with food and drink options, boutique shopping, festive seasonal events and loads of local flavor. While the Pearl is no longer an active brewery, Southerleigh still makes craft beer. Cheers!

After strolling through the Pearl, it was time for Jane and Kim to hit the road. We joined them for a farewell dinner at a local Thai Restaurant before they drove off to Houston. We look forward to when our paths cross again!

Now that everyone has gone their separate ways, it's time for us to get back to our normal RV schedule. The San Antonio KOA where we are camped is located right along a portion of the San Antonio Greenways. We were eager to take the bikes out for a spin.

The Greenway Trail System is a growing network of 101 miles of developed multi-use trails. The portion we rode was along the Salado Creek. The recent thunderstorms muddied the creek. We could see evidence that the creek left its banks and swept across the trail.

The idea to build the Greenways was spearheaded by former Mayor Howard W. Peak.  His dream was to build a "ring” of hike and bike trails along creeks around the City of San Antonio. This idea quickly became a shared vision among city leaders. Funding for the Greenways was first approved by voters in 2000, followed by three subsequent elections, to use 1/8 cent from local sales tax revenue to develop the trails. Current funding is being used to expand the trail system and to enhance the existing trails. We loved seeing all the wildflowers and butterflies along the trail.

There are a number of neighborhoods along Salado Creek. Each one has its own park. We were impressed by the smoker and large fans in this neighborhood picnic area.

Our section of the Greenways Trail ended at the Southside Lions Park. The 600 acre park was purchased by the City in 1944 to be used as a garbage dump. Residents and members of the Lions Club successfully petitioned the City to use the land as a park. 

Fanciful flower sculptures surround the Greenways Trailhead.

Rather than just turn around and head back, we decided to ride around the 10 acre lake. This snowy egret was busy fishing and didn't seem to mind us stopping to watch.

However, these ducks were giving us the side-eye as we approached.

As we circled the lake, there were several fishermen sitting in their favorite spots hoping to try their luck.

The trail went right by a tiny race track. We later learned it was owned and operated by the Lone Star Quarter Midget Association. Quarter midget racing is a form of automobile racing. The cars are approximately one-quarter (1/4) the size of a full-size midget car. The kids range in age from 5 to 17. The cars look like go-carts with a cage around them.

As the morning warmed up, the caterpillars became very active. We spent most of the ride back to camp trying not to run them over. 

Tomorrow we move to Brookeland, Texas. We are slowly working our way back to Pennsylvania. We have a few more stops and hope to have a few more adventures, so stay tuned!

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