Postcard from San Antonio

After arriving back at my penthouse suite at Hampton Inn, I took a shower, made some coffee with the in-room super-dooper 4-cup coffee maker and settled down to read the USA Today and USA yesterday papers. After getting caught up on all the news that was the news, I went down to clean the bugs from my pickup's windshield. A bunch of Harley riders pulled in and parked their bikes in the spaces around me. They were all pretty big fella's, but no, they weren't Hell's Angels or anything and they were all of a more mature age like me. I admired their bikes, they admired my truck and we spent the next hour having a good time talking about road trips we'd taken and things we encountered while on them.

The next morning, my buds Kim and Christi stopped by the hotel to snatch me up and off we went to San Antonio. They are not native Texans, but are in the process of becoming legalized Texans. The problem was that Kim had never been to the Alamo or San Antonio and I don't think you can even be a make-believe Texan without having been to the Alamo shrine, the most iconic symbol of Texas freedom there is. You simply have to know the story and you must have visited the Alamo, where Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and 182 other heroes made the ultimate sacrifice for duty, honor, and freedom. I ensured Kim overcame this shortcoming and, to his credit, he was properly reverent and awed.  OK, Kim, you may now apply to be a legalized Texan. Always and forever remember, there are only two kinds of people; Texans and those who wish they were.

Cenotaph honoring the Alamo heroes. It is
located on the spot where the bodies of the
defenders were burned by Mexican troops.
Of course we had to stroll along the famous Riverwalk to take in the sites. A boat ride assured we saw the river from end to end and worked up an appetite. OK, so maybe we didn't "work" up an appetite, but with the wonderful smells from all of the restaurants, it wasn't hard to get one.

After checking out a couple of offerings, we decided on the Iron Cactus, a Tex-Mex eatery which had good looking food, outside seating, and decent prices. I got some kind of vegetarian dish with some kind of foo-foo cheeze, spinach, black beans, and corn which sounded like it would be decently healthy. I hoped it would be good, but it was delicious! Maybe it's a good thing I don't live in this area because according to the food sampling I've had on this trip, I'd probably weigh about 300 pounds in short order.

San Antonio Riverwalk
After a good portion of the day was spent in San Antonio, we left the city behind and gradually left the traffic behind as we made our way to Ranch Road 337 in Medina. One of the famous "Three Twisted Sisters" motorcycle rides (along with RR-335 & RR-336) , the 60 miles of the east-west road from Medina through Vanderpool, Leakey, and Camp Wood is a scenic route not to be missed.

The road was built in 1945 between Camp Wood and Leakey and was gradually extended eastward until in 1968 it reached Vanderpool. An additional 9.7 miles were added going east in 1976 to reach Medina. RR-337 is famous for its hairpin switchbacks and natural beauty. Texas monthly magazine named it number 18 on its list of "75 Things We Love About Texas" in its April, 2006 issue.

Texas along RR-337
Along with the million-dollar vista's, if you look closely, you'll likely see camels, zebras, Axis deer, Texas Dall Sheep, and all kinds of other exotic animals. This is because there are a number of big game ranches all along the route. Christi was pretty confused when she saw a zebra grazing by the road!

All in all, it was a great day and a good way to bring another road trip to a close. Another night in the hotel and its time for me to head home and back to work. But I had one more stop to make. Just so I can truthfully say, "I went to Texas and found Utopia!"

Entering the town of Utopia, Texas

(Please click here to read the first post of this series.)