The city named for Saint Anthony of Padua in 1691 is our first city adventure in 2020. We definitely took our time; following our Padre Island time we were technically in beach mode when we first arrived.
A surprising fact is San Antonio is the 2nd most populous city in Texas and even the southern United States. We set out to see and experience both the Riverwalk and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Having a little fun in a historical town is the right mixture for us. Even Cooper got in on the exploring.
The river is the lifeblood of centuries of people living in this Texas basin. As the spanards strived to populate sustainable communities they established a set of missions starting in 1716. Irrigating the land and agriculture were needed to develop these new communities into sustainable citizens.
Today, the Riverwalk is 15 miles long with 5 miles in downtown along the San Antonio river. After a devastating 1921 flood, plans started brewing to develop a set of dams, a floodgate and a bypass to manage rising flood waters. That was followed by a decade long effort to commercialize the area and building walkways and bridges transforming it into the Riverwalk.
See the sites of the Riverwalk in our video
You can’t help but enjoy the downtown areas with all the lights, dining, and events that take place. But we found it equally enjoyable walking along the river beyond downtown as did Mr. Cooper.
The Riverwalk Image gallery
There are 4 missions making up the San Antonion Missions Historical Park. Mission Concepcion, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission Espada. Each mission is about 2.5 miles from the next mission. Mission Concepcion was the only one we didn’t visit.
When I see old communities such as these, I will never really know what it felt like back then as they created this life from essentially nothing. The local indians gave up their beliefs, their way of life in exchange for protection and security. History lessons don’t teach that they were, in some cases, essentially enslaved to this new way of living in order for the Spanish to establish colonys of catholic, spanish citizens in the new territory.
When you see centuries old buildings do you just see rubble and abandonment or do you hear the footsteps of the people who built a life. In the case of the area’s missions, they were founded by Spain’s desire to expand and hold onto their new territory. They were built by missionary led Coahuiltecan, a nomadic people, needing a new way to survive.
Our San Antonio Missions video
In addition to seeing 3 of the 4 historic park missions, we also visited the Mission San Antonio de Valero better known as The Alamo.
In the case of The Alamo it is a story of a president turned dictator tiggering a revolt. One that started as fighting to reinstate their constitution that was revoked to a fight for independence.
After a 13 day siege, the Alamo was defeated. That defeat proved to be the ultimate amunition for the rebels to rise and ultimately win their independence.
Where to Next?
Currently we moved onto a couple of family projects in both Austin, TX (Steve) and Grand Junction, CO (Cheryl). We’ll set out for more truck camper living and exploring at the end of January and hope you’ll continue to follow along.
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