During the month of May, my husband attended a conference in San Antonio, Texas. Since this would probably be our only opportunity to visit Texas, I tagged along to see what the city had to offer. One of my primary goals, was to visit the 4 missions outside of the downtown area. Although many of the guided tours and one of the metro buses stopped at the first two of these, no one seemed to go to the last 2. I investigated different options, from getting a cab to the furthest mission, (Mission Espada) and either walking to the next mission (San Juan) and getting a bus or cab from there, to renting a bike. With each mission situated 2 miles apart from each other, I thought walking and calling a cab from the 3rd mission might be do-able until I had to contend with the heat and humidity. As far as riding a bike the 11 miles back to town, I rationalized that I had not been on a bike in over 35 years and this was not the time to find out if I still could. So eventually I gave up on my plan of visiting all the missions and looked for other ways to get outdoors.
The San Antonio River runs through the city and planners have built a lovely walkway along the river, first near the downtown area and later extending it to Mission Espada in one direction and the San Antonio Zoo in the other. The loop in the downtown area, being along tourist row, was lined with hotels and outdoor tables shaded by the colorful umbrellas of restaurants. One day, I just decided to keep walking until I left the busyness behind me. As I headed north, the hotels, shops and restaurants gave way to a narrower walkway lined with a variety of bushes, flowers and trees. Here, only the occasional jogger acknowledged by presence as they passed by.
As I strolled along this peaceful portion of the trail, I was thankful to be surrounded by bits of greenery once again. Soon, I discovered a section along the path that was obviously designed as a place for the traveler to pause and take in the natural surroundings. I rested here for a bit, while I studied the Yellow Crowned Night Heron wading through the pool. He was not startled by my being there but for every step I took closer to the pond, he took one step further away until he was hidden by the vegetation nearby.
After the Heron tired of my antics, I continued further along the Riverwalk. It wasn’t long before I came to another oasis. This haven offered a small waterfall and a different variety of vegetation from my previous stop. To one side of this pool, I discovered what I believed was a rather large King Sago Palm sporting a mature yellow cone. I lingered for a bit, enjoying this sanctuary before forging ahead to the 1.5 mile mark and returning back to the downtown area.