Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Waco, Texas Volksmarch -- Fri., Aug. 31

Knowing today was going to be a scorcher, we got up at 6:30 a.m., dressed, ate breakfast and headed into downtown Waco for an 11K (6.8 mi.) Volksmarch. The walk started at the Hilton on University Parks Drive. We were on the trail by 8:15 a.m.

The first part of the walk followed the Brazos River, then to Baylor University, followed by a stint through downtown Waco. On campus we zigged, we zagged, we saw quite a few of the beautiful brick buildings and the campus mascots--two live black bears! Here are photos of our walk along with some commentary.

This suspension bridge was the first bridge over the Brazos River. Cowboys herding cattle to the north to the railroads (to send them to packing plants) paid a toll to cross the bridge rather than trying to make the cattle swim the river. The bridge owner was granted a five-year monopoly on a bridge crossing the Brazos River so the tolls would pay for the bridge. Cowboys complained because they wanted the bridge to be free.
Suspension bridge over the Brazos River.
Baylor University:
Baylor U. Law School from the river side.

Science Building.

The imposing Science Building up close.

Science Building--back side.

One of the libraries on campus.
The Quadrangle and Georgia Burleson Hall.

Georgia Burleson Hall--another angle.
Bear Mascots: The bear exhibit on campus houses two black bears in an approved enclosure which is a USDA-licensed zoo.

This bear kept trying to crawl into a hole. I only got its "good side."

Bill Daniel Student Center.

Students' preferred modes of transportation (besides feet)
Baylor University School of Law
Pictures in downtown Waco: Our Volkswalk instructions told us we would go past La Petite Bakery. My gastric juices were rumbling by the time we got to the bakery at about 6-1/4 miles into the walk. I had been talking about a treat from the bakery for a good portion of the walk. Well...when we made it to the bakery, it was closed for remodeling. What a bummer! Never did find a bakery after we finished the walk.

So much to do that Waco warrants another trip.
Phoenix artwork on a rehab center.
We love Dr. Pepper, so this another item for the Waco "bucket list."
Dr. Pepper Museum Building.
Info on the Waco Tornado of 1959.

County Courthouse.
The County Courthouse in Waco is unusual in that the county had more money than the city due to cotton farming revenues; hence the County Courthouse is very ornate here.

Geese by the river.
The path along the Brazos River in Waco, Texas.
Sculpture depicting cattle being driven over the toll bridge.

Volkswalk over at 11:15 a.m., temperature 96 degrees! We were hot, tired, hungry and cranky. Our hope was to head back to the campground and see if we could extend our stay one night. We knew it was a long shot because (1) the campground is so beautiful with a nice cool lake to beat the Texas heat and, (2) it's Labor Day weekend. 

When we arrived at the COE gate we asked the hosts if we could extend our stay one night. Nope, campground full. They did call two other COE campgrounds on Waco Lake for us, but they were full as well. If a campground had been available we would have gone back into Waco to tour the Texas Ranger Museum. This just means we'll be making another trip to Waco!

At 1:30 p.m. this Friday afternoon we pulled out of Airport Park, headed for I-35 to points south. Dear readers, I would like to point out it was close to 2:00 p.m. on the Friday of Labor Day weekend. What were we thinking? We hit stop-and-go traffic in Waco, Temple, and south of Austin all the way to San Antonio. Harrowing would best describe the drive in that traffic. I can't tell you the number of times we had yo-yos (for lack of a better word) speed around us on the left, and cut in front of our bumper at a high rate of speed to get to the right-side exit whose exit lane had already diminished to the warning stripes. Scared us to death! And then there was the guy coming on the on-ramp who just HAD TO get in front of us from way behind on the on-ramp. He passed us on the right and darted directly in front of us. We would not have been able to stop if there was a slow-down on the freeway in front of us.

Since traffic had already been bad at 2:00 p.m., by the time we reached Austin at 4:00 p.m., we had had enough. Our decision was to take the Toll Road to the east of Austin to avoid downtown traffic. The Toll Road was wonderful--wide lanes, few on and off ramps to deal with, and lighter traffic. HOWEVER, we had no idea how much it cost. By the time we had taken The Beast and Rigamarole through five toll booths, the total cost was $23.00!!! We won't be doing that again.

What we learned: 
  • DO NOT travel on a Friday afternoon.  
  • DO NOT travel at rush hour.  
  • DO NOT travel on a holiday weekend. 
  • DO NOT take toll roads without knowing the fares. 
  • DO NOT skip lunch. 
  • Get enough sleep the night before. 
  • Always drive defensively. 
  • Leave lots of room for stopping on the Interstate. 
  • After being on the road for six weeks, we are ready to stay in one place for a while. 
We were so happy to return to San Antonio safe and sound. We are now tucked into our comfy spot at Travelers World RV Park until sometime in October when we will start our next adventure.

For dinner tonight we went out to a really good Mexican restaurant called Nicha's. It's only about 1/2 mile from our RV park.

"The future is wide open."  ~Tom Petty

It's been a long day. Travel Bug out.


  1. Susan and Bob welcome back to Texas. The toll Way is the way to go-Georgetown to Budda. Get a TEX TAG, it says a little bit of money. If you had gone all the way on I 35 thru Austin you would have been in a parking lot for 1.5-2 hrs. Not worth it. When you were driving thru Temple you were about 30 miles from us- here in Killeen off Hwy 190. Glad you can do the SA River Walk with Susan A. She will be working at a campground outside of Waco. It would be nice to meet/visit her since whe will be close.
    Hope to get back in oil patch sometime after Sept. 15th,granddaughter's wedding. Might have to come meet you and Bob. His's office is in SA, right? Where are you parking?

    Mickey Holder

  2. Thanks for the info on Austin traffic...guess the $23 was well spent for sanity's sake.

    I actually took over Susan A's gate one day so she could get her phone and internet fixed (those are our lifelines out in the brush country). Actually I'm a Susan A. too. LOL. Looking forward to the Riverwalk with her.

    Bob does work in San Antone. We are staying at Travelers World in San Antonio.

  3. Thanks for the great tour of Baylor. Our friend's son goes there and we have never seen pictures of the campus. Another great adventure in the books!

    1. You're welcome.

      What a beautiful school your friend's son attends. We were duly impressed.

  4. The cost for Toll Road around Austin at $23 was well worth it. If you think the traffic bad leading into Austin, it would have been much worse going through Austin. Since I lived in Texas prior to full timing, I have a TxTag. It works on all toll roads in Texas. In the San Antonio area, there is always a small area of congestion in I-35 between exits 174 and 176. That plus the congestion on 281 North at 1604 is nothing compared to the crawl through Austin on I-35.
    I like your list of things learned.
    We will be in the San Antonio area at the end of September. When we get settled, we'll look you guys up.

    1. Please do look us up, but don't wait too long. We'll be off again around Oct. 10 or so, not returning until January 2013.

      If we plan to drive more on TX toll roads, we will consider a TX Tag.


  5. PS - If you want a real nice COE park that would be an easy get away from where you are, check out Potter's Creek on Canyon Lake.

    1. Will do, but it may be a few months. Thanks for the tip.


  6. Great post! Brings back memories of dropping off our daughter at Baylor for her freshman year in 2001. The campus has sure expanded with lots of new buildings. She graduated in 2004. Would have loved to go on the Volksmarch.


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