Monday, February 25, 2013

12K Walk and RV Park Olympics -- Sun., Feb. 24

Our day started out at 9:47 a.m. when we hit the Riverwalk in front of the RV park for a 12K (7.44 mile) walk from Mission San Jose to Mission Conception and back. We've done it before, but it's so convenient to where we're staying we'll probably do it again.

Part of the walk was along Mission Road.
We got a big kick out of St. PJ's Counseling Center. We're picturing saints in their PJ's. However, upon closer inspection, St. PJ's is short for St. Peter and St. Joseph.

The entrance gate to the Home of St. Peter's and St. Joseph's.

Lantana on the corner of a yard.
The public golf course was busy this morning!
Nice, wide sidewalk along Mission Rd.--next to golf course.
We saw the usual birds on (or next to) the river: cormorants, great white egrets, Northern shovelers and coot. There were also two turtles sunning on a rock in the river. But the nicest surprise today were the early signs of spring in south Texas. We saw our first bluebonnets, the yellow fuzz-ball blooms of the Huisache (sweet acacia) tree, Indian Blanket (firewheel), and pink evening primrose. I was so thrilled to see the first bluebonnets next to the trail. I hope they're still blooming at the end of March when my mom and sister visit from Oregon.

Texas state flower: bluebonnets
The next flowers are called Indian Blanket or firewheel. Quite a few of these plants were blooming along the Riverwalk. Pretty good for February.

Firewheel or Indian Blanket
Pink evening primrose.
Following are the prolific blooms on the Huisache tree, also known as the sweet acacia. The common name, Huisache, is derived from Nahuatl and means many thorns. In southern Europe this species is planted extensively for its flowers which are used in making perfume.

Huisache blooms.
Five main missions lined the San Antonio River during the 1700s: Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada. We saw a history marker on our walk today which told of another mission in 1722: Mission San Francisco Xavier de Najera. It was in the general area of the golf course, just south of Mission Concepcion. Being a smaller mission, its Indian neophytes passed into the care of the missionaries at The Alamo in 1726, and the land was granted to Mission Concepcion in 1731.

Great signage along the Riverwalk.

We completed our 7.44 miles in two hours and 15 minutes, returned to the 5er, showered and got ready for the RV park Olympics. We didn't take time to eat lunch. (That was an error in judgment on our part.)

The Olympics were supposed to start at 1:00 p.m., but it was pretty disorganized. There were seven teams of 10 people. Five events required two people from each team to compete to earn points:
  • backward basketball shoot, 
  • ladder (bolo) golf, 
  • washer toss, 
  • Frisbee golf and 
  • towel/bean bog toss.
Wow! The above events took forever to complete. Only one competition went on at a time, so there was a lot of standing around and waiting.

Once all the preliminary events were completed, we moved on to team relay events. Each team of ten raced through five events from start to finish. Once they finished the next team went, etc., until all seven teams had completed their relay events. The relay consisted of each team completing the following events in this order:
  1. Blindfold wheelchair race: One person sat in the wheelchair and a second team member was blindfolded who had to steer the wheelchair through a course of orange cones. The seated person was not blindfolded and had to give directions to the "driver." This event was funny to watch. Good communication and sense of direction (left/right) were key.
  2. Nerf football hockey: Hit a nerf football from the goal line on one side to a bucket on the other side using a hockey stick. Then your other team member takes the nerf football back to the goal bucket on the original side.
  3. Straw Tissue Pass: All ten team members used straws to pass a piece of tissue paper using suction only from person to person. Points were deducted for touching the paper or dropping the tissue. This was made more difficult because of the wind.
  4. Clothing exchange: Four team members competed in this part of the relay. Two people were at each goal line across from each other. One person had to put on huge pants, suspenders and a shirt with help from another team member. Clips on the suspenders, three buttons on the shirt, clasps and zipper on the pants all had to be done. Once the person was dressed, they ran to the other side where two teammates helped undress that person. Then a different team member (one of the helpers) had to get dressed and race back to the start line.
  5. Hula hoop pass: All ten team members participated in this last event. A hula hoop was on the ground. The first person in line stood in the hula hoop, picked it up and passed it over their head to the next person in line. The second person stepped over a line, then dropped the hula hoop. This continued until all people on the team had been through the hula hoop.
By this time, everyone was cold and hungry. As soon as the awards ceremony was over we all headed into the event hall for hot dogs, the fixin's, chili, chips, and brownies--all provided by the RV park. By the time we returned to the RV it was almost 6:00 p.m.!

We watched 60 Minutes and The Amazing Race. Then we watched our Netflix selection, "A Dangerous Method," starring Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud, Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung and Kiera Knightly as Sabina Spielrein. The movie was okay and had some interesting moments when the psychology of Freud and Jung, who were friends, was debated by the two.

What a busy weekend! Whew.

Travel Bug out.


  1. I am so excited to see Bluebonnets while we explore the Hill Country in March!

  2. I think the first flower picture is lantana.

    Looks like you had another great walk. The park Olympics reminds me of field day when I was teaching. With no lunch, I bet those hot dogs and chili hit the spot!

    Have a great week!

  3. Well I'm worn out just reading about it. You must have been exhausted and on an empty stomach, I would have passed. You are sure getting lots of exercise.
    The flowers were lovely, I especially liked the Firewheel, they reminded me of little Marigolds. Get some rest :)

  4. Wow -- lots of exercise over the weekend. Good for you! Those park Olympics sure sound like a lot of fun.


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