Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Walk with Hill Country Hikers - Fri., May 3

Such an exciting day today! And it's all good.

Bob is interviewing for a controller (accounting) position next week. I have a lead on a job for one to two days per week (more on that next week).

Yesterday I joined four meetup.com groups and this evening Bob and I went on our first walk with Hill Country Hikers. We met at Robert Tobin Park where we started our four-mile round trip at a moderate-fast pace. We walked 15-minute miles, so we finished in one hour! Fourteen walkers showed up. What a nice group of people. One lady, Vanessa, brought her Husky, Amanda.

The park sign behind me is faux bois. See
explanation below.

At exactly 6:45 p.m. we started south on the trail through the Salado Creek Greenway. This is a beautiful trail with lots of trees and the wildflowers are still blooming. Because of the recent rain, everything was green and growing. Paul, our leader, told us the south trail from the main parking area is excellent for summer hiking because the trail is shaded...a very good thing when temperatures hover around 100 degrees F.

Paul, our walk leader.

Before we started the walk we had time to read the plaques. Robert L.B. Tobin, after whom the park is named, was born in 1934, educated in the Alamo Heights (San Antonio) School District and attended the University of Texas. His father died in an air crash in 1954. Robert took over leadership of the family business, Tobin Surveys, Inc. He built the business into the nation's largest mapmaker for the oil industry.

Also on the park entry signboard was information about faux bois (false wood) or "trabejo rustico." At the parking picnic area all the tables, benches, the park entry sign, and support for the signs are faux bois. What is faux bois? It is a craft that was popular in the late 19th century to the 1940s which is experiencing a resurgence. Natural elements such as wood, thatch, vines and branches are recreated in concrete. The faux bois pieces in Tobin Park are the work of Carlos Cortes, a third-generation artisan whose great uncle Domingo Rodriguez brought the skill to Texas from Mexico in the 1920s. Other Cortes family creations around San Antonio can be seen along the Riverwalk (especially The Grotto on the north Riverwalk), at Brackenridge Park, and some bus stops.

Faux bois picnic table.
Faux bois bench.
Here are photos. I took only a few because if I stopped, I had to run to catch up. Some photos were taken while walking.
Salado Creek Greenway trail.
Mexican hat wildflowers.
Walkers on the trail.
Coming up to our turn-around point with Paul in the lead.
Great egret in Salado Creek.
Salado Creek Falls (ha ha)
Salado Creek
A very large, old pecan tree.
Honeysuckle growing along the trail. Smelled wonderful!
Rain lily. Only bloom for three to four days after rainstorms.
Bluebonnets - some going to seed.
The sun was out, birds were active, the air was fresh and clean after our recent rains. The temperature this afternoon was perfect at 72 and very low humidity. At the end of our walk we felt great.

For dinner, we went to Taqueria Guadalajara across the street from the RV park. A good end to a wonderful day.

Travel Bug out.


  1. Sounds like a great hike and a nice group of people. Good luck to both of you with the jobs!!

  2. Good luck with the jobs.

    The trail looks beautiful. So nice to see flowers. Still snowing here in Kansas...that's not the norm but that is what is happening this year.

  3. When I read about the 15 min miles, I was wondering if there would be any pictures. Great job getting pictures with that pace. The walk/run you had to do to take pictures burned a lot more calories! You deserved the dinner.

  4. The KOA we stay at is on that trail. We love to walk it and bike it.


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