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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tree City - Uvalde, Texas - Mon., Sep. 14, 2015

Our South Texas weather has moderated just enough to let us start our walks at 9 am instead of 7 am. What a relief!

Monday I picked up Susan at her house for a 1-1/2 hour drive to Uvalde, Texas. I wanted to do a Volksmarch that I hadn't been on yet. Susan had only been on the Uvalde walk once and it was a bit different than the current one.

On our drive to Uvalde, we drove past fields of cotton which looked ripe for picking. Other fields held mystery crops which looked suspiciously like weeds, but they were planted in some semblance of order. Identifying signs would have been nice!

You might enjoy learning history and interesting facts about the town. Uvalde is considered the southern limit of the Texas Hill Country and the northernmost limit of South Texas. Historically, this is the Honey Capital of the World for production of huajillo honey, a mild, light-colored honey dating back to the 1870s. Also, Uvalde is known as one of the best locations for soaring in the United States. It was the site of the 1991 and 2012 World Gliding Championships.

Uvalde was the home of John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, former Speaker of the House and Vice President. (Bragging rights if you know which President he served under! Susan and I didn't have a clue.) Other famous Uvaldeans born in the city include: Matthew McConaughey, Dale Evans, and former Governor of Texas Dolph Briscoe.

According to the Koppen Climate Classification system, Uvalde has a humid subtropical climate. Thankfully it wasn't humid today!

The start point for our walk was in a Minit Mart. We signed in, used the restroom in the attached laundromat, then started our walk, following the directions provided. I wasn't paying much attention because I was putting on suntan lotion.
After we had gone 3-1/2 blocks, Susan looked at the map on the back of the directions. It was evident we had missed our first turn which was an unmarked alley behind the Minit Mart.

All was not lost, we could cut across the street nearest to us and connect with the route in three blocks. So that's what we did. It's pretty daunting when you get lost on the very first direction. We were happy there was a legible, large enough map on the back of the written directions so we could see how to correct our mistake.

We happily followed the route through sun and shade. We walked down an alley in the midst of an Episcopal school campus. Along the alley was a meditation maze, they call it "Sacred Path."
At the Episcopal school
Sacred Path (meditation maze)
Next, our directions informed us we would go past Uvalde Drugs "which has a soda fountain open until 3:00." Our mouths were watering for a refreshing ice cream soda. Upon arrival at the drug store, we found it closed with a "For Sale" sign in the window. Closed as in nothing inside, deserted, abandoned, empty. Boo hoo for us. We soldiered on.

In the display case at the former movie theater was a poster of King Kong atop the Uvalde water tower with a crop duster plane dusting him, and with a tractor in his hand instead of a woman. Kind of cute. You be the judge.

Down the street we came to the Janey Slaughter Briscoe Grand Opera House. According to our information sheet the Grand Opera House has "plaques of famous Uvaldeans (including a recent Oscar winner)." [I'm guessing Matthew McConaughey]. We didn't see even one plaque. Don't know where they might have been hiding. The actual Opera Theater is on the 2nd floor.
Grand Opera House
Detail on the Grand Opera House
Grand Opera House
We passed through a park in front of the county courthouse.

Park across from courthouse. (This photo looks from
the courthouse toward an antique store.)

The Texas Historic Landmark plaque reveals the Uvalde County Courthouse is the fifth for Uvalde County, which was created in 1856. The current structure, completed in 1928 replaced the 1890 courthouse. The Neo-Classical style's outstanding features include its cast stone segmental arches and ionic porticoes at the entrances.

Cast stone segmental arches and ionic porticoes.

Uvalde County Courthouse

A historic plaque on the front lawn of the courthouse at the intersection of two streets, tells about Fort Inge and Camp Dix, Confederate States of America (C.S.A.).

The sign reads...
A major road west from San Antonio forked in the area of these forts. One road went toward El Paso, the other to the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass. Travelers heading west put on their guns in this region, the start of hostile Indian country, troops from these posts guarded against Indian raids, bandits from Mexico, and marauders. Fort Inge, 4.5 mi. southeast, was on Cotton Road to Eagle Pass over which hundreds of wagons, oxcarts took cotton to Mexico in exchange for vital goods. Part defense line from Brownsville to El Paso. Occupied by volunteer cavalry.
After walking a few blocks on Nopal Street, we took the walking path under Main St. along the Leona River into Uvalde Memorial Park.

History of Uvalde; double click to read if you're interested.

There was supposedly a war memorial but we did not see it. [NOTE: OMG. In looking back at my photos, the sign below is the war memorial. This tells us the whole park is a war memorial. You have to read it all the way to the bottom for that info.]

I hadn't read all the way to the bottom.

For the second time, we got lost using the directions. After much discussion between Susan and I, we retraced our steps back to a four-way intersection in the trail. There was no mention of it in the directions. We were supposed to turn right there. Once we turned right, we found our way again and didn't have any other problems for the rest of the walk. There is a nice disc golf course in Memorial Park.

Trail along Leona River in Memorial Park
Sunning turtles
The turtles above may be red-eared sliders, but they're so filthy it's hard to tell! In addition to turtles, we saw deer, ducks, mockingbirds, and geese.

On Getty Street, one of the main thoroughfares through town, we saw beautiful homes. Then we modified the directions a little to take High Street to where we needed to go (rather than retracing our route on Getty). We did that because High St. had a lot of shade and we were getting hot in the sun. Quite a few different architectural styles.

Love the porch and wrap-around balcony!

Huge tree in front yard of a home

Below is the former home of Vice President John Nance Garner. It is now the Briscoe-Garner Museum. The museum is only open Tuesday through Saturday and we were here on Monday. Susan and I agreed, even if it was open we wouldn't have gone in. We were hot and tired, in need of food. 

Now the Briscoe-Garner Museum
Beautiful southern-style home
A unique attraction on this walk is the Pioneer Cemetery and King Fisher historical marker. This is one of the more interesting historical markers I've read.

King Fisher - quite a guy
An old headstone in Pioneer Cemetery, Uvalde
Tree City saves its trees
Cute sign outside a bakery (Bakery closed Monday)
Another big tree in the road
Passion flower vine and blooms in Uvalde (subtropical).
This kind of plant grew in our Hawaiian backyard!
We stopped to eat lunch at Church's Chicken fast food. They didn't have grilled chicken, so I had cole slaw and mashed potato sides. Susan ordered their chicken tenders and shared some with me. They were not heavily deep fried, just a light coating of flour on them. I thought they were pretty tasty.

At the end of the walk, we had a long drive home. It was an interesting walk in some regards, but I doubt if we'll be doing this walk again anytime soon.

Travel Bug out.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. They were pretty skittish. I kept trying to get photos of other ones but they rapidly slipped into the water. These two just seemed to be enjoying the sun and didn't move.


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