Carl Henning

San Antonio Missions

I am fascinated by the Spanish missions of the West. A ranger-led tour at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park added to my knowledge of the mission system. These four missions are only a couple miles apart; the Alamo is just slightly further away. There were two reasons for the closeness of these missions: 1. Defense. The Apache and Comanches raided the local tribes before the missions were built and after. 2. They shared a common ranch where thousand of cattle and sheep were pastured. Each week animals from the ranch were delivered to the missions.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum

San Antonio, Texas is famous for The Alamo and its River Walk. The Alamo we remember. It was a mission that was the site of a battle for the independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico. Lots of Americans joined the fight, including Davy Crocket. The vastly outnumbered Texans lost the battle but won the war. Along the River Walk is The Briscoe Western Art Museum. It features Western art and artifacts and a little about the Alamo.

Mercer Gardens

Officially this place is called Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. The arboretum portion is kind of lame although it has some trails. But the garden is wonderful. Admission is free.

In addition to the flowers there are often pretty latinas in fancy dresses having their photos taken. I don’t know what the occasion is but this is a frequent sight.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park. The lake formed in the caldera of a collapsed volcano (Mount Mazama), it is very blue and clear. The deepest and highest lake in the United States. (1949 feet deep, 6178 feet elevation at the surface.) There are no inlets or outlets; it is fed by rain and snow and loses water to evaporation and seepage through the volcano walls.