Started here:

San Antonio, Texas
Missing States I
Day 3 - Monday, May 8, 2006
Ended here:

Pecos, TX

T o d a y ' s    N a r r a t i v e
Finally, a good traveling day. No sadness, nothing gruesome.

A web site visitor emailed me and asked how I stand such long driving days. They used Sat and Sun as examples when we drove 733 and 350 miles respectively. And today we drove 465 miles. Answer: The drive time is inclusive. For example, today we drove from 10am to 9:30pm or 11.5 hours. But, that 11.5 hours includes an hour at the Mission Concepcion and an hour and a half at the Alamo. Plus, the speed limit in Texas is 75, so I set the cruise control on 80 and let it rip. Got good talk on the radio. And 400+ .mp3 oldies on the thumb drive to listen to if there's nothing on the radio. So it really isn't that bad.

Oh, and before I get started on today, an update from yesterday. You'll recall that I wrote:

I'm not sure where we'll stop for the night. Here in San Antonio for sure because tomorrow is Alamo day. I'll take lots of pix for y'all. Anyway, The Navigator is partial to Pilot Travel Centers. I think he's impressed by the big trucks. I'm more in favor of finding a Wal*Mart parking lot. Much quieter :) We'll see.
I worked a deal with The Navigator in which we would get back on I-10 and drive West and stop at a Pilot or a Wally, whichever came first. The Wally came first. The Navigator said I rigged the bet and couldn't understand my explanation of how it was impossible to rig the bet. Not unusual. There's a lot stuff I say he doesn't understand. Like HEEL, SIT, STAY, etc. :)

We started today by visiting Mission Concepcion. This is one of five mission in San Antonio that make up San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.

Of the five, The Alamo is the most famous. The Alamo in right in the middle of downtown San Antonio. I took some photos and then used the Autostitch program to put the pix into a panoramic view (see below). You can see the commercial buildings surrounding The Alamo. A park ranger gave a very interesting 20 minute talk on the history of The Alamo and the famous battles (yes, there was more than the one we're all familiar with; visit the link) fought there. It was really cool because he could point out where the action took place. Fascinating.

We hopped back on I-10 and drove to Ft. Lancaster State Park. Unfortunately it was closed. But I got some pix of cactus. See below.

Then back on I-10 to Fort Stockton where we got on US 285 and headed Northwest to Pecos where we are currently camped in a Flying J truck stop. They have (pay-for) Internet access but, unlike Pilot, I can access the web site and update it for y'all.

Pecos, Texas is a very strange town. Most of the buildings and homes are boarded up and in bad shape. It looks like at one time this was a pretty nice town. But no more.

Tomorrow we head for Mentone and then into New Mexico and visit Carlsbad Caverns. Should be fun.

T o d a y ' s    P i c t u r e s
Click on a pix for a larger view
As mentioned above, this is Mission Concepcion. Built in 1731. The Alamo. See explanatory text above and the panoramic pic below. Some of you have sent me emails asking if I feed The Navigator. I checked around and found out he had sent some of y'all an email complaining about this. So here is photographic proof that he does get fed :) This house is in Junction, TX which is about 125 miles West of San Antonio. The house is pretty run down but I thought the brick and stonework were interesting.
Cactus at Ft. Lancaster State Park. More cactus. Pretty cactus flower. Most of West Texas is pretty desolate. I took this pix on the way back to I-10 from Ft. Lancaster State Park. No cell towers, no phone lines, no power lines, no high tension lines, etc.
A little further down I-10 we came upon these wind farms. I counted over 200 turbines. Wouldn't be Texas without an oil well. This one is less than 100 yards from the Flying J where I'm typing this.

This is the panoramic pic of The Alamo. You can see the commerical buildings nearby. The Autostitch software did a super job of making this from 10 individual pix. Interesting - the guy in the blue pants with the cane appears twice. Because he was walking and is in two of the 10 pix.

T o d a y ' s    S t a t s
Begin: 10am
End: 9:30pm
Net (includes stops): 11 hrs, 30 mins
Begin odometer: 155,605
End odometer: 156,070
Net miles today: 465
Average MPH: 40.4
Total trip miles: 1,775

     Price: $0
Food, ice, etc.: $14
Lodging: $0.00
Other: $10 - $5 to park at the Alamo, $5 for Internet access

T o d a y ' s    T h o u g h t
From AB in AZ:

Some people are like Slinkies: totally useless, but fun to throw down the stairs.

T o d a y ' s    J o k e
From Denise in IN:

They were 85 years old, and had been married for sixty years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies. Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last 2 decades.

One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane unfortunately crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet. They gasped in astonishment when St. Pete said, "Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now."

The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.

"Why, nothing," Peter replied, "remember, this is your reward in Heaven."

The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever-built on Earth. "What are the greens fees?" grumbled the old man.

"This is heaven," St. Peter replied. "You can play for free, every day, any time of day that you want."

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic desserts and free flowing beverages. "Don't even ask," said St. Peter to the man. "This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy."

The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife. "Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods, and the decaffeinated tea?" he asked.

"That's the best part," St. Peter replied. "You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!"

The old man inquired, "No gym to work out at?"

"Not unless you want to," was the answer.

"No testing my sugar or blood pressure or..."

"Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself."

The old man glared at his wife and said, "You and your damned bran muffins. We could have been here twenty years ago!"

N a v i g a t i o n
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