Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Walk in the Park

For the last few weeks we been able to drive Jo and Jac's car (Petey), since they have had the use of another one (thanks, Matt). This has allowed us to extend our range just a little, to places where we can walk with Rooey and not be assailed by passing traffic.

Salado Creek Greenway
The path is 3-4 km each way.

The easiest local spot in the Salado Creek Greenway, one of a network of paths that San Antonio is developing along waterways to encourage walking and cycling through their vast city. The Salado Creek path runs along one of the ephemeral gullies that run everywhere through this limestone country and occasionally carry huge floods when there is heavy rainfall.

Limestone cliffs and dry creek bed
The litter stuck in the trees shows how high the water comes.

The path is all paved and virtually flat, so very popular with walkers, cyclists and joggers. And easy to negotiate for grandparents with a small boy in the Baby Bjorn front pack. It would be perfect, except that part of it lies under electricity pylons, and all of it lies under the landing flight path to San Antonio airport; but it's still a huge improvement on the shopping malls.

The pylons make good roosting spots for vultures
And you have to imagine a 737 every ten minutes or so.

Salado Creek path
Regularly washed and leaf-blown by park staff.

Marty likes the front-facing position. The baseball cap is very cute.

America seems to deliver a huge amount of information to its citizens, mostly of a warning nature. There are quite lot of things that you mustn't do in the park, but the warnings about flash flooding and water crossing are real.

Just DON'T!

Does that seem wrong to anyone else? Don't leave the water?

We found this one mildly confusing too.

But there is a real risk
This section was under water the first time we came.

At the far end of the path we can actually get off the concrete and walk through oak woodlands that could be somewhere in the English West Country (if you ignore the aloes and occasional cactus). There and back takes us between one and two hours, depending on the dawdling. Rooey tends to sleep for at least half that time, and we usually sustain him with a bottle of milk at some stage. We see lots of squirrels, often deer (the bucks more interested in does than people at this time of year), many birds (always vultures overhead) and more flowers than I expected in autumn.

Oak woodland.
They don't lose all their leaves in the fall.

Autumn rains have rejuvenated the vegetation.

These are called Turks Caps

Salado Creek squirrel
This is the uncommon black form of the ubiquitous red-brown fox squirrel

With the very pleasant weather we have been enjoying (low to mids 20s and a gentle breeze) it makes an ideal morning excursion and we can get there and back without having to tackle any seriously busy roads.


  1. A big hello to the Travelling Bears from all the Wurfs :) I have just spent a very happy hour-ish catching up on the blogs - its been a long time between drinks..... It was great to read your newsy reports and see the fab pics of your travels and family. You all look so happy and well. Marty is sure changing quickly. It sounds like you have truly settled in to a baby minding routine that works for all of you. Marty is so lucky to have such caring and special grandparents, and I really mean the special bit!
    It is a bit weird to think of you all together so very far away, but fantastic to know that you will ALL be home soon - yay!!!!!! I feel weepy just thinking about it! The Hawaii trip seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by all. The pics were great as a back drop to the over view. I agree that resorts are like bling; fake and kitsch but have their way of winning you over. How wonderful to be able to have a real Halloween experience to reflect on, and the "dead" festival sounded amazing. Saw a doco. on it not long ago. Wurf news - Wills is in the middle of exams, not that you would know it. Mr. Cruise is sailing along just nicely, spending most of his time checking out the scenery rather than attending to the race..... but has it all under control none the less. He was happy with the 2 math exams where he put most of his attention. Science was predictable, as was English. Two left to do this week, Psy/Soc and drama, which he does not care about (his words). He now regrets having done drama this year as he did not enjoy it or learn anything; he says he would have rather done art in hindsight. He has only one more day of school to attend, and then it's all over for the year. Wow. His first project is to finish off his arcade cabinet. Imogen has been full on this term with something on every night. Last night was her big ballet concert, The Nutcracker. I must say it was really good, much to my surprise! The costumes were truly awesome. We have a lovely photo of her group all glammed up as Water Sprites. Over 200 students took part from the kindies - priceless was their performance as christmas fairies (think herding cats...)to the seniors - "Clara" really did have talent. This week Imogen has her softball final (she was so proud to be voted Captain) and I think it is the last school sailing, where she has taken it upon herself to learn how to helm against the odds, and there were many, but that is a long story.... She was able to take out her stud earrings for the first time, and wear some new ones this weekend so she is feeling very special! Every spare minute she can fudge is spent reading or writing fan fiction and she has got her first editing job which she is thrilled about. Her latest focus is Torchwood - the Doctor Who spin off showing on ABC 2, and this is also the fan fiction focus, after reading all the books as well as watching the series. Twilight was the last fad, about to rekindle with the new movie being released next week. She has made a lovely batch of cupcakes this afternoon, lovingly decorated with lots of sugar, to break up the reading. James is at work doing afternoon shift. His project at the moment is fitting out the laundry. The electrician came on Friday (took ages to get this sorted) to do the bits required for Jamie to be able to start his side of proceedings. The Electrician also finished off the final proper connection of the new lighting Jamie installed in the living room, which he is very pleased with. As for moi, I have been working alot, at least 3 days a week, to help the girls keep on top of things. The shop has been really busy Sept/Oct; just slowed done a bit in Nov. as usual. No real special project at the moment, just lots of little bits and pieces. Well,adios for now. Big hugs to you from Jamie, Susie Wills and Imogen.

  2. Susie!! So good to hear from you, and all your news. You sum up things here pretty well and we are now well over halfway through our stay. Jo says she is going to hide our passports, but we will be home on 14 Dec. What chance that we might see you guys at Boat Harbour for New Year?

  3. Oh how you must feel in your element at Salado Creek Greenway. How nice also, that Rooey gets some fresh, fresh air. You two are doing a fantastic job, which I am sure, could never be nearer to your heart strings, with your little girl and their wonderful little child. It brings tears to my eyes, all that you are doing for them, and how little we can do, but you are both marvellous. A huge thank you comes from us.


    P.S. Just would not accept me to sign in. Strange :o(

  4. Michele: I'm sure you'd do it if you could. Thanks for being a faithful blog-commenter!

  5. Good to catch up with your exploits! The countryside looks enticing, and I am envious of the weather... Its dark and wet here with a little rain to make sure you remember the car door.....
    I remember when we had our holiday to the "south" many years ago, and found vultures were almost as common as sparrows were then back here. Sadly their numbers here are greatly lacking at present in this part of the UK.
    The Roo seems to get bigger and more grown up with every photo. Are you sure he was born in July 2009?