Dave

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Report: The Rim and Nature

You might recall that during the Spurs-Cavs Finals, one of the no doubt All-Star caliber announcers ABC saw fit to put on the air made some ridiculous comment, the gist of which was that there is nothing to do in San Antonio. I guess if you must have daily Paris Hilton sightings or can't bother to leave the hotel room unless there is a taping of the Letterman Show to watch, I guess you'd be right.

But sadly, I often hear people who live here who have the same comments. Once they've made the obligatory visits to Sea World and Fiesta Texas, been to the Alamo on a field trip in Kindergarten, and taken a visitor to Mi Tierra, then they are bored to tears. Too bad I say, because either my wife and I are easily entertained or maybe just plain dull, but we find something worth doing in SA and nearby all the time.

Today, we took a short trip out to The Rim to do a little research on the supposed Steak 'n Shake, which by the way, we never did find (not that we would have eaten there, Noreen*), and we decided to check out a few of the parks in the area.

To give you an idea of where I'm talking about, take IH-10 just north of 1604. Fiesta Texas and The Shops at La Cantera are to the west, The Rim is to the east and a little north of there is Leon Springs. Raymond Russell Park is on the east side and Friedrich Wilderness Park is on the west side.

More about The Rim later; first I want to tell you about Raymond Russell Park.

I'm thinking that if you happened to be in the area and you were looking for a place to picnic or maybe have some big family or company event, this would be as cool a place as any. We just took a short drive through, having never been there before, and we noticed a lot of open space where kids could play or perhaps a Frisbee might be thrown if you were into such a thing.

Though the area itself looked very nice, we didn't take the time to get out and really explore. One thing I did notice was that people seemed to be using the park as a good starting point for bicycle riding. The access roads in both directions of IH-10 had cyclists enjoying the scenery and fresh air. Unfortunately, as I mentioned to my wife, my ass was not built for such a small seat. She promptly reminded me that a bike with a seat suitable for my body was waiting for me in the comfort of our bedroom, facing the TV. Uh, thanks.

Either way, if you were a family on a budget and wanted to go to The Rim and take the kids to the Bass Pro Shops, but not necessarily pay for the kids to eat in the restaraunt there, why not pack a lunch and drive up another half mile on the frontage road to RR Park. You'll save money and you can look up and see the rich folks living in the Dominion, just a golf chip away. Wave Howdy to The Admiral.

Raymond Russell Park doesn't compare to the beauty of Friedrich Wilderness Park, but in all fairness, they are for totally different uses. Had we known that we were going to stop there, we would have dressed appropriately, worn some walking shoes and maybe brought a few bottles of water. Plus, I would definitely have brought along my good camera.

We had driven up to Leon Springs (which is a nice trip with lots of cute shops by itself) and made the turn to head back toward SA. I decided to stay on the access road rather than get on IH-10, just in case we wanted to stop anywhere. We would not be disappointed.

As I pulled into the park entry, and man fully decked out in "nature gear" was taking pictures of some wild flowers. He politely motioned for me to drive through, but I wanted to take some pictures of my own.
When we did go in and park, I liked how they made use of bricks and grass to make the lot, rather than asphalt.

We weren't really dressed to make a stay of the park and go down any of the trails, but we did take long enough to wander around the initial entry way. A bathroom and some park maps along with a sort of seating/resting area were close to the parking area, and just a few steps aways were several picnic tables available for someone wanting to eat lunch before or after a nice hike.

We saw quite a few hikers getting ready to hit the trail including people with kids and older folks out to enjoy a bit of nature. My wife was struck by the fact that really, the park is located just hundreds of yards from IH-10, yet the faint sound of traffic seemed to blend into the beauty of the park as if it were a brook off in the distance.

I could understand why when we arrived, the gentleman at the gate was so focused (no pun intended) on the subject of his photography; you couldn't walk a few feet without finding something to take a happy snap of.


My wife is not a big fan of cactus, in fact I had to remove a few from our yard when we first moved to Silver Creek. But out here, safely off the path, they were a very pleasant sight to take in.

This is one of those places we pass by and usually say something like, "Gee, I wonder what that place is like?" and I suspect that there are quite a few people who do the same. But it seems to me that if you can recall at least one of those places a week, there would be no reason to ever think that "there is nothing to do in San Antonio" like the dumbass announcer on ABC.

Both Raymond Russell and Friedrich Wilderness Park are free and available for everyone to enjoy. We have found so many of these gems in and around San Antonio from time to time and it just seems a shame for folks not to enjoy them.

I'll tell you about more of more of our favorite places to visit in the near future. How 'bout you tell me about your favorite places to visit.



*My sister Noreen read about our trip to Wichita Falls and all the places we ate and was extremely concerned about my health. I assured her that we were only splurging since we were on a trip.

1 comment:

Mookie said...

What NBA Finals? lol

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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