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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Medina Lake Report: A Visit to Thousand Trails Preserve

This afternoon, we made an unplanned trip over to Medina Lake to see some of my wife's family staying at the Thousand Trails Preserve near Pipe Creek. I haven't fully figured out the ins and outs of this operation, but the gist of it is, you pay a membership fee to belong to this nationwide resort organization which allows you access to their facilities. I'm thinking if you own an RV, this is the ticket, but since I don't own an RV, I don't know for sure. As guests, we paid $5.00 to go in and that was very reasonable considering the amenities.

First, you should know that one of the great joys of living in San Antonio is that, 15 minutes outside the city limits in any direction puts you out in the middle of the country. I should also mention that, in a few years, you'll have to drive a lot more than 15 minutes to be out in the country because they are building everywhere.

Our son attended Communications Arts High School which is located on the Taft Campus just outside of Loop 1604 on 471 (Culebra Road). Just a few years ago, there was nothing between Taft HS and Medina Lake and now, it is a freakin' neighborhood!

Attention people from California, yes, this is the best deal going - you sell your crappy crack-house outside of LA for close to a million dollars, then buy a near-mansion on 10 acres here for $350K, buy a riding mower and live like Thurstan Howell the 3rd and Lovey, but please, quit telling your friends about it, or better yet, tell them about Austin and Fredericksburg. They need the growth, we don't.
Okay, aside from that unpleasantness, the ride is awesome and you can really appreciate why so many folks are purchasing motorcycles and taking rides along the gently winding and rolling hill country roads.
And now that God has stopped punishing us with the great floods of 2007, the weather is bright, sunny and wonderful again; keep in mind however, cars have air conditioning, motorcycles don't.
Pipe Creek and Medina Lake is about 30 to 40 minutes from our house depending on traffic, but it is a beautiful ride. Take a gander at these views of the short trip.
If you don't live here in San Antonio and think of the place as the Alamo, the River Walk and the AT&T Center where the Spurs play, go back and watch a movie like Lonesome Dove, and no kidding, this was where they rode horses. Before asphalt, of course.
You know how it gets confusing if you try to explain the relationship between various family members etc, anything beyond immediate family? Well, I'll skip it and just say that these folks are related on my wife's side. Joe and Bertha are the RV owners - and damn, if you wanna go camping, this is the way to do it. I have been in RV's before but had not seen the full benefit of what they call slide-outs. The increase to the living space inside is amazing. Take a look.
One of the nice things about this park is the huge population of people friendly deer. I know they can be pests to homeowners, but in the park, they seem to make everyone happy. Coincidently, Joe was serving up some awesome venison sausage with cheese and jalapeno. Man it was good, though I am confident there was no connection between the sausage I enjoyed and the many Bambi's I saw.
We didn't stay long enough to partake in any use of the lake, though I must tell you that watching the boats speed by, some with skiers in tow, and others just quietly making a leisurely trip around the lake looked like fun. I am told that just a while back during the big rains, the water was way up into the camping area and as I walked around stalking the deer pictured above, I could see the signs of the receding waterline deep into camper territory. But either way, the place is beautiful with lots of low hanging trees providing a shady canopy so you can enjoy the refreshing breeze off the lake. I was actually surprised at how comfortable it was outdoors though for at least a portion of the time, the ladies seemed to take advantage of the air conditioning in the RV.
After some awesome vittles and one or two beverages, it seemed as though this crowd was ready for a little dancing with the stars. Granted, aside from my claim as a published letter to the editor writer in a local HOA newspaper, there were no stars to be found, so people had to simply make due with spouses and such.
Before long, the assembled kids were ready to hit the pool and my wife and I were ready for the short ride back to San Antonio and the land of many HEB's.
The pool at this place was nicely done and I'm happy to report, the men's room was clean, and fully walled meaning that you don't have to engage in a conversation face to uh, well, anyway, with the guy taking a dump in the stall as you stand at the urinal. That's always the sign of a quality place.
Next to the pool was an historical residence used now as a haunted house and other events. It is the home of the Spettel Family.

So, it really didn't take us long to get back home but I did have to stop and take a picture of this awesome design for a liquor store.

We Texans are a proud bunch. JR's Liquor Store near Pipe Creek pretty much says it all.

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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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