February 16 to February 23
(Galveston, TX to San Antonio, TX to Holbrook, AZ)
Click on the photo for each day to view that day's photos.
Day 37 - February 17, 2024
Today was cold (screen shot shows 6C and clear but it was 6C, cloudy and windy) so I stayed home most of the day. After 36 consecutive days on the road, touring, it was time for a day off. Boring, I must say. So, I just took a few photos of the exterior of the building and one of the construction of the freeway in front of the building. Then out for a bite and back to the condo. Again…boring!
Day 38 - February 18, 2024
I read online about another cave (apparently Texas has plenty) called “Cave Without a Name”. Interesting, but of course nothing like Carlsbad Caverns. I got one shot of an old building in Boerne on the drive to the cave, then a shy, female Northern Cardinal in a tree before entering the cave. When I cave out of the cave an older gentleman approached me and asked if I was a photographer. It turns out that he has owned property for many years and offered to show me one of the many trails. At 89 years of age, he was quite agile, and we went on about a 1.5 mike hike through the forest along a canyon. Interesting fellow. I got another female Cardinal, a bee, a vulture and a few butterflies.
After the hike, I drove to the Kreutzberg Canyon natural Area for a few shots along the Guadalupe River, then off to Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg is an old German settled town with a very interesting main street and some nice architecture. Then back to the condo. Tomorrow…who knows?
Day 39 - February 19, 2024
One more day in downtown San Antonio and the Riverwalk. I don’t need more photos of this, but it is beautiful so I decided one more day wouldn’t hurt. After walking it for quite awhile and spending some time at the San Fernando Cathedral (where the remains of Bowie, Travis and Crockett are interred), I decided to have lunch at the top of the Tower of the Americas. When this tower opened on April 11, 1968, it was the tallest one of its kind in North America. It held the title for 80 days when it was surpassed, by four feet, by the Calgary tower (then the Husky Tower) on June 30, 1968. Lunch was really good.
Then back to walk the riverwalk until dusk before heading back to the condo. Bud E. wanted to stay for the evening, but I was tired and since I am the driver….
Day 40 - February 20, 2024
Our last day in San Antonio. We decided to go to an outlet mall in San Marcos, between San Antonio and Austin to do a little shopping. The place is enormous. After spending too much money, we headed to old downtown New Braunfels. There is an old theatre there, the Brauntex, so naturally I went in to ask if I could take a few photos. A lovely lady named Lynda was very happy to give me a tour. It turns out, the theatre opened on January 6th, 1942, showing “The Birth of the Blues” starring, wait for it, Bing Crosby and Mary Martin. Nice coincidence. Today it is the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre. Apparently, it has a ghost (documented in a few books and magazines) and they even save a seat for the ghost. Of course, Bud E. wanted the seat next to the ghost!
After a few more shots around the old downtown, we headed to a beautiful local park on the Comal River. Squirrels everywhere and loads of birds. First, even though I have lots of photos of Great Egrets, I got some of one hunting, then catching dinner. They are so beautiful. I have never been able to get great shots of Wood Ducks. Until today. Too many but they are one of the most beautiful ducks in the world. I also shot several other ducks, but the Wood Ducks are the stars of the show. And no, I don’t know what is up with the tuft on the back of the one female Mallard.
Tomorrow, we start a three-night, four-day journey to Sedona, Arizona. Go figure. It is warming up here (29 C on Thursday} and we are leaving for 12 C to 15 C in Sedona. One this I won’t miss about San Antonio is the traffic. And the construction. I will never complain about Calgary traffic again. Wait, yes I will, but this is really bad.
Day 41 - February 21, 2024
Not much in the way of photos today. It was a long drive from San Antonio to Littlefield, Texas. Just a few shots of Painted Rock, Texas as we drove through, a couple of a back road where we stopped for a lunch break, one of some leftover cotton, and then a few of the motel (this is a blast from the past) and Littlefield. Littlefield is the birthplace of Waylon Jennings. Not much here though.
Day 42 - February 22, 2024
A direct drive from Littlefield, TX to Albuquerque, NM is about a 5-hour drive. But who takes the direct route? Not I. So, I have a few shots of a Texas sunrise from my usual spot, a back road. Also, some of some abandoned business in small rural towns along the way, an old fire engine and a hawk.
On the way I noticed an issue with my big wildlife lens, so I needed a repair shop. After going to a camera store to get a lens fixed (shout out to Albuquerque Photo-Technologies Inc. for doing a great job!) and checking into the hotel, we went for a drive along old Route 66. Well, half of it in the city then a few miles to the east. There is no way to know but the moon shots are taken from a secluded spot on the Mother Road.
Day 43 - February 23, 2024
From a Texas sunrise yesterday, to an Arizona sunset today. Today was only about 260 miles, but it was very interesting. I don’t know why the old, abandoned buildings seem to fascinate me, but they do. I wonder what life was like when they were vibrant, working businesses and homes. And what happened to them. There are old, abandoned businesses yet there are also lots that are still thriving. Or just surviving.
The Mother Road, Route 66 is so interesting. Narrow, winding, no shoulders, mostly paved (they are actually restoring pieces of it) but some gravel. And sections that don’t exist anymore, so I was forced on to the interstate (yuk!). On the road I saw a bear hitchhiking, so I had to pick him up 😊.
Then I came across the Petrified Forest National Park. I have been through this way several times in the past but never went through this park. Much of it is simply interesting, colourful rock formations, some petroglyphs, and great views. Then you come across what was a forest, estimated at 217 million years ago. The trees died off and petrified into stone. Lots of it is quartz. Bud E. just had to get his photo taken sitting on a 200+ million-year-old log.
Then a beautiful Arizona sunset, and some shots of some neon lights of old, surviving businesses in Holbrook, AZ. The Wigwam Motel was a chain at one time and there are still a few surviving.