Tuesday, 19 July 2011

About our Visit Up - State

     As all good OROGs know, we went up to the center part of the Republic of Texas a couple of weeks ago.   The trip is always a long one.   It has been done many, many, many times by the Old Gringo during the better part of what seems to have been several centuries.    The need for the trip, this time, was caused by a couple of Old Coots talking about running trips again for the Winter Visitors.
     We both drifted out of the business as the market changed over the years, and as fossilization began to set in.  But, like a couple of old caisson-horses, once they smell a little gunpowder and hear the rumble of the guns, they begin to want to join the fray.
     With all that considered, we began thinking about something to sell to a difficult market, something that would be easy to run, and something that would not result in a lot of effort on the part of the client.   Our planning went on for a couple or three weeks, and we have decided upon a set of offerings.   All OROGs will receive a posting of these offerings in short order.    The strangest one, the one which flowed from my vast-wasteland-between-the-ears, was the San Antonio Missions.
     There is a Texas Baseball League franchise with the official name of "The San Antonio Missions", based upon the existence of the San Antonio Missions.  Everyone in Texas knows about the San Antonio Missions, both the baseball related one and the ecclesiastical, historical ones.    Everyone has been to the Alamo.... La Mision del Alamo de San Antonio de Valero...and bunches of folks have been to the Mision de San Jose.....which has its own fame and elegance.  But there are others.   Most Texans say..."Some day I'm going to....", but they never quite get around to taking the time out to actually, finally, once and for all, go see the other Misiones and understand their why's and wherefore's.
      We covered them  briefly, along a well-planned and executed paved route through San Antonio's center and south-central sections.    Some of the routing is newly done, very "National Park-ish" , and there is an abundance of parking.   Rest-rooms are found at all the stops and  routing instructions that are frequently accurate are available en route as well as in the form of pamphlets and hand-guides found at Park offices.
      So, as the Old Gringo had originally thought, this would be a good trip for people to come up from the Valley, arrive to the center of San Antonio, and essentially do their own inclinations for the remainder of the day.   Then, on the second day, the tour could go as a group to the remaining Missions.   It takes a long morning, including Mision La Concepcion,  Mision San Jose, Mision San Juan, and the Mision de La Espada.    It could then return to the center of town...a short distance....20 minutes.....for a mid-day meal and free afternoon and evening.  The last day could begin with a visit to the Institute of Texian Cultures.     There are several details and possible inclusions to make or leave out.
       We are giving serious consideration to the Painted Churches of East Central Texas and to a pair or so of one-day tours in the Lower Rio Grande Valley area.  We'll see.