San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

I had a birthday in January (the 23rd to be exact), and Jack asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday. Without hesitation I responded, “Go to the Missions National Historic Park.” So we went.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a National Historic Park preserving four of the five Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio, Texas. These outposts were established by Catholic religious orders to spread Christianity among the local natives. These missions formed part of a colonization system that stretched across the Spanish Southwest in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. All four of these missions were built during the late 1600s and early 1700s.

We didn’t do the missions in any particular order because we went to the one closest to us first. If you decide to visit these missions, I would suggest getting a pamphlet of information about them first, and then plan your course. I would suggest going from south to north or north to south. Then you won’t “back track” as much as we did.

We went to Mission San Jose first. It was the one with the biggest visitor center (we didn’t know that at the time). Mission San Jose was established in 1720. The church that is still standing was built in 1768 and founded by Father Antonio Margil.

Next, we went to Mission Concepción which was established in 1716 as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais in East Texas. The mission, which was founded by Franciscan Friars, was moved to San Antonio in 1731, and is the best preserved of the missions. We were not allowed inside the church because they were doing some preservation work that day. In fact, in one of the pictures you can see part of a camera crew with two workers. They must have been doing some kind of news story on the renovation work to be aired in San Antonio in the near future.

The guy on the far right is the cameraman.

Then, we went to Mission San Juan which was established in 1716 as Mission San Jose de los Amazonia in East Texas. The mission was renamed and moved in 1731 to San Antonio.

Finally, we went to Mission Espada. It was established in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas near present-day Augusta and was renamed San Francisco de los Neces in 1721. It was moved to its present location in 1731 and given its current name.

Each of the missions is unique, and the churches are so different not only in size but in decor, style, and color. We really enjoyed strolling around each site and learning its history.

So, for now ….. “In the Road Again!”

Betty

Columbia Falls, Montana

We left Boise, Idaho, August 2nd. After traveling three days with two one-night stops, we arrived in Columbia Falls, Montana, on August 4th. We saw some beautiful scenery as we traveled the last day.

Looks like these people are getting ready to have a fun adventure.

We are staying three weeks at Columbia Falls RV Resort. This is a very nice park located right in the town of Columbia Falls.

The west entrance to Glacier National Park is about a 20 minute drive from our RV park. After spending a couple of days restocking the RV and resting from the three days of travel, we finally drove into the park.

The day we drove to Glacier was somewhat hazy because there have been many small fires in the surrounding states as well as in Montana. Smokey haze is not the best circumstance under which to take photos, but one has to work with whatever one is given.

Zoom in and you’ll see two deer.

I think this little guy was paid to pose for pictures. He was there on that rock perched on his hind legs for a VERY long time.

The second week we were in Columbia Falls, we had some friends that we met in Island Park, Idaho, come to visit us. They had always wanted to see Glacier National Park, so we planned a day to go.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. It was a rainy, foggy day. The higher up in elevation we went, the foggier and colder it got. Needless to say, it was an even worse day to take photos than our first day at Glacier was with the hazy smoke.

We did have a unique encounter though. We rounded a curve and the oncoming car was going really slow and pointed up in the forest. Then we saw what she was pointing at: a momma bear and two cubs! I got several pictures, and, although they aren’t great, if you look closely and zoom in, you will see the black cubs.

These are black bears even though the momma is a brown color. We learned how to tell a grizzly bear from a black bear while we visited Yellowstone National Park. You can google it and learn the difference.

There is mama bear. Her two, black cubs are in the trees behind her. You might have to zoom in to see them. They are REALLY black.

Mama bear decides to take off after digging and eating a little.

One black bear cub decides to come down and dig where mama was digging to see if he can find anything tasty. The other bear cub’s head is sticking out from behind the tree trunk right behind the cub doing the digging.

The bear cub behind the tree decides to go off and follow mom.

Finally the bear cub doing the digging decides he better follow mama also.

We were really excited to see these three bears. We also had a lot of fun with the friends who came to visit.

So, for now, “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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