We woke up this morning to see this strange bright orb in the sky. The sun finally made an appearance. I took a walk along the San Antonio River behind the RV park and began to notice a lot of debris along the sides of the river valley. It looks like the river rose nearly 20 ft. last night before receding to it's level this morning. I posted a picture, but I don't know whether you will be able to see the water line. While I was taking some pictures of the wildflowers along the river, I unknowingly stepped too close to a fire ant mound. By the time I felt them biting me and looked down, I must have had about a hundred of them crawling on my foot and sandal. Needless to say I kicked off my shoe and brushed all of the ants off my foot, but wound up with a few welts from the bites. Those little buggars are nasty and you have to be aware they are around.
Since the forecast was for sunny weather this afternoon, we headed into San Antonio to see the River Walk. There was a craft festival for the week end and in addition to the regular bars, shops, and restaurants the River Walk was lined with craft booths. Sue managed to buy a a few trinkets to take home including a dinosaur Christmas tree ornament.
With all of the water in the San Antonio River downstream of the city where our RV park is, I was wondering why the River Walk wasn't flooded. Wikipedia was able to supply an answer. After a disastrous flood along the San Antonio River took 50 lives in September 1921, plans were developed to control flooding in the river. An upstream dam (Olmos Dam) was built but the bypass channel around a prominent bend of the river in the downtown area wasn't completed because of local opposition. San Antonio native and architect Robert Hugman submitted plans for what would become the River Walk. A bond issue was finally passed that raised funds to empower the 1938 “San Antonio River Beautification Project”, which began the development of the present 2.5-mile-long River Walk.
Hugman endorsed the bypass channel idea which would be completed later in 1938 but, instead of paving over the bend, he suggested a flood gate at the upstream end of the bend; a small dam at the downstream end of the bend; and a flow control gate in the channel to regulate flow. The bend then became surrounded by commercial development. The design was put to the test in 1946, when another major flood threatened downtown San Antonio, but the Olmos Dam and bypass channel minimized the area damaged and further development along the River Walk proceeded over the years to where it is today. Now you know why downtown doesn't flood.
Since the weather was so nice around sunset, I went to the San Jose Mission grounds which is part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. There are four mission churches within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and all are still active catholic parishes, and hold regular services. If the weather holds up this week we'll probably come back to see whats there. For now a couple of pictures around sunset will have to suffice. Stay tuned.