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San Angelo, Texas

October 1, 2014

 

While the Bounder sat still, we put some miles on the CR-V last month.  We left the motorhome “at home” at Advanced RV Resort in Pearland/Houston and drove the Honda up to Columbus, Ohio.  We were there for our youngest son’s 41st birthday, and spent time with him, his wife and the three grandkids.  We also saw almost all of Nell’s brothers and sisters and their families at a family reunion.

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Our booth (center) at the September First Saturday Arts Market

We returned home to spend a couple of days prepping for the September 6th First Saturday Arts Market in Houston.  The next day, Sunday, we drove to Austin and spent the night at the home of our youngest daughter, her husband, and our youngest grandson, Zachary.  On Monday, we drove to San Angelo in west Texas, where we spent a couple of days with my brother and his wife, who have lived there for over 40 years.  We lived in San Angelo for a short time ourselves a lot of years ago.  After our visit to San Angelo, we set up and sold our little “Tabletop Gems” on Saturday morning at the Imperial Sugar Farmers Market in Sugar Land, Texas.  The next week, we drove back to Austin, where we checked out RV parks over two days.

Our visit to San Angelo was a treat.  We hadn’t been back for a visit in a long time, and with my brother and sister-in-law as guides, we saw some interesting and fun new things.  But first, we spent a day out on the back roads of west Texas.

IMG_2520Our first morning in San Angelo, I told my brother that, while in west Texas, I wanted to get some photos of a river, with rocks and water.  This is difficult to do these days because so much of the accessible riverfront land in Texas is privately owned. Add the drought conditions of the last few years and even water crossings don’t provide much to look at.  But he mapped out a route and we hit the road.  Our first stop was the little town of Menard.  Menard is where our father was born, so passing through is somewhat of a pilgrimage for us.

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There’s not a lot of water to be found as one goes south.  This is fairly typical countryside, consisting of rocks, scrub brush and mesquite trees.

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And deer.  Lots of deer.

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And buzzards. At one point, we rounded a bend on a back road and saw a very large flock of buzzards circling ahead and above us.  That caused us to turn back.  Actually, what caused us to turn back was a pretty serious “No Trespassing” sign, but the buzzards made it look even more serious.

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One wonders about the people who once lived in this old stone house.

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And this one.

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Passing through the town of Mason, we watched a semi truck navigate a turn in the center of town, towing a single wind turbine blade.  We ate lunch at the Willow Creek Café in Mason.

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The Willow Creek Café is located on the Mason town square in an old automobile dealership.  Friends have said they do a good breakfast.  I had a huge quesadilla and it was more than I could eat.  Good food, quick service.

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We finally found water at the San Saba River, where it crosses under Highway 87 between the towns of Mason and Brady.  I took a lot of reference photos here.

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Back in San Angelo the next morning, we started the day by visiting the International Water Lily Collection, at Civic League Park.  I encourage you to click on the link above and read about this amazing collection.

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It is impossible to have a camera in hand and not shoot image after image of these beautiful flowers and the patterns of the pads around them.

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When one thinks of west Texas, this is not the image that comes to mind, but the park’s paths and bridges  invite one to stroll among the trees.

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The Concho River runs through the city, with parks on one bank and majestic homes on the other.

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An homage to the cotton industry that is so prevalent in this part of the state, these painted sheep can be seen throughout the city.

IMG_2989 The children of San Angelo were asked to submit the things they would like to see in  a park playground.  A team of architects used that input to design this park, and then the people of San Angelo pitched in and built it.

IMG_2994The Bosque on the Concho is a community activity park on the bank of the river.

IMG_2995 There is a large chess board, washer pitches, fountains, lots of stone seating areas that, when finished, will provide yet another place for the people of San Angelo to gather, picnic, and enjoy being by the river.

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We took an afternoon break to have sodas at Stango’s Coffee Shop & Ice Cream Fountain on Chadbourne Street in downtown San Angelo. I talked briefly with the owner who said he has been in business here for three years.  He does a great lunchtime business.  I think this would be a great place to meet for morning coffee and breakfast.

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What else would you name a theatre in west Texas?

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Paintbrush Alley.  Drive-through art gallery includes 18 windows and numerous murals.

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A variety of art by local artists, painted directly on the boarded up windows and walls in the alley behind the Texas Theatre.

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The metal sculpture was a delightful surprise.

IMG_3028No visit to San Angelo is complete without a stop to browse the aisles of Eggemeyers General Store at 35 East Concho Street.

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Nell bought this hat at Eggemeyers.  It looked so good on her that she wore it in the car all the way back to Houston.

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Titled “RAN”, this massive piece of steampunk art sits in the Municipal Rose Garden in Civic League Park, 900 W. Beauregard Ave.. San Angelo is blessed with many pieces of sculpture throughout the city. There’s a partial listing here.

Home to Goodfellow Air Force Base, historic Fort Concho, and Angelo State University, this town of nearly 100,000 in west Texas is always a surprise.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 2, 2014 7:59 am

    Maybe the sheep were a celebration of the Producer’s Livestock Auction, the country’s largest sheep and lamb market.?

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