Exploring San Antonio at Sunrise
Starting this week, and continuing for the next two weeks I decided to revive my routine from back when I lived and worked in Arizona. When I was at Fort Huachuca from 2014-2017, I worked the night shift for almost 2 1/2 years straight. It was a perfect setup, since I was there without my family. I would work from 10pm-6am, get off work and go hike for 3-5 hours, before sleeping in the afternoon/evening. It was great, I got to explore the Sierra Vista area, and more importantly, I was out in nature at least 3-5 mornings a week.
I’m embarrassed to say that during the 3 1/2 years I’ve lived in San Antonio, I’ve been a little lax about exploring. I have a handful of favorite places, but I really only got out a couple of times a month; especially in the summer when it’s hot.
This month, I’m correcting that error.
Monday Morning (Aug 1st)
I left my office around 6am and headed for Lady Bird Johnson Park and the Salado Greenway: View route on Alltrails
The hike was described as 8.6 miles out and back along a mostly paved trail, with lot of shade. Sounded perfect! I was a little worried about the fact that it’s a mix use path and there was a possibility of a lot of bike riders also on this trail. I did see a few, but they were polite about announcing themselves, then passing on the left.
As promised, there was plenty of shade and lots of wildlife … mostly deer.
Because I got out there so early in the morning, for a lot of the time I had the trail almost all to myself. But along the way, I did also meet and get the chance to have some nice conversations with a few people. The big camera in my hand was usually a conversation starter. I blocked alongside this couple for a little while as I approached my turnaround point, then passed them again on my way back. Couldn't resist snapping a picture as they walked away with their dog.
In the end, I walked a little over 9 miles during the three and a half hours I was out there.
Tuesday & Wednesday (Aug 2 & 3)
For these two days, I decided to stay a little closer to my office when I got off work. As it turns out, there is a nice little park almost literally right across the street from Randolph Air Force Base. What purposes of linking to Alltrails, we'll call this the Cibolo Creek Primitive Trail, but really it's a series of trails that runs from Universal City Park, to Veterans Park.
This was a surprisingly nice little trail, with lots of hills, big trees for shade, plenty of wildlife, and on the Universal City Park end, even a disc golf course, for those who are into that sort of thing.
The wildlife hightlight of these two days was probably the number of skunks that I saw. The first morning, it was still pretty dark when I saw a couple along the side of the trail who quickly ran away back into the woods. But then then next morning, the sun was a bit higher when I came across another skunk rooting through some cactus who didn't seem terribly concerned that I was there.
The other fun thing out there both mornings was all of the huge spider webs that I mistakenly thought were caterpillar webs, until a sharp eyed friend on Facebook pointed out what appears to be a pretty big spider down in the corner of one of these webs.
I ended up walking about four and a half miles each day, which was a nice little break after the nine miler on Monday.
Thursday morning (Aug 4th)
For my last hike of the week, I headed down to The Pearl to do the Riverwalk. I’ve been here many times, but I've always gone south towards downtown/The Alamo. This morning I decided to head north towards the zoo. I walked on the wildlife trail through Brakenridge Park and remember thinking to myself that I hope I wouldn’t regret not bringing my big camera with me. Sure enough, right around the second turn I heard some rustling in the woods and there was a little armadillo rooting around in the leaves. I did get a few pictures with my phone, but it ran off before I could get very close.
The other highlight of this walk was a last minute decision to check out the Japanese Tea Garden. I had never been here before, mainly because every time I've been running this area previously to go to the zoo it was always later in the morning, and this place looked packed. At 7:20 am though, there were only about 4 or 5 other people in the whole place! 😊
Well that’s it for this week. But I’m on night shifts again for the next two weeks (so more San Antonio location), then I’ll be making another weekend trip back to Sierra Vista AZ. Be sure to check back if you want to see more of our hikes.
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