Planes, Golf Carts, and Automobiles

Marcia and I took a somewhat spontaneous trip to San Antonio, Texas last weekend, for a little warm(er) weather rest and relaxation. It was a bit rainy and cool by local standards, but still beat being in the middle of the blizzard that blew through Des Moines that weekend. We stayed in the great Contessa Hotel (right on the River Walk), visited the Alamo and the historic Missions, got in a nice round of golf at the Hyatt Resort, and did a lot of walking: around the downtown River Walk, and as far north and south as possible on the Museum and Mission Reach extensions of the walk along the San Antonio River. We had a nice dinner at Las Canarias and a great brunch at Cappy’s. I took fewer photos than I usually do, though I was particularly pleased with the one below, drawn as I always am to dying industrial sites. Click the photo for the captioned rest of the collection, or click here for the slideshow version.

When we got back from San Antonio, Marcia had some business up in Mason City, in the north-central part of Iowa (which we’ve visited before). I chauffered her up, then took her car and headest east toward Wisconsin, crossing over the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, then working my way back to Mason City and (ultimately) Des Moines. In the process, I increased the total number of Iowa Counties I have visited to 65, about two-thirds of the way to a Full Grassley. A few snaps from this trip below, along with the updated conquered county map.

Morning sun over Native American ceremonial mounds, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Mississippi River in the background.

Mississippi River bluffs over Marquette, Iowa.

All God’s children, we all gotta die. (Gunder, Iowa).

River gorge, downtown Mason City, from the middle of the Meredith Willson Footbridge.

65 down, 34 to go. Probably one more day trip and two overnighters to finish. Not too bad.

2 thoughts on “Planes, Golf Carts, and Automobiles

  1. Enjoying these chronicles of your roving/explorations of your new home. I especially like the shot from Gunder…those wide-open vistas evoke fond (chilly!) memories of my time in that part of the country.

    Have you installed block heaters on your vehicles, yet? It’s been a mild winter, relatively speaking, but I remember those being a necessity this time of year to combat the weeks-long stretches of sub-zero temperatures.

  2. Thanks, Bob . . . . we haven’t installed block heaters, though we got lucky in terms of the house we bought: it has a heated garage, so the cars sit in gentle comfort through the coldest parts of the day!

    I loved that view in Gunder, too, though the photo does it no justice . . . I crested a hill and the sun just blasted me in the face in a vast, blue sky, throwing the church and graves into really stark shadow in front of the empty, snow-covered fields . . . I stopped in the middle of the road to snap it, hoping that it might capture some of the austerity of the scene!

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