Thursday, May 5, 2016

Goliad, Cinco de Mayo, and more

Victoria, Texas
Lazy Longhorns RV Park

I'll try and make this blog as short as I can.  There was so much packed into a few hours that I'm having trouble recounting them now.

We headed out this morning for Goliad which is about 25 miles from Victoria.  

Bill's first, but not last, battleground for the summer of 2016.

The weather was perfect and we were the only ones in this Texas park.

Our next stop was Mission Espiritu Santo which goes back to 1722 until 1830.  The mission and fort was deserted except for a park ranger who was painting windowsills.  I love visiting a place that isn't crowded.

We didn't think much of it until we discovered besides the chapel and the outbuildings there was also a museum.

True to Bill, he is always fascinated with old weapons.  

Here he is with an atlatis which can penetrate the conquistadors armor.

This room's walls are original.

There's more to see a quarter mile away.  

Our next stop was Presidio La Bahia which we learned is the oldest fort west of the Mississippi.  I didn't know that.  

These flags have all flown over this area.
The grounds were beautiful.  This cannon had a date of 1750.

Did I mention we were the only people touring here?  

The chapel was locked but the sign on the door said the First Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed on the altar December 20, 1835.  Services have been held continuously since its establishment.  
This area is where Fannin's men were executed after surrendering.  

You had some great views of the San Antonia River.

Next door to the fort is where General Ignacio Zaraooza was born.  Not sure of the spelling as another sign only had one O.

Zaragooza's Mexican army defeated the French in a battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  This victory is now celebrated as Cinco de Mayo.  It was very fitting, that today is May 5. 

Fannin was buried here and this monument was erected in his honor. There were more Texan soldiers killed here than at the Alamo and San Jacinto combined.

Next we were headed to old town Goliad with a population of 1908, we weren't expecting much. Once again we were wrong.

Here's the courthouse in the center of the town square.

Here I am sitting below the hanging tree outside the courthouse.  No one knows for sure how many people were hung, but they did have swift justice.  Estimates were at least a couple hundred hangings. 

You see so many towns, that are run down and no one seems to care, that it was delightful to visit this one.  All these buildings were built at least 150 years ago.  

The park hosts here at Lazy Longhorn RV Park suggested we have lunch at the Hanging Tree Restaurant.  It was a great meal and the service and prices were excellent.  If you love to hunt, you would have loved the walls.

There was a Market House Museum but we decided to pass on it.  We liked this town so well, that I'm sure we'll come back again some day and visit it.  

When we returned to the park we talked to  Darrel and Marva Ratliff, the park hosts, about how much we enjoyed the meal.  Darrel worked at Rawhide, which is in Arizona, as a singing sheriff for 15 years.  We made many a trip to eat dinner or show out-of-town friends Rawhide.  I'm going to check some old photos and see if we have a photo of him.  Darrel gave us two CD's of his music.  I can't wait to play them.  

I know I preach so much about people that drive the interstates.  No way would you be able to experience what we did today, if you don't get off the interstates.  

You also don't get a chance to meet nice people like the Ratliff's who just give you such a nice gift.  If we didn't have commitments we probably would have stayed much longer here.  
Turtle Safely........

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