Monday, February 24, 2014

Going for Gold at Goliad

The 2014 Winter Olympics are drawing to a close. I can't say that I spent much time watching (it's not really felt all that winter-y here in south Texas) - but I can certainly appreciate all the hard work that goes into being an Olympic competitor and how those who are bringing home medals today will be treated as heros in their own right.

Our camping trip to Goliad State Park this weekend had a few heroes for sure.

In the Event of Hospitality, the Gold Medal goes to Scott, the Park Host! (Insert wild cheering here)  RDB and I made a late start of the trip out Friday evening, and with the three hour drive ahead of us, knew that we'd be cutting it close to the 10 o'clock gate closing.  I hadn't realized this till after 5 pm, of course, so any calls to the park went to voice mail.  We arrived in front of the locked park gate at 10:10, and Scott just happened to have his eyes turned in that direction.  I could not thank him enough for walking down the long driveway int the pitch black night to let us in!! 

In the Category of Music, the Gold Medal is awarded to the chapel bells at Presidio La Bahia.  Not only did they chime the hours through out the weekend, they also played musical selections at noon and five.  The first one we had the chance to heard was noon on Saturday when they chimed out Ava Maria.  RDB and I attended the funeral of my Papa this past week - he was quite the avid camper himself.  One of his great-grand-daughters, Donna, sang Ava Maria in his honor.  It was touching to hear it again this weekend as we enjoyed one of his favorite pastimes.  (On a lighter note, the Silver Medal in this category would have go to the gentlemen playing banjo Sunday morning on the other side of the campground.)

Papa camped in 49 states, we're trying to hit all 109 of the TX State Parks.

Continuing the medal counts, the Ants take home the Gold in Really Amazing Trails - really, these were amazing.  RDB, Diesel and I were out walking the River Trail (which would be disqualified from this event because it was not clearly marked) and on our way back we noticed an ant 'run' in the ground.  They were working their way back and forth across the road as well - and these guys were impressive!

The Gold Medal winner in the Food competition was presented to Rice-cooker Cinnamon Banana Pecan Quinoa. (We're still working with this athlete to see if we can learn it's training secrets - in other words, food post coming soon This Just In! Click here to go to the recipe!)  RDB and I set the rice-cooker up before we went out on our geocaching adventure so that the quinoa would be ready when we got back. I tell you what, not to brag on my own creation, but man, this one is good!!  

Silver Medal in Food went to the Hanging Tree Restaurant, in downtown Goliad.  RDB had the 50/50 burger (half bacon, half prime rib) and it was outstanding.  I had the chicken dumplings and they were peppery-good.  The yeast dough bread they serve as an appetizer was awesome!  Don't let the name of the place turn you off either, it's named such because it sits across from the courthouse where the actual hanging tree is.

The final and most anticipated Gold medal announcement is in the Race for Adventure. It was a close race with two great contenders - one steeped in rich tradition and firmly planted in history, the other a new-comer to the sport with great future potential.  After much deliberation, the judges have declared.... a TIE!

Just one-quarter mile south of the State Park lies the Presidio La Bahia - known as Fort Defiance during the Texas Revolution. It was in the chapel at this location where the first Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, well before the Battle of the Alamo.  In fact, as the war for independence continued, there would be a greater loss of life at Fort Defiance than there had been at the Alamo.  Thus, the cries "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" became the battle cries at San Jacinto where Texas finally won its freedom from the dictatorship of Mexico's Santa Anna.

RDB and I had the chance Saturday afternoon to tour the  museum on site, then spend time walking the ground inside the fort.  Two contingents of re-en-actors were there, practicing for an upcoming event in April.  We had the opportunity to stay and watch the lowering of the flag at the end of the afternoon.

Sunday morning RDB and I started our newest adventure: Geocaching.  You can read more about it in this post.  By the end of the morning, we had six finds there in Goliad, and grabbed another one here in Houston once we got home.  Yep, we're hooked!

We were in Site #10, in the full hook-ups loop.  Again, a really big thanks to Scott for watching out for us Friday night and making sure we didn't spend the evening in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  Goliad SP does have a noticeable amount of road noise as Highway 59 runs directly through it.  Other than that, it is a lovely place to spend the weekend, play around, and garner a new appreciation for the heroes of Texas' past that fought for our freedom from tyranny, for the land we've come to love, and for the ability to enjoy adventures in camping.

For more camping photos, go here.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome report of your weekend. We love Goliad sp the pool in the hot days are the best for our kids they love it. I enjoy getting up for a run to the fort make a loop and comeback just in time to cook breakfast, we make a trip to the mission and learn something new it reminds me of my Mexican church a lot trails are great here too.