April 13, 2001 - Gonzalez TX 109m***

The 4th day of on route, on distance travel. The line above goes up to Luling, then south to Castro, the actual route cut off at Sequin through Belmont to Gonzales.

Ive been on US90 since Van Horn – 4 days. It has been a 2 lane, 4 lane, divided 4 lane and interstate, but almost always with good shoulders. I consider that little space between the white line and the grass my personal bike lane.

Out of Hondo, looking back west, it looked like this:

Overcast, no rain, little traffic at 9AM on an Easter Sunday. The first town (not on the map, 16 miles e of Hondo, is Castroville. Normally not worth much photowise, but check out the branding on the sign.

A taste of Alsace, France (?) The had an Alsatian golf course (whatever that means), The Alsace Motel (now closed). The grocery store sold Alsatian Sausage. Other than that, it looked like the Alsatian bit had been assimilated by the Texas influence. Did get the plaque with the background story though – in a downtown little park.

Then headed into San Antonio.

Got off the 90 just after this. It passes south of downtown, and I wanted to see what the city looked like. Took General McClellen (sp?) road north, where I started to see a lot of open flower stores on Easter, then a party in a cemetery.

Cops were directing people in and out of the cemetery.

It was mayhem. In all the parking lots around, people were selling stuff to put on graves (for Easter!).

I stopped to talk to the vendor here. She said they were out there on Mothers Day, Fathers Day, the Day of the Dead, Christmas apparently Mexican Catholics visit their dead ancestors on holidays. And redecorate. Big time at San Fernando Cemetary.

Pressing east, got this view of San Antonio.

And went one block south of this space needle thing (seemed to be an attraction).

Heading out of town I passed the stadium of the league leading Spurs. Its clear why Charlotte wants a new stadium. This was impressive.

The next 30 miles were on frontage roads along the 10/90. This is the view at Schwab road (for Alex).

By 2PM things were clearing up and heating up, a lot. It got up to 96. Liquid consumption was up to almost 3 oz a mile. Got off 90/10 at Sequin, onto Alt 90. Sequin claimed to be an historic town, home of the new world discovery of the Pecan, and on a route used by Spanish explorers (along the Guadalupe River) for almost 500 years. There was not much to photo, so I got a shot of the dilapidated downtown, just in case.

Fortunately for them, they had their strip malls just west of town, including a BofA. It seems like these towns have no zoning, and new development pops up on the outskirts, leaving the old town centers nearly dead.

Going through difficult, hot, but pretty rolling hills for the last 40+ miles.

Purple flowers for goats, big green fields for cows.

Felt like Wisconsin on a hot, muggy July day. Passed a bunch of historical plaques – heres one notable for its content and date of placement.

The date of placement (1936) is down in the grass. Thank god those volunteers stopped the Mexicans, Indians and Negroes that were rebelling!

I was about out of water, with 15 miles left, when I got to Belmont. Only available liquids were from these vending machines, which didnt take dollars. I was SOL until some lady just perchance pulled up, and gave me change for a $.

I dont expect many more 40+ mile gaps between services. Now Im in the Luxury Inn in Castroville – formerly and now decertified Best Western. No open restaurants (McDonalds and Wal Mart are closed too). Got 8 pieces of fried chicken from the Exxon. Today wasnt too exciting, but the hills and heat were. Tomorrow should be the last day before my break. The mileage numbers need checking.

Bye.

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