We did so much in San Antonio that I have to do several posts to get it all in. I want to thank Tamara Sheetz (a friend I went to school with in Tunkhannock) for all of her help and guidance while we were here. She really made sure we had all the information we needed about this wonderful city. We were so glad Grammy Red could join us for this part of our journey! We camped right along the bike trail that follows the San Antonio river to the missions and downtown. It was a beautiful trail and we all enjoyed riding our bikes about 50 miles on this beautiful trail.
Our first stop was the Alamo, originally named Mission San Antonio de Valero. During the Texas Revolution the defenders held out for 13 days against Santa Anna’s army. The defenders such as Jim Bowie and David Crocket were ready to give their lives rather than surrender. The facts of the actual siege continue to be debated, but this battle will be remembered as a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds. We were so glad Grammy Red could be here to see it too.
Next we visited Mission San Hose. Here we completed the Junior Ranger program and saw a wonderful film. We learned how the Franciscan friars wanted to convert the people of this land from hunter- gatherers to Catholic subjects of the King of Spain. Because of raiding Lipan Apaches and disease brought by Europeans the Indians decided to come to the missions. They had to give up all of their native ways; diet, religion, culture, clothing and even their names. Mission San Jose, with its exquisite details, was the model mission with its massive stone walls.
Also, not far from the bike path along the San Antonio river is Mission Concepcion. The church here looks almost as it did in the 1700’s. Missionaries worked to replace the traditional Indian ritual with religious festivals teaching Christian beliefs.