Monday, August 25th, 1997 - San Antonio, Texas

A hot day in Texas, never mind the driving.

Began the day with a swim in the Gulf of Mexico, which was just a short walk down to the beach. Nice to be swimming in the Ocean again, something about it that just is so much nicer than a swimming pool or a lake. Saw a few shrimping boats out in the Gulf. Had a swim in the pool only briefly before packing up for the return trip to San Antonio.

Gulf of Mexico

I thought it might be nice to take a longer, more scenic route back so I decided to drive a little along the Gulf before heading north to San Antonio. First, I visited Houston to pick up something from Hard Rock Café for my sister.

From there, I drove to Victoria then along the Gulf to Corpus Christi which took about 4 hours, it was pleasant to drive by the many fields of cotton and to see the Gulf for a while.

As I was driving into Corpus Christi I noticed a few references to the U.S.S. Lexington which I was unaware was located there. This is an aircraft carrier that has been converted to a floating museum. As you approach Corpus the highway crosses over a portion of the Gulf and the Corpus Christi Bay with a high bridge which reminded me of the bridge in Hamilton, Ontario. It is very impressive. As you take the exit to visit the Lexington I travelled through a few rather run down tourist areas. It was quite surprising, really, the only thing to visit in that area was the carrier itself, everything else was pretty much dead, though it could have been the day of the week.

USS Lexington

Luckily, I was able to catch a tram up the ramp to enter the carrier, it is quite a distance. The Lexington was only de-commissioned in 1991 so is a fairly recent example of military strength, but it was in use in the second world war so has quite a bit of history, all of which was demonstrated in the displays. It was interesting to walk through the various different areas of the ship and see samples of the various planes that flew from it's flight deck. The feeling of violence in the actions it performed was overwhelming. It also seemed to also be very cold, perhaps that is simply because the ship is empty now, devoid of the live that once filled it's cabins and decks.

A few times, while walking around deep in the ship essentially all alone (the tour is “self-guided”) it was a bit creepy. It was interesting to see all of the different things that are required for the operation of the ship.

It was good that the ship was open later as I spent about two or so hours on the tour.

I then made the two hour drive up to San Antonio finding my hotel very easily. It is not exactly in the best area of town, but it is very clean and very reasonably priced. The owner seemed to be willing to go out of his way to keep me happy, including offering to drive me to the convention (and back at night), I guess he needs the public relations.

Most of my day, as you may have been able to tell was spent driving. I enjoyed being able to see much of the state and the landscape. I am still struck by how similar it is to Manitoba and Saskatchewan, I don't know what I expected. I guess I was expecting a desert and not much else.

⇒ Continue to Tuesday, August 26th, 1997 - San Antonio, Texas