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Day 150 - Aransas NWR and Goliad (Photo's Added)

We went back to Aransas NWR this morning, then drove to Goliad where there is an old, Spanish Presidio that played a significant role in the Texas Revolution.

semi-overcast 76 °F

When we arrived at Aransas NWR yesterday, it was already fairly late. Since we'd been able to find an RV park fairly nearby, I decided to go back to Aransas this morning before leaving the area (it didn't hurt that we'd had a pretty good time yesterday either).

We had to stop by the Visitor's Center again to register. As a National Park, they charge a fee for entrance, but Mom's Golden Passport gets us in for free. We still have to register however.

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Behind the Visitor's Center was a pond with several ducks and birds around it. While I was wandering around looking at the ducks, an Osprey flew overhead and landed on a tree. I thought this was pretty cool!

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We didn't see any more Whooping Cranes this morning, but saw some more Roseate Spoonbills feeding and some alligators.

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At another pond, we saw some Northern Pintail Ducks (you don't want to know how long it took me to find out what these were! I just don't know my birds very well, and don't recall having seen these before.)

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We also checked out the tower this morning, but the Whooping Cranes weren't out yet so we didn't get to see them. Mom wanted to drive the long loop drive through the park, but just as I prepared to turn onto it, I read the sign saying No Vehicles over 8' Tall - my RV is 10', so we had to skip that route.

After spending quite a bit of time at Aransas, we finally headed west to Goliad. The reason I went to Goliad is that man at the Texas visitors center strongly recommended we visit this if we really wanted learn about Texas history. I'm not so sure he was right, it seems like Texas probably has more interesting destinations then this. However, based on the Visitors Center guide recommendation, it seemed kind of interesting so I thought I'd check it out. During the drive, it got kind of warm (& humid) - I actually ran the A/C a bit!

As we neared Goliad, we saw a very unusual structure off the road to the right. This turned out to be the Presidio La Bahia, which is the key historical feature of Goliad.

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This was built by the Spanish in 1749 to help protect their claims to the Texas area. Of course, by the 1900's it was largly in ruins, but was carefully restored (rebuilt?) in the 1960's. It is the oldest fort in America west of the Mississippi and the only structure significant to the Texas Revolution that appears as it was in 1836. After Santa Anna defeated the Texans at the Alamo, one of his generals, Gen. Urrea, overran the Texan's who had been defending the Presidio La Bahia. When the Texan's realized they could not prevail, they negotiated and surrendered to Gen. Urrea - not realizing that Santa Anna had ordered all enemy combatants (Texans) be executed as 'pirates'. Gen. Urrea was aware of the order, but led the Texans to believe that they would be treated honorably as prisoner's of war. A few days after they surrendered, the Mexicans marched them in separate groupd to a short way from the fort and opened fire. 342 Texan's were massacred that morning, which helped galvanize public sympathy and support for the Texans, both in Texas and in the United States. When Sam Huston's forces defeated the numberically superior forces of Santa Anna a short time later, the rallying cry was "Remember the Alamo - Remember Goliad!"

Here are some other views of the Presidio:

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Presidio is a type of fortress build by the Spanish. This one has bastion's, which are fortified corners that extend out from the corners to allow defenders to protect the walls with a cross fire.

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Here's another shot of the Presidio from the Memorial, which give's you an idea how far out it is.

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By the time we finished at the Presidio, it was late enough that we decided to stay in Goliad State Park. Also, since this was the 150th day of our trip - I decided we should go out to eat to celebrate. Little did I know, there was only one restaurant in Goliad! (Excluding a couple of fast food joints).

Goliad is a very old, but very small town, even though it's the county seat for Goliad County. The main business section of town is in the form of a square, with the County Courthouse in the center. There is a very old, giant oak tree outside the courthouse called "The Hanging Tree". During the 1800's, the area was fairly wild and lawless and, yes, the tree was used as described.

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Across the street from this was the only (open) restaurant, called appropriately enough "The Hanging Tree". This is a view of part of the town square from in front of the restaurant.

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After eating too much at "The Hanging Tree", we settled in the campground for a good night sleep. We'll probably visit the Mission in the morning - then head back to the coast for a little more sightseeing before visiting Becky (she has to work the next couple of days).

Logistics:

Miles Driven - 83
Camped at Goliad State Park

Provisions - Gas $39.71 for 13.89 gallons at 124,390 miles.
Dinner at "The Hanging Tree" Restaurant, Goliad, TX

Sightings:

Wildlife: Alligators, Roseate Spoonbills, Ibis, Osprey, Northern Pintail ducts, Brown & While Pelicans, Snow Egrets, Great Egrets, Great Blue Heron, Tricolor Heron, Caracara

Domestic Animals: Cattle, Horses, Goats, Black Faced Sheep, Chickens

Posted by jl98584 20:26 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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Comments

It sounds like you had a good time in Galvaston. I didn't know there were so many big mansions there. A drilling platfom museum! Thats different. I would say Galvaston is an appropriate place for one, though.

by drque

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