Knowing today was going to be a scorcher, we got up at 6:30 a.m., dressed, ate breakfast and headed into downtown Waco for an 11K (6.8 mi.) Volksmarch. The walk started at the Hilton on University Parks Drive. We were on the trail by 8:15 a.m.
The first part of the walk followed the Brazos River, then to Baylor University, followed by a stint through downtown Waco. On campus we zigged, we zagged, we saw quite a few of the beautiful brick buildings and the campus mascots--two live black bears! Here are photos of our walk along with some commentary.
This suspension bridge was the first bridge over the Brazos River. Cowboys herding cattle to the north to the railroads (to send them to packing plants) paid a toll to cross the bridge rather than trying to make the cattle swim the river. The bridge owner was granted a five-year monopoly on a bridge crossing the Brazos River so the tolls would pay for the bridge. Cowboys complained because they wanted the bridge to be free.
|Suspension bridge over the Brazos River.|
|Baylor U. Law School from the river side.|
|The imposing Science Building up close.|
|Science Building--back side.|
|One of the libraries on campus.|
|The Quadrangle and Georgia Burleson Hall.|
|Georgia Burleson Hall--another angle.|
|This bear kept trying to crawl into a hole. I only got its "good side."|
|Bill Daniel Student Center.|
|Students' preferred modes of transportation (besides feet)|
|Baylor University School of Law|
|So much to do that Waco warrants another trip.|
|Phoenix artwork on a rehab center.|
|We love Dr. Pepper, so this another item for the Waco "bucket list."|
|Dr. Pepper Museum Building.|
|Info on the Waco Tornado of 1959.|
The County Courthouse in Waco is unusual in that the county had more money than the city due to cotton farming revenues; hence the County Courthouse is very ornate here.
|Geese by the river.|
|The path along the Brazos River in Waco, Texas.|
Volkswalk over at 11:15 a.m., temperature 96 degrees! We were hot, tired, hungry and cranky. Our hope was to head back to the campground and see if we could extend our stay one night. We knew it was a long shot because (1) the campground is so beautiful with a nice cool lake to beat the Texas heat and, (2) it's Labor Day weekend.
When we arrived at the COE gate we asked the hosts if we could extend our stay one night. Nope, campground full. They did call two other COE campgrounds on Waco Lake for us, but they were full as well. If a campground had been available we would have gone back into Waco to tour the Texas Ranger Museum. This just means we'll be making another trip to Waco!
At 1:30 p.m. this Friday afternoon we pulled out of Airport Park, headed for I-35 to points south. Dear readers, I would like to point out it was close to 2:00 p.m. on the Friday of Labor Day weekend. What were we thinking? We hit stop-and-go traffic in Waco, Temple, and south of Austin all the way to San Antonio. Harrowing would best describe the drive in that traffic. I can't tell you the number of times we had yo-yos (for lack of a better word) speed around us on the left, and cut in front of our bumper at a high rate of speed to get to the right-side exit whose exit lane had already diminished to the warning stripes. Scared us to death! And then there was the guy coming on the on-ramp who just HAD TO get in front of us from way behind on the on-ramp. He passed us on the right and darted directly in front of us. We would not have been able to stop if there was a slow-down on the freeway in front of us.
Since traffic had already been bad at 2:00 p.m., by the time we reached Austin at 4:00 p.m., we had had enough. Our decision was to take the Toll Road to the east of Austin to avoid downtown traffic. The Toll Road was wonderful--wide lanes, few on and off ramps to deal with, and lighter traffic. HOWEVER, we had no idea how much it cost. By the time we had taken The Beast and Rigamarole through five toll booths, the total cost was $23.00!!! We won't be doing that again.
What we learned:
- DO NOT travel on a Friday afternoon.
- DO NOT travel at rush hour.
- DO NOT travel on a holiday weekend.
- DO NOT take toll roads without knowing the fares.
- DO NOT skip lunch.
- Get enough sleep the night before.
- Always drive defensively.
- Leave lots of room for stopping on the Interstate.
- After being on the road for six weeks, we are ready to stay in one place for a while.
For dinner tonight we went out to a really good Mexican restaurant called Nicha's. It's only about 1/2 mile from our RV park.
"The future is wide open." ~Tom Petty
It's been a long day. Travel Bug out.