Queen Mum & I have an annual ritual where we take one day out of my Spring Break and do something special, just the two of us. Past Spring Breaks have found us in Fredricksburg, Wimberley, and Gruene. We’ve tramped through downtown San Antonio on cold, wet Spring Break days hunting Cows and we’ve shopped ’til we’ve dropped.
Mum had heard a story on the radio a week or so ago about some sculptures made of metal and hay that were in a field by one of the missions. She didn’t remember which one and so, being both adventurous and logical, I thought we should take a tour of the San Antonio missions and start with the largest of them work our way south.
We entered Mission San Jose’s parking lot and neither of us saw anything there that we hadn’t seen before. Feeling adventurous, we thought we’d go ahead and check out the mission grounds anyway. No sculptures anywhere, but we did get to visit with the docent out at the gristmill and hear all about how the flour was ground from the wheat. The docent had a bowl of freshly milled flour and we got to touch it and then we walked around the outside of the mill and got to see how the water from the acequia was used to move the wheels & the millstones. Pretty amazing!
Next stop was going to be Mission San Jose.
Yeah, we got lost. All because I had a map and didn’t want to follow it. Hey, there were signs marking the mission trail, so why use the map? Mum was surprisingly quiet during our wandering. Did she really have that much confidence in my driving? Scary thought!
We ended up at Mission Espada. No statues again, but I really liked this mission. Espada is the southernmost of the San Antonio missions and all I kept thinking about was the brass plaque that we happened upon as we walked the grounds. The sign stated that the reinforcements gathered at that point, worshipped at Espada, and then marched on toward the Alamo. Amazing. The atmosphere at Espada was completely different from San Jose. I didn’t expect there to be a difference but was eager to head over to Mission San Juan to feel if there was any difference or similarity to the other two missions.
I saw a sign pointing to the Espada aqueduct and so we headed over to take a quick look. Veni, vichi, adios. We came, we saw, we left … and headed toward San Juan.
Mission San Juan was the most run-down of the three missions we arrived at. So much so, I told Mum I didn’t want to get out of the car. Besides, there were, alas, no statues.
Mum & I were at this point pretty disappointed and decided that since I didn’t want to go to Mission Concepcion (bad memories, long story for another time) and there was no possible way the statues were at the Alamo, we were going to give up the hunt and go get some lunch. I found another sign pointing the way back to Mission San Jose and off we went.
A perfectly round bale of hay laying on it’s side caught my eye just as I was about to turn out of the driveway from San Juan.
We had found them!