Monday, September 20, 2021

Sequins, Sequence, Seguin

 I had a really good Medal of Honor post all ginned up based on a recipient I recently read about in a post at Military.Com.  So I began researching it by searching Google. (Yes Beans, I used Brave as the browser, private mode through Tor, to attempt to throw Google off the scent.) Funny thing was, one of the first returns I got  had a address of Clicked the link and turns out it was the third one I'd published in the series. I still think it's a really good Medal of Honor post, but I didn't want to repost and that left me with no good back up subject.

So....There I was*..... early this month, suffering from Ground Hog Day syndrome which also seemed to be running rampant in the family.  Mrs J, being the astute observer and caring individual she is, started plotting  planning.  Any inquiries I made into her activities were shut down instantly with a "Top Secret, Need to Know only", comment.  I would return to my cave and rejoin my waiting Sudoku game.  After a few days of this, she presented me with a packing list and told me to get a bag packed as we were leaving the next day.  

Now, I have a strict rule in effect.  I am boycotting airlines until they lift the mask rule.  My boycott so far has taken out TWA, Braniff and Continental,  I think United will be next.

OK, maybe not exactly. But, I am not taking an Airline until they lift the rule.

When queried about that, she said travel would be by car and would be within a couple of hours drive.

"Well...OK then! Where to?"


Beans, it's pronounced si-GEEN. It's a middle sized town about 35 miles East of San Antonio.  It's named after Juan Seguin, one of the original men who helped Texas achieve independence.



So, we leave about 3 the next afternoon, arriving in downtown San Antonio at 4:30.  San Antonio, much like Austin and Houston, has done a lot of growing lately, and not in a good way.  And...I-10 East is under construction, with several single lane construction areas.

Yes, Beans, many bad words were spoken, some even by Mrs J.

But we made it to Seguin. Mrs J had reserved an AirBnB house on River Oak drive,  so I assumed it would be somewhere near the Guadalupe River.

Pulled up to the house and parked.  We were joined almost simultaneously by MBD and SIL and DIL.  The front of the house was nothing special, so we went inside and were pleasantly surprised by the view from the back (upper) deck.

Yes, we WERE near the Guadalupe River.

Had to check out the water, so scurried down to see what was there. 

The view upstream which is to the left side of the landing, notice the light seems to be coming from that direction. That will be important in a short while.

The view from the dock.  Photo was taken the following morning.

I had arisen comparatively early (as compared to the rest of the clan), to capture preferred seating on the dock.

The sole living creature, other than myself, in sight was a heron across the river. Ahh, life in the fast lane!

So, what did you do, all day, juvat?

Funny you should ask, Beans.

I read.

I read some more...and napped

Properly rested now, I read and watched the world (ok the river) go by.

SIL discovered a Kayak in the storage room so decided he'd go for a paddle.  I thought nothing of it as he's fairly athletic.  So he takes off paddling quite speedily.  MBD has joined me at this point.  I ask her how long SIL has been kayaking.  She replies "As far as I know, this is his first time."

I am a bit concerned.

Here he is returning about an hour + later.

I'm standing on the right side of the dock

Notice that the light is coming from the left side of the picture. Why was I concerned?

Bonus Sarge Points to the first correct answer.

That evening we celebrated DIL's Birthday.

Little J didn't make it in time for the blowing out of the candles, but he did put in an appearance for the present opening.

The following morning we went our merry ways. No Beans, I didn't take the Interstate back.  I decided I'd take Texas FM12 and view the "Devil's Backbone".  My blood pressure was much lower on arrival home.

We had fun and it was well planned and executed by Mrs J. (No surprise there!)

Peace out, y'all!



  1. There's something to be said for watching water flow by as long as there hasn't been extended rainfall in the area. Another successful day excursion courtesy of Mrs. J.....paint a lawn chair symbol on your trusty motor steed juvat. Those river shots had me reaching for my fishin' rod. Belated birthday wishes to the birthday gal!

    1. Yep, it was nearly perfect! The only man made noise was the sounds of T-38 flying over to use Randolph's aux field nearby. While that may irritate some, I enjoyed it.

      The river was only a foot or so lower than the dock, so it was pretty full. No rain while we were there was a nice touch also.
      Thanks, Nylon.

  2. Last year, while on a trip to Pearsall, and then for some touring around the Hill Country, Sequin was where we bailed from the parking lot called Interstate 10, and took the backroads to avoid the traffic madness of San Antonio.

    We've never spent time in Seguin, and may never, since it's so close to a city that once had a charming River Walk. After years of navigating Houston, and surrounding areas, traffic has become a poison for our mood. The constant rumble, congestion, and reckless driving leaves us stressed to the point a good night's rest won't relive.

    1. Jess,
      Went into Sequin proper a couple of times (went to HEB to stock up on foodstuff, then back a couple more times to pick up the things I forgot to get on the prior visits). Thought it still had that smallish Tx town feel to it. City traffic wasn't too bad, people were friendly at the store. Mom and Pop stores were common. The historic district was pretty well maintained...
      But...There were the Suburbian cookie cutter housing developments cropping up on the outskirts, so SA is moving that direction fast.
      My recommendation, if you want to visit, get there soon as it might be gobbled up entirely shortly.

  3. Juvat, I have had the same experience. Once I was looking up Otsuchi (the Japanese Warhammer). A post and picture I had done some years ago came up in the top 10 searches. I am either gloriously ahead of the curve or sadly in very small technical niche (or maybe both).

    The river looks lovely - and fine place to read by. I find that I have to do such things to "make an excuse" to read for more than twenty minutes (and by excuse, I mean for myself). This is (yet) another reason I find The Ranch glorious: without any sort of reception (and only InterWeb), there is little else to do.

    The light to the left? The only thing I can think is that the expedition was in the evening and at some point, there were thoughts of a rescue party?

  4. It was a very relaxing couple of days. No place we needed to be, no chores that needed to be done. Read, watch the river flow by and cook dinner. Re: the latter, I enjoy that, so it's not a chore. Well, except for the repeated trips to HEB because I forgot something.

    The light to the left? Close...but no cigar. Why would a rescue party be needed?

  5. Ah, Braniff - the airline of vibrantly colored airplanes. The first 747 I ever saw was the big orange one as it landed at Dallas Love Field. Quite the sight!
    Juan Seguin was an interesting character, wasn't he?
    I got nothing on the light other than it sounded like SIL started off his trip by going downstream, which might make return more difficult.
    Love the Guadalupe River, especially where it's clearer upstream from Seguin and New Braunfels

    1. BING, BING, BING, We have a winner! 1 Billion Sarge Points for Tom! (Which will buy you a steak dinner for two in town, if you bring a couple of hundred dollars with you.)

      We did have an interesting discussion about operating vehicles in a fluid environment, specifically the additive velocity components of both the vehicle and the fluid.

      The Guadalupe flows through Kerrville and I'm not sure how much further west/northwest its headwaters are, but by the time it reaches Kerrville, it's not all that clear. That having been said, it was pleasantly cool and no one had any skin issues after taking a float (tied to the dock of course so we didn't have to pull them out of the gulf.

    2. Always go against the flow - Was one of the first rules of canoeing I learned. Oh well, glad he made it back.

    3. I'm not sure I ever was told that, just kinda figured it out on my own. Course knowing that a tail wind is almost always better than a head wind might have had something to do with it.

    4. If you can make it work out, the same thought applies to hiking.
      We applied that rule after starting down the Bright Angel Trail at the rim of the Grand Canyon and after a very short time we reversed our course and headed back uphill.

  6. Did SIL head down river first? Then have to fight the current home when he was tired? Thats a big rookie mistook, and learning from that will be a lesson never forgotten.

    Up in Comfort, there was a big rope swing. In the 80's we cleared the river underneath and took to flying off it into the water. I swim like a brick, so exhilaration was the word of the day. That green water is hot on top, but a foot or two under it is as cold as iced tea and dark as the grave. I'm sticking to washtubs and bathtubs now....

    That is a pretty place. A restful change of pace that is worth more than the price paid. And I've heard of the Devil's Backbone, but never drove through it knowing it's history. That's kinda weird.

    1. STxAR,
      Yep, (But Tom beat you by 14 minutes and stingy Sarge doesn't give Sarge bucks for second). He had pretty good form heading down stream and, of course was making pretty good steam. By the time he got close and I took the picture, he was pretty tuckered out. For some reason, he called a lid a bit earlier that evening than usual.

      As to Devil's Backbone, I probably wouldn't drive it at night. There are a lot of limited visibility spots, so animal strikes would not be uncommon. During the day, it's just the morons from Austin/SA driving like maniacs and passing zones are short and far between, encouraging them to max out passing when there is one. Which means that coming the opposite direction, you may encounter someone well over the speed limit in your lane finishing their passing. Fortunately, the shoulder, while usually not paved, is good enough to pull onto to avoid or to encourage the jerk tailgating you to pass.
      That having been said, the views there are spectacular.

    2. I don't mind about being a bit behind, I just don't want to be a BIG BEHIND. Sarge must have the same Scot ancestors in his billfold that I do. I swear that things squeaks when I open it and the millers that fly out show it's neglected. Well, it's either squeaking or it's the Scot squalling out "GITURBLOODYFINGERSOFFNMEMOONEY!!"

    3. I'm not Scot, but Irish, German and Italian. The first two contribute to my reticence to part with money. The Latter? Why my enjoyment of cooking!

  7. A most relaxing post. I can sit and watch a river flow for hours.

    1. It was a very zen-like stay. Good for the soul.

    2. I can sit and watch canoers and kayakers for hours... And my muscles don't get tired...

    3. Funny, but I noticed when we helped SIL out of the Kayak, my arms didn't ache at all. Hmmmm....

  8. So, seriously, when hasn't I-10 been under construction? All the years of going from I-75 junction to I-59 junction and then back again in order to get to Lumberton, well, I do believe I never saw more than 40-50 miles of clean, not being marked as under repair (which usually just meant orange barrels and cones and markers and NO sight of construction equipment,) at a time.

    As to Devil's Backbone, grew up in Brevard County so we had South Tropical Trail, from the almost southern tip of Merritt Island (starting at Mather's Bridge) and then going windingly up said Merritt Island until past the Pineda Causeway and that's where it got more normal... A twisty windy trail where idiots drove (and apparently still do) way too fast and way too stupid. Seriously, saw an engine in a large Fnord Pickup Truck that was displaced into the cab by the motorcycle that splattered at very high speed on the front of said pickup. When the rescue people are wandering around with tongs and ziploc bags, that's a bad crash.

    There's also the Bloody 520 from Cocoa to Orlando. Used to be just a two lane road going through BFE and no lights, no billboards, just empty empty road until either a deer, a pig or a gator tried to cross. Subject to periodic fogging due to the swamps it went through and the boring emptiness and it wasn't uncommon for people to fall asleep at night and go boom on stuff or kritters or just end up in said swamp, all with dire consequences. And same happening on Sunday afternoon as all the O-town residents heading west from the beach, often drunk off their arse or at least mildly sedated and, yep, boom and that's another cleanup on aisle 520. Was the most deadly road in Florida for a long time. Now it's double wide, nice, straightened and they're building a high speed rail next to it to link Miami, Cocoa, Orlando, Rat-world and Tampa all together.

    Glad you had a nice quiet weekend of family.

    As to airlines, I hear small charter planes (jets) aren't that expensive and you don't have to go through TSA and the maskrova bullscat. So if'n you and Mrs. Juvat ever do wanna fly in the USA, that's something you can check out. And smaller jets tend to fly faster and a lot more like fighters than big commercial birds.

    I miss being around water. But I don't miss being at flood levels or almost at sea level. Sigh. One or the other.

  9. Might have to look into that charter jet thing, Beans, good suggestion.

    Yeah, a little water is a good thing, much more than a little generally isn't.

  10. Had to look up Devil's Backbone images. Methinks I'd like to drive it/hike it some day. You'll have to explain the kayak thing, I just can't figure it out. My wife took up stand-up paddle boarding up in Tahoe so she bought me an inflatable kayak. It's semi-fun, but mostly work. It's time spent together though so I have to look at the bright side. I have to look hard because my shoulders ache after each outing.

    1. Tuna,
      If you're flying 450 K true airspeed, what's your groundspeed if you've got a 100K headwind? What if it's 100K tailwind? Same Same with kayaking. If you're rowing downstream at 3k and the river is flowing at 2K, you're making 5K/hour. Paddle for an hour and you're 5 miles down stream. Turn around, Pop quiz time? How long does it take you to RTB against the current?

      Just like the airplane, you're also exerting energy. You don't want to be facing that headwind if you're low on gas. Low on gas, tailwind is your friend. So Kayak upstream. If you run out of muscle power, you can float downstream.

      I'll have to look into the Devil's Backbone area a bit deeper and see what's available. Driven it a few times, but always under the "get somewhere" driving mode. Now that I've got a bit of time on my hands...

    2. Of course, silly of me. I was thinking he got lost or something.

    3. Either might have been a factor.

  11. Sometimes one just 'needs' that downtime... Glad you got it and happy birthday to her!

  12. We live to the south of the Devil's Backbone right near the Guadalupe. Before you get to the area of the Horseshoe on FM306 the water is quite clear and right around 50F even in July. What we like about this time of year is that tourists leave and it's back to living in the country.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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