Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Franciscan Mission Espiritu Santo celebrates 'History in Lights' during December in Goliad, Texas

Goliad Mission Espiritu Santo (Julianne G. Crane)

 Mission Espiritu Santo in Goliad State Park, sits on prime grasslands along the San Antonio River in the South Texas Plains.

RVer Jimmy Smith inside chapel.
It is a peaceful place to rejoice in the holiday spirit this season by celebrating History in Lights, 6 to 10 p.m  throughout December 2015. 

"Lights and shadows will tell the story of this remarkable site as visitors walk the same path taken by Native Americans and Spanish Franciscans Priests so long ago," according to park officials.

"More than 250 years ago, Spanish missionaries and soldiers established" this beautiful Franciscan mission. It became the home of the largest ranching operation in Texas in the18th century. The Spanish colonial church and grounds were reconstructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s and includes some original artifacts.

 There is much to see during this season with the mission compound grounds, the chapel and workshop are open to the public.

Goliad County (click on to enlarge)

If you go 

Goliad State Park
Mission Espiritu Santo
Approximately ½ mile south of Goliad on Highway 183. 
108 Park Rd. 6
 Goliad, TX
(361) 645-3405

Latitude: 28.644411
Longitude: -97.438718

Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily except for Christmas Day
Admission: $3; Children 12 years and under: Free

The nearby historically interesting Fannin Memorial and the restored Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de La Bahía are featured in another post.

For information on the Goliad State Park campground, click here.

Text and photos by Julianne G. Crane
To read more RV lifestyle articles by Julianne go to RVWheelLife.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Big Tree on Texas Gulf Coast

RVers Chuck Arbuckle and Jimmy Smith admire The Big Tree, 2011. (Julianne G. Crane)

While I have seen "bigger" trees, this Coastal Live Oak is pretty darn impressive. It is estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, with a circumference of 35 feet and a crown spread of 90 feet. It stands about 44 feet tall.

RV Jimmy Smith on bicycle, 2015 (Julianne G. Crane)
Known locally as "The Big Tree," it is part of Goose Island State Park in Lamar, Texas, a few miles northeast of Fulton / Rockport on the Texas Gulf Coast.

This tree was named the State Champion Coastal Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) in 1969, and is one of the largest in the nation.

Each winter we spend time on the Gulf Coast, we visit the tree as part of bicycling around Goose Island State Park. On two different bicycle excursions we also saw the endangered whooping cranes that feed on berries and blue crabs found in the coastal wetlands around Goose Island State Park. It is said other wildlife include white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, foxes, squirrels, cottontail rabbits and more than 300 varieties of birds.

Direction: About 10 miles northeast of Fulton/Rockport on Highway 35. Just north of the Copano Bay bridge, turn east to Goose Bay State Park. The first right will be Park Road 13. This connects with Lamar Beach Road that takes you to the tree. Depending on the time of day or the season, you may encounter deer on the narrow, densely shaded and flowered road. Free.

-- Julianne G. Crane

For more RV lifestyle articles by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com.