After our visit to the Alamo two days before we were ready for another trip into Texas history. We headed a couple of hours southeast to Goliad State Park, the location we knew as the site of the the 1836 Goliad Massacre, when General Santa Ana ordered the murder of Texas soldiers who had surrendered. But there is much more history than that.Our first stop was at the Mission Espiritu Santo, built in 1722, moved in 1749 to it’s current location, and restored in the 1930’s by the CCC, where the Spanish began “civilizing and Christianizing” the native people with the intention of making them Spanish citizens and, in doing so, destroyed the traditional cultures of the three tribes. Eventually ranching became the main occupation and there were thousand of cattle and horses on the mission lands.Some of the original limestone walls exist and are left unplastered here.We entered the church through the Door of Life and left it through the Door of Death.
Kirby seemed unimpressed.There was a short nature trail outside the mission. I later identified this huge insect as a Horse Lubber grasshopper. Yikes!The next stop was just across the San Antonio River, at the Presidio La Bahia,”the only Spanish fortress for the entire Gulf Coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande to the Mississippi River” (Wikipedia)Nine flags indicate the changes in control of the region.Kirby and Kurtis outside the Presidio. There was a 15 minute film about the historical events at Goliad but Kirby wasn’t ready to sit through that. So I took Kirby through the Presidio building where you can walk through a timeline of the history. After our tour of the Presidio Dan and I sat in the shade while Katie fed Kirby lunch in the air-conditioned car. Look at what I saw on the ground under this tree:First I noticed the red beans. Then I saw that they came out of these pods that, honestly, look like something I’d clean up in my yard full of dogs. Later I googled “red beans from tree in southern Texas” or something like that and found that this tree is the Mescalbean or Mountain Laurel, not related to the alchoholic drink, but still with psychoactive properties.