Tuesday, January 13, 2015

From Goose to Goliad and Worse than the Alamo

Location: Goliad State Park; Goliad, Texas

(click pictures to enlarge)

I left Goose Island with a chilly mist hanging over the place. At least I know the heater still works in Freedom as I needed it to warm up my hands after hitching up and dumping my tanks. The ducks on the bay seemed to enjoy the weather as they came to tell me goodbye. 
Hitched and ready to go. Goodbye Goose Island State Park

The Ducks came to say goodbye. :)

Even with the bad weather, there were enough good weather days to make my stay here enjoyable. The way I look at it, bad weather is an adventure of its own. When we were at sea in the Navy, a small storm got everyone's adrenaline pumping. We would go outside on the weather decks to fully enjoy the "rocking and rolling". It was the opposite when the big storms hit. When the word was passed that the "weather decks are now closed", that meant if you fell over the side, there was no way we would be able to turn around to try to save you. Everyone started praying and hoping for the storm to pass. It didn't take much of a storm to really get us to bobbing around since we had such a shallow draft even after taking on full ballast. The worst roll we took was a 52 degree roll. With that kind of roll, you just sort of hang there for a while before you go back the other way. That "while" seems like a long time and you're left wondering if she will go back. Of course when we went back the other way, we didn't hit the 52 degree mark but it was very close to it. Exciting and frightening at the same time. 

The trip from Goose to Goliad was a short tow of around 65 miles through some flat coast land. Most of the land seemed to be unused and laying fallow. Some was tilled up as if they either just harvested or were putting in a winter crop. 
Typical land between Goose and Goliad

When I got to the campground, there was only one other RV here and he left yesterday. I'm staying in the electric/water part of the campground. I'll only be here for 3 days so sewer connections are not necessary. It is a very basic, parking lot type of campground, much like Mustang Island. If you want the more conventional type of campground, they have that in the full hook-up section of the park.

Freedom and Liberty all by their lonesome. 

One of the reason I came back here was to visit the "Presidio La Bahia", meaning the "fort by the bay". The fort was built here in 1749 but prior to that, in 1721, the fort was closer to the bay at Port Lavaca. It had originally been built on the remains of an old French fort built by LaSalle (his ill-fated Fort St. Louis). The Spanish built the Presidio to make sure the French knew that this was Spanish territory.

As usual, a town grew up around the Presidio, and its name was La Bahia. In 1829, the name was changed to Goliad. It was done so to honor a priest that was a hero and leader in the Mexican War of Independence. The citizens feared retribution from the Spanish if they used the real name of the priest, so they eliminated one letter and rearranged the remaining letters into a new word, an annagram. The priest was Father Miguel Hidalgo. The remaining letters, after discarding the "H" in Hidalgo became the new town name "Goliad". It was a way for the citizens to stick their finger in the eye of the Spanish without getting in trouble. 

The next piece of history for Goliad occurred during the Texas War of Independence. The Texas Colonel, James Fannin, and nearly 400 men were stationed at the Presidio during the war. When the Alamo was being attacked by the Mexican General, Santa Anna, in 1836, it was Colonel Fannin and the men at Goliad who received the message from Colonel Travis to come to the Alamo to help. Fannin and his men set out for the Alamo, but failed to get very far before having to return to Golidad. After the Alamo fell and its 200 defenders killed, Fannin was ordered to abandon the Presidio and retreat to the north to ultimately join up with General Sam Houston. During the retreat, Fannin and his men were surrounded by the Mexican Army and captured. They were returned to the Presidio and under the order of General Santa Anna, Colonel Fannin and his 341 men were executed on Palm Sunday, March 27th, 1836. This was almost twice as many men as was killed at the Alamo. It was the Alamo and Goliad that showed the world, and especially the United States, what kind of Army the Texans were fighting. It probably also laid the foundation for the Mexican-American War about 10 years later.

This is the monument to Colonel Fannin and his men. It is located just behind the Presidio where they were executed.

This statue honors Francisca Alavez, "The Angel of Goliad". She interceded with the Mexican Army and saved dozens of Texans from abuse and execution. It is symbolic that in the background is the Faninn Memorial and the graveyard.

The entrance to the Presidio on the right. Towering above the walls on the left is the Chapel.

I'm standing on a canon rampart looking back at the "Our Lady of Loreto" chapel. It was built in 1779 and is one of the oldest surviving churches in America.

It was very nice inside the chapel. I was the only one there and they had choir music playing. Mass is still celebrated here every Sunday. I'm not catholic but a catholic friend of mine gave me a St. Christoper's medal before I hit the road. It is still on the dashboard of Freedom and keeping watch over me. Thanks again, Jim Hollier.

These benches are in the courtyard of the Presidio. You can see the wall in the background.

I guess this counts as a "thinking bench" picture. It is located inside the Presidio and is next to the window looking out towards the front of the chapel. 

Tomorrow is moving day. I'll be heading a little bit south of here to Choke Canyon State Park. I haven't researched to see what there is to explore in that area, but I have been told it is a pretty area and a place to just kick back and relax for a while. We will see.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Enjoy the Lake Corpus Christi Park. There is a parking spot below the dam and a trail that takes you near the dam for pictures. I enjoy it down there. There is a nice bit of CCC work in the park also.

    1. Thanks for the info Barney. Those are two of my favorite things,,,, Dams and CCC projects. I will look for the trail

  2. Hey Darrell, do you have a theme song for your travels? If not, maybe this could be it...
    http://pbslearningmedia.org/ "I Wanna See the States" Glad you went back to Goliad. Hope our Texas weather will improve this coming week so you can enjoy some sunshine. Happy trails...

    1. Hello Cat,
      It's good to see that you're still reading the blog.
      I love the song. I have never heard it but it sure is appropriate.
      Thanks again.