APRIL 27 - MAY 09, 2006

Audio log, Day 6

DAY 6, Monday, May 2, 2006

San Antonio, Texas... The Alamo
I left Big Springs, Texas and headed towards San Antonio. Another long day of driving, but most of it was divided highway with 70 mph speed limits. A few small towns on the way, they broke up the monotony of the drive. Out of Big Springs, a lot of scrub and brush, looks like some kind of manzanita bush, and some of them get quite large. Some places the land has been cleared and in other places it's quite thick. As I headed generally southeast, the terrain was hilly, with valleys and mesas all around. VHF/UHF would be a problem here, coverage would be spotty, I bet. Even a really tall tower would have blind spots, down in the valleys. There's not much in the way of APRS coverage, either. I didn't hear my radio beep back at me very often early today.
Finally made it to San Antonio! Maddening freeways! NO SIGNS FOR THE ALAMO! Unreal! What has to be the #1 attraction - and no signs on the freeway saying "Alamo - this exit"! Took me a while to find it... ended up buying a city map at a convienence store. It's right downtown. In fact, some of the downtown covers the original site. It was difficult to relate to the story of the battle, and life at the mission, with the hustle and bustle of the city around what is left of the Alamo. I looked around, the site is much smaller than I had been expecting. It's in good shape now, with dioramas of the mission as it was at the time of the battle. A quick look around, and a couple of souviniers, and back on the road to Houston.
I arrived in Houston at about 7pm. I had called ahead to reserve a room, and drove through a bunch of freeway construction (must be nice to have the ex-govenor and his cronies running the federal government!) to the hotel. Got a room..... and was not a happy camper. When I got to the room, it was not made up. Bedspreads on the floor, no sheets, and the A/C had been off all day. I called the front desk, and they put me in another room just down the hall. I got settled in there, and when I went to get online, got another disappointment. The hotel guide put out by the chain said this hotel had wireless internet, but I could not get connected. I finally called the front desk, and they told me they didn't have access! So here I sit in a bargain hotel, and no internet access! This just won't do! When I went out to find something to eat, I checked a couple of other hotels in the same general area, but everything was booked! Apparently there was a big convention in town, with something like tens of thousands of attendees, and there wasn't a room to be had anywhere! I must have "lucked" out getting the one I did, but it sure doesn't feel that way! I got to looking at the room, and noticed that the ceiling had been recently painted, but the walls were in dire need. I even noticed a couple of handprints and bootprints (!) on the walls. I'm assuming (hoping) that those were put there by the guys painting! The chairs at the desk were stained, hopefully just with water..... and the bathroom was a bit worse for wear. Oh well.... tomorrow, JSC!

Day 7