06 May

Walk with San Antonio Hill Country Hikers

Susan Alton

Susan Alton

Susan Alton

Such an exciting day today! And it’s all good.

I joined four meetup.com groups and this evening Bob and I went on our
first walk with Hill Country Hikers. We met at Robert Tobin Park where
we started our four-mile round trip at a moderate-fast pace. We walked
15-minute miles, so we finished in one hour! Fourteen walkers showed up.
What a nice group of people. One lady, Vanessa, brought her Husky,

The park sign behind me is faux bois. See

explanation below.

exactly 6:45 p.m. we started south on the trail through the Salado
Creek Greenway. This is a beautiful trail with lots of trees and the
wildflowers are still blooming. Because of the recent rain, everything
was green and growing. Paul, our leader, told us the south trail from
the main parking area is excellent for summer hiking because the trail
is shaded…a very good thing when temperatures hover around 100 degrees

Paul, our walk leader.

Before we started the walk we had time to
read the plaques. Robert L.B. Tobin, after whom the park is named, was
born in 1934, educated in the Alamo Heights (San Antonio) School
District and attended the University of Texas. His father died in an air
crash in 1954. Robert took over leadership of the family business,
Tobin Surveys, Inc. He built the business into the nation’s largest
mapmaker for the oil industry.

Also on the park entry signboard was information about faux bois
(false wood) or “trabejo rustico.” At the parking picnic area all the
tables, benches, the park entry sign, and support for the signs are faux bois. What is faux bois?
It is a craft that was popular in the late 19th century to the 1940s
which is experiencing a resurgence. Natural elements such as wood,
thatch, vines and branches are recreated in concrete. The faux bois pieces
in Tobin Park are the work of Carlos Cortes, a third-generation artisan
whose great uncle Domingo Rodriguez brought the skill to Texas from
Mexico in the 1920s. Other Cortes family creations around San Antonio
can be seen along the Riverwalk (especially The Grotto on the north
Riverwalk), at Brackenridge Park, and some bus stops.

Faux bois picnic table.
Faux bois bench.

Here are photos. I took only a few because if I stopped, I had to run to catch up. Some photos were taken while walking.

Salado Creek Greenway trail.
Mexican hat wildflowers.
Walkers on the trail.
Coming up to our turn-around point with Paul in the lead.
Great egret in Salado Creek.
Salado Creek Falls (ha ha)
Salado Creek
A very large, old pecan tree.
Honeysuckle growing along the trail. Smelled wonderful!
Rain lily. Only bloom for three to four days after rainstorms.
Bluebonnets – some going to seed.

The sun was out, birds were active, the air was fresh
and clean after our recent rains. The temperature this afternoon was
perfect at 72 and very low humidity. At the end of our walk we felt

Travel Bug out.

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