Parks

Okay, so you turn off of Grissom Road into the little parking lot at Cathedral Rock and see a little play area and a little picnic pavilion.

Cathedral Rock Playground, 2018

The playground at Cathedral Rock taken from a creative angle again because I didn’t want to risk getting any of the kids playing nearby in the picture

You walk a little farther and find this:

Cathedral Rock Park path

A path at Cathedral Rock Park.

And then a little farther on you find this:

Cathedral Rock Park Map

A map of Cathedral Rock Park

And you realize that there’s quite a lot of park to explore here. I focused on the corner of the map for the picture above because Cathedral Rock Park is also a trailhead for the Leon Creek Greenway and the Greenway takes up most of the map.

I took a lot of pictures here and don’t know how many I’ll use. I think there are actually more paths at Cathedral Rock than are pictured on that map, because I was following the map on Pokémon Go rather than using that map and almost all of the paths that they had on the game were there in the park (the only exception I can think of is I think it might be that loop there in the upper-left-hand corner looks like it comes straight back from the lower-left part and rejoins the main path in kind of a reverse D-shape rather than that lasso kind of shape it has on this map).

Most of the paths have the San Antonio trail levels assigned to them, where Level 1 and 2 are usable by people in wheelchairs and Level 3 is usable by really incredibly fit people in wheelchairs and Level 4 is probably not usable by people in wheelchairs. Some of the signs showing which level applies to which paths were in pretty bad shape when I was there and could use some replacement signs.

Finally, why Cathedral Rock? Beats me. The park itself is mostly level with the occasional scattered bits of limestone. Once you get to the greenway, though, you find this:

Cathedral Rock?

Is this “Cathedral Rock”?

Which is way more impressive than it looks in the photo. Maybe if the deer had stood there while I took my picture rather than freaking out and running away it’d look less uninspiring.

Now I guess it’s time for a gratuitous Amazon link. I looked at books about limestone, since the rocks of what I assume is Cathedral Rock are limestone, but, eh. So I went back to the same link as I used before and dug up Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Washington: Section Hiking from the Columbia River to Manning Park by Tami Asars. I’m not planning on going on the Pacific Crest Trail anytime soon, but the picture on the front sure is pretty and it has 4.9 stars (out of 5) so why not?

On my master list of parks, I say that not all of the parks in the San Antonio area are actually owned and operated by the City of San Antonio. This is one of those other parks, which is owned and operated by Bexar County. And it’s quite a bit larger than I expected it to be. The entrance to the park is on the access road for Loop 410 so I figured I could cover it in 15 minutes. I stayed for almost 45. I was also there late in the day, so many of my pictures are slightly overexposed.

One of the playscapes at McArthur Park.

McArthur Park has several picnic pavilions and a bit of walking path, but the main feature of the park seems to be playgrounds. The park has three of those playscapes where all of the equipment is connected into one big sort of piece of park furniture and there are additional pieces of playground equipment including swings and a small monkey bar thing that looks like a flying saucer. I found that last one particularly interesting, but couldn’t take pictures of it because there were someone’s kids on it and taking pictures of other people’s children is considered to be kind of creepy. Maybe I’ll return someday and get a picture of that.

Have you played the “You are Jeff Bezos” game? The point of the game is to demonstrate just exactly how much $156 billion is. You wake up as Jeff Bezos and you decide that maybe if you spend all of his money you can get back to your own life. I’m not 100% about the things that the game designers think are priorities. For example one of the options is to revive Mythbusters. I’ve seen like two episodes of Mythbusters and have heard of a bunch more and I’m just not a fan. I’ve just never believed that the five-second rule really means that it takes five seconds for germs to attach to an item dropped on the floor. It’s more a winking “if you fix it fast enough it never happened” thing, I think. So watching two guys drop things on the floor and measure the germs on it just doesn’t seem like gripping television to me.

sad turtle, mcarthur park, san antonio

Concrete turtle in need of repairs, 2018

What I would like to spend a bunch of Jeff Bezos’s $156 billion on is fixing up parks. And McArthur had a bit of stuff that I’d like to fix. For example there are several pieces of concrete art that need a bunch of TLC. The paint is peeling (or has peeled) off and in several cases there are actual chunks of concrete missing. I really do wonder how much it would cost to paint and repair those poor things, if Bexar County would take a donation for that purpose, and if I could write it off of my income taxes.

Now I need an Amazon link. Does Amazon have some kind of “pick a random book” feature? I guess I’ll try to come up with my own. So, searching for “Parks” and sorting by customer reviews, the first result is Urban Trails: San Francisco: Coastal Bluffs/ The Presidio/ Hilltop Parks & Stairways by Alexandra Kenin. I guess that’ll hold me for this post, particularly since seeing the San Francisco area is years away at this point unless this blog thing really takes off or I win the lottery.

So they’ve announced that this coming weekend (November 30 through December 2) is going to be the December 2018 Community Day and the focus Pokémon is going to be all of the Pokémon featured all year. That’s (in no particular order) Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Eevee, Dratini, Cyndaquil, Mareep, Beldum, Larvitar, (Oh, dear God, I’m missing someone. But who? I’m actually looking at a picture. Oh! Duh!) and Chikorita (Chikorita is the only one I’ve got enough candies to make another Meganium with Frenzy Plant as soon as the weekend starts).

Community Day is traditionally a three-hour period when, one Pokémon is the focus. If you evolve a the focus Pokémon to its final form (sort of — maybe I’ll talk about Pikachu and Eevee here, maybe not) you get a specific moveset. Like February’s Community Day was Dratini and if you evolved a Dratini or Dragonair into a Dragonite during that time, the resulting Dragonite would have the move Draco Meteor.

Community day is going to be all weekend, day and night, so I’m starting to strategize. I basically missed January through May (I missed January through March entirely and didn’t bother doing the research into what, exactly, we were trying to do for, like, April and May, so I might as well not have bothered). And then in June, Community Day came on the day that Thomas and his apparently-soon-to-be-second-ex-wife (I guess I’m saved from having to give her a pseudonym, though I guess I’m now free to give her an unflattering one if I want to) were having a graduation party for Alex. Thomas invited me, so I showed up but was kind of uncomfortable (that’s putting it mildly!) so I took off after a couple of hours. I stopped at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment in San Marcos (writeup to follow someday) to catch some Larvitar. I was at Thomas’s house for so long that I just missed the deadline to get the target move and ended up with a different one. The stars aligned for July through November, though, so those are a low priority.

My first priority is fixing my June mistake and getting a Tyranitar with the correct moveset. So, since I only have 19 Larvitar candy (I need 125) I’m walking a Larvitar right now (Well, not *right* now, since I’m writing this post *right* now). I’m off tomorrow (November 28) so I’m going to try to earn some more Larvitar candy and maybe I’ll tackle one of my missing parks. Maybe I’ll hit Macarthur Park, because it’s pretty conveniently located (along Loop 410) and looks pretty small and easy to tackle on my way to or from one of my more regular haunts, like the River Walk near the Pearl.

Not a whole lot of Community Day Pokémon are spawning right now, so stocking up on candies is a bit more of a challenge. I did catch a Mareep in a raid the other day, though. And I caught another Chikorita on my doorstep tonight, Maybe I’ll luck out and I can get some of the candies I need. Like right now I’m only 7 Mareep candies short and only 25 Dratini candy short. Those would be pretty easy to make up if I’m lucky.

And if I tackle a new park, I have something new to blog about as well.

And, finally, I am going to have to really apply myself to monetizing this thing. I’m having a hard time coming up with travel money anymore. I have Amazon open right now looking for just the perfect thing. Maybe I’ll have to blog about Pokémon stuff later and make a list of things that seem pretty likely to put in as ads in those posts. Anyhow, it’s after midnight now and I’ve got my final Shedinja (Yay! I dug up a pretty relevant (I think?) Amazon link for this post) for November waiting for me.

So I’ve decided that rather than futzing around with a map (and my spellchecker liked “futzing.” Who knew?) I’d just copy the list from the city website. And messing with the list makes me think that maybe futzing with a map would be easier. Dear God.

Ultimately, once I remove all of the formatting and the extraneous stuff like addresses and photos, I’ll maybe bold the ones I’ve been to and change the colors of the ones I’ve written up? Or maybe pretend I’m using a highlighter and turn the ones I’ve been to blue and the ones I’ve written up green or purple? Or maybe use pink and orange, so that it looks less like links. I think I like that.

So ultimately,

Friedrich Wilderness Park

Will turn into

Friedrich Wilderness Park

once I’ve visited it and

Friedrich Wilderness Park

once I’ve written it up?

Should I pick a different shade of orange?

Friedrich Wilderness Park

Yeah. I like that darker orange better.

Now, once I’ve cleaned up the list what should I do with it? For reasons I don’t understand, school playgrounds are on the list now — this makes me a bit nervous since, well, school property. I think I’ll remove them from the list as I go.

Should I put them on my “about” page? Add a new “about”-type page for this list? Make it a blog post with a special tag?

I think that probably the new “about”-type page would be best so that *I* can find the list pretty easily. I don’t want to lose it and then have to recreate it again.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go remove photos from the “L”s.

P.S. It just hit me. Once I’ve finished this list and all of them are orange, I’ll have to go back through the official city list because I’m pretty sure that they’ll’ve added new parks in the however-long it takes me to go through the whole list.

This is what’s known as job security. Or would be, if I were making any money from this yet.