I don’t have the time or money to travel as much as I would like, so I try to be a traveler in my town and areas near by. I’m planning a weekend trip to San Antonio next month, there are some trails I want to watch and I would like to see the new exhibit at the zoo, but when I can’t really go anywhere, I’m trying to see areas around my home. My goal is to explore all the parks here in Corpus Christi.
I started by downloading a list of the parks here in town. I don’t have a very organized way of choosing the parks. Basically, I pick ones I’ve never been to or look interesting on Google Maps or their reviews. Its almost like throwing darts at a very specific dart board. I’ve visited about half a dozen parks since I started, some I wasn’t impressed with, they were just parks with a walking track and playground. Not that that’s a bad park, it meets the needs of the people and families that live in the neighborhood, just not what I was looking for. My favorite were the parks with something to actually explore. Lakeview Park and West Guth Park were my favorites.
Lakeview Park had a lot of trees surrounding a lake or a very large duck pond, because there were a lot of ducks. It took me about an hour to walk all the way around the lake. Probably less, I did stop a few times and venture a little closer. There were lots of birds nesting around the lake, mostly ducks and geese, but there were some ibis, cormorants, turtles and even a few chickens that had made a pit stop there. At least I think the chickens had just stopped there, I never imagined chickens living there, but now that I think about it the neighborhood surrounding the lake didn’t really look like a place you would raise chickens. I had a grand ole time that afternoon, and isn’t that what everything is about.
While I like Lakeview because of the nature, I enjoyed West Guth Park because one spot in particular gave me the greatest sense of nostalgia. There was this old, stone foundation (I don’t know what was there) among a copse of trees. I could imagine me and my friends playing there when we were kids. We always played on the edge of the woods (we weren’t allowed to go in). We used the dirt and threes and roots to create backdrops of all our games. West Guth also had a small duck pond surrounded by trees with exposed roots. The roots made the perfect little seat.
Last weekend, my sister and I went to Blucher Park. I normally visited the parks on my own, but I took my sister with me because as much as I wanted to visit this park I was a little hesitant. I had read a lot of reviews describing a homeless population living in and around the park and a shelter on one side. I’m not saying that homeless people are dangerous, but since college I have a hesitation on being alone in an area where there was anyone who I thought might be homeless. Most homeless people I have met have been perfectly wonderful people who are just down on their luck, but I had a scary experience the summer between my junior and senior year of college.
That summer my car broke down and I had to walk from my apartment to work for about a month. I would usually walk or ride my bike, sometimes my friends or roommate would give me a ride. One afternoon when I was walking, just after I crossed the street from my neighborhood to the next a homeless man approached me from behind on the sidewalk. He told me that I was coming with him. I’m not really a screamer, usually my brain goes to how I can get out of the situation so I didn’t move and didn’t say anything. He repeated that I was coming with him. I looked around helpless. A man driving down the road stopped and asked what was going on. The man walked away in the opposite direction and I continued on to work. I never told my family about this, but I did tell me friends and roommate. They didn’t let me walk to work too my after that and my car was fixed soon.
I don’t like to let things like that stop me from living my life, especially since nothing happened to me. But it still makes me nervous. Blucher Park was beautiful and I think I would have enjoyed it more if 80% of the people I saw didn’t make me nervous. The park had beautiful groves of trees, where it looked like I could curl up and read a book and spend a wonderful afternoon. The weather was beautiful (which lately the South Texas weather has been cold and wet) and the bugs weren’t biting, it was a great day to be outside in nature.
I was a bit disappointed though. They had a map of the park before you went in, but no way finding signs within the park which made things a little confusing once inside. I can see both sides, you don’t want to ruin nature with a sign, but it makes it less visitor friendly if your lost. The map showed a little bluff, I was in disbelief. I thought a bluff, really, but it was there and big enough that I wouldn’t have wanted to fall in. It lead down to a little creek. The park was smaller than I thought it would be. Overall, I was disappointed, I don’t know if its because I had hyped up this park or because I didn’t really allowed myself to enjoy the park.