Texas Traveler: Independence Day

How did you celebrate the 174th anniversary of Texas' independence from Mexico? You probably didn't do anything like what a group of stalwart runners spent their weekend doing -- running the 203 miles from Gonzales to the San Jacinto Battleground in Deer Park.

Dozens of teams of eight to 12 members spent all weekend running the 40 legs of the relay, legs of varying lengths (from two miles to almost nine) that finish right through the heart of Houston and culminate at the obelisk monument in honor of the Battle of San Jacinto, where Sam Houston (namesake shoutout!) defeated Santa Anna on April 21, 1836. Even if your team has 12 members, that's a lot of running -- almost 17 miles a person if divided evenly. Most teams take the full two days to do the run, with runners sleeping just a few hours between legs. Some runners, ultramarathoners, attempt to run the full 200 miles solo. These guys have nothing on the MS 150-ers.

So, you're forgiven if that's not how you wanted to spend your weekend. But if the independence route interests you, it would make an interesting road trip, especially for a long weekend.

Below, some stops of interest along the way:

  • Gonzales -- Still called by its Mexican name, Gonzales was the most western outpost in Anglo Texas. Home to the Gonzales Memorial Museum, along the banks of the Guadalupe River and site of the first battle of the Texas Revolution.
  • Shiner -- Brewery. Need we say more?
  • Moulton -- Czech Texas. Have a steak at Kloesel.
  • Weimar -- Settlement of the Aldesverein.
  • Borden -- is really named after the milk.
  • Columbus -- has a beautiful opera house. Texas Traveler knows it as the town to turn off I-10 to head to Austin.
  • Wallis -- used to be called Bovine Bend. Should still be called Bovine Bend, because that's hilarious. Is also a big town for cyclists, since it's the closest thing Houstonians get to hills around here.
  • La Porte -- The TIR website helpfully explains that this is French for "the door." Their 54th annual Crawfish jam and Beach Festival will be April 24. Don't forget to stop by the San Jacinto monument and say your thanks to Sam Houston.

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