The 2017 Messages of Hope Tour continues west. After Houston, we moved on to San Antonio, spending a few days recharging at Fort Sam Houston. “Fort Sam” is a favorite of ours, mainly because of the atmosphere created by hundreds of young combat medic trainees, both Army and Navy. Yes, the Navy sends some hospital corpsmen here – those that are destined to serve with the US Marine Corps, particularly in front-line combat units (such as the infantry, affectionately known as “grunts”). Corpsmen (like chaplains) serving with Marines even wear Marine uniforms. Class units of 20-40 soldiers and sailors marched to and from classes and meals, and we happened to be riding our bikes around base during the Friday graduation ceremony. The roar provided by hundreds of loud “Hoo-ah” and “Ooh-rah” shouts was energizing. Earlier, we had passed a football field stacked with duffel bags and sea bags; then an hour later we passed that same field crowded with young men and women and their proud families, picking up their gear to start the trip to their first real duty assignment. For some it might be just down the road here in Texas at Fort Hood or Fort Bliss; others might be flying over to harder front-line combat tours in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia. In any case, all of these young soldiers and sailors are prepared to put their lives on the line for the rest of us Americans. So the next time you see a military person in uniform, please give them a thank you.
Another great activity here is riding the bike trail along the San Antonio River, which is part of a National Historical Park. There are eight missions along this beautiful, well-maintained trail. Our turn-around was at Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1731 by Franciscan priests. Construction was completed in 1756, and the mission seems little changed from that era.
Our next stop was an Air Force campground at Canyon Lake, north of San Antonio. The recreation area supports Lackland Air Force Base, about 50 miles away. The lake is beautiful, sparsely developed and ringed with hillsides covered with pines and cedars. Suzanne was doing in-person readings every day, so I got out to hike every day. I think I know the woods around Canyon Lake pretty well…
Suzanne’s next Texas events were her Adventures in Consciousness presentation at Unity of Wimberley, which has a very friendly and active spiritual community. She also spoke at Unity of New Braunfels, where she gave her Transformative Power of Hope presentation. Here is Suzanne with Rev. Karen Tudor, Senior Minister at Unity of New Braunfels.
Onward to Kerrville, in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Suzanne’s first event, the Transformative Power of Hope, was held at Unity Church of the Hill Country. Rev. Patty Edwards was our delightful host here.
Suzanne had been invited to Kerrville by Ed and Sylvia Reaves, two extraordinary folks who had attended several of Suzanne’s events in the past. Ed and Sylvia made our visit thoroughly enjoyable. Suzanne presented her Serving Spirit mediumship class at the Inn of the Hills, and the attendees were some of the most enthusiastic yet.
Our hike took us up to the summit, where we had a fabulous view of several counties. Then we descended to the Loop Trail, which strangely enough makes a big circle around Enchanted Rock. Who would have guessed?
We made a brief stop for PT at Fort Stockton, where we met a real character, Rafael (Rafy) Aguirre, who was the maintenance supervisor at the city park where we went for a long walk. When Rafy found out where we were from, he said, “Oh, yes, Florida is a suburb of Texas!” We spent a few minutes laughing about Texas and Florida, and as we departed, Rafy called out, “Adios, Ya’ll!”
Santa Fe! Our next stop is one of our favorite places in the US. Friendly people, beautiful scenery and fabulous Southwest cuisine. We immediately went for a hike in the Sangre de Christo Mountains. Suzanne has always had a problem with altitudes over 8,000 feet, but the mountains called, and she had been doing some self-healing exercises. She’s looking pretty good here at 9,440 feet, but can she go higher????
We met a charming young woman from Los Angeles, Sarah, who is a yoga and pilates instructor. She and Suzanne hit it off right away, and we hope to see Sarah at Suzanne’s Serving Spirit class in Camarillo, CA, in July.
Our next hike, the Big Tesuque Trail up to Aspen Vista in Hyde Memorial State Park, was a challenge. Here is our altimeter proving that she made it above 10,000 feet. Unfortunately, heavy snow from last week’s storm blocked our path, so we didn’t make the summit, but it was still a memorable hike.
As we finished that 6 miler, My Lovely Bride said, “Ty, I could do it all again right now!” “Suzanne, speak for yourself… I’m ready for a glass of Cabernet!”