700 Acres
Contributed by Backlash

I feel fortunate I grew up on the S.E. side of San Antonio. One of those
reasons is 700 Acres. Crisscrossed with trails, woods, Salado Creek, and
rumors of caves, only one of which I was able to find, we spent many entire
summer days and afternoons riding bikes, building forts high up in the
trees, fishing in the creek (for catfish and the aberrant water
moccasin)..and keeping watch for some of the stranger things that seemed to
make a home here.

We knew to watch for the wildlife and stray dogs that hung out here.  We
also made sure to point out the places that 'weren't right', and the points
to be absolutely certain to not go alone or be when dusk fell.

One of those places we called, originally enough, Devil's Hole. Probably a
sinkhole, rocks and things dropped into it never seemed to hit bottom, and
the air coming from it flat out stank.  I never liked to dawdle in that
area; whenever I did (or anyone else) a listless feeling would come from
nowhere, and shadows where none had a right to be would rush through the
bushes.

One of the trails was a rocky fire road (The Loop) that switchbacked its way
around past a junction that would take you to a seasonal pond and a way to a
residential street.  All along The Loop was the remains of barbed fences,
cisterns..and the sound of a horse following behind you.  Anyone watching
would have though us to lost our minds, a group of kids riding and glancing
behind at the sound of hooves.  A few times we would see someone standing in
the tree line, only to stop and find no one there.

One section close to the creek NO ONE would ride along, in a group or alone.
  Even standing at the entrance to the trail would begin a breeze in the
trees and the sound of whispering. I had demonstrated it to people riding
with me for the first time there.  The air would be stock still, and yet the
trees seemed to be beckoning you to come along.

Now, most of the 'new' section (south of the S.E. Military/W.W. White Rd.
over the creek) is gone, bulldozed to make way for a business park and a new
school.  Some of the 'old' section is gone as well, given to new houses.  I
think 700 Acres is having the last laugh, though: it seems the equipment is
being vandalized or working when it wants to, and the workers don't like to
be there early in the morning or at dusk..they say they see people standing
in the tree line.

I forgot to mention the elderly woman who spoke to me about 'tree people'
(dryads, maybe?). I wandered across her gathering plants near the stone dam.
We had a nice conversation about things, and when I looked up from my bike
to tell her I had to go for dinner - gone.  There was no where for her to go
to that fast.

Until next time!
 

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Backlash sent a couple of stories, including one for the Donkey Lady!
You can email her at hs_backlash01@hotmail.com
Thanks for the stories, Backlash!--tbs

This page was last updated on September 26, 2002.
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Copyright 1996-2005,  Tim Stevens. All Rights Reserved.
"700 Acres" is the property of "Backlash". Used by permission.