Sunday, August 31, 2008

Austin :) :) :)

Austin, Austin, Austin, what can I say? I love this town! If you love the outdoor lifestyle, getting out on the town, sitting at a coffee shop, listening to live music, biking, kayaking, jogging, swimming, playing with your dog and everyone else’s dog then this is your town! I think I could have just stopped and stayed here for a while. I had the chance to do all of the above in just three days. This is a town I could get used to, I really liked the atmosphere and the fact that everyone got outside and is active. Austin is a very bike and dog friendly place I was able to ride my bike everywhere. From the Pecan Grove campground I was able to walk to any number of restaurants, saloons, coffee shops, food shops all of which had live music at some point. I tell you this town rocks! They say it is a small town in a big city and they are right.
Austin being a college town has 6th street which is a hundred bars in one place, I’m not kidding there are so many you can’t even look at them all. I only sampled a few but found 4th street which has a more age appropriate setting for me not to mention a bar that served my favorite beer Victory Hop Devil IPA the best beer I have ever had!!!
Austin has a series of Green Belt trail systems that follow all of the rivers in and around town. They simply rock and are used more than any I have ever seen. I was able to ride a few of them and they are really fun and LONG. I rode about 15 to 20 miles and never saw the end. On this ride I met another biker Larry and he showed me some of the trails to ride and I tagged along with him for a little bit. So hi to Larry. The main trail follows both sides of the river that flows through the middle of Austin (Town Lake) and has many parks and places to get to the water. There are three or four places to rent kayaks, canoes, and rowing skulls. And yes I did go kayaking and it was fantastic!
Now Austin even has some mountain biking right around the corner from the Grove. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever ridden but it was a lot of fun. I was able to get in about 16 miles on the trail- out and back. It was however a very technical trail with mostly cat and baby head rocks with a little smooth trail thrown in for good measure. There were even a few natural climbing walls along the trail. I met a couple of guys climbing a 5.11+ rout. No I didn’t try to climb I think my climbing days are done.
But there is still more that Austin has to offer, I know it’s getting a little much with all of the things there is to do there, but there is more! How about a natural spring fed swimming pool? Well Austin has one, Barton Springs. This spring puts out 68 degree water year round and flows thousands of gallons out to Town Lake. The pool is huge somewhere around 300 feet by 100 feet. You could swim for days and not get to the other side. I thought about trying but I swam just below the pool where all of the dogs swim, more of my kind of place. In the end I highly recommend everyone needs to at least visit.
I even found some 3rd cousins in Austin. Hi to Katie, Gilbert, Pat, and everyone there, I had a great time getting to see you and hope to get back there some day.
So now I’m off to Carlsbad New Mexico.

Friday, August 22, 2008

San Antonio is---Coyote Ugly

I did it I fell into the trap those hot ladies put forth and had to do it, yes I went to the famous Coyote Ugly Saloon. I now know there are a bunch of them and it has lost some appeal but I had a good time there anyway. Not much more to say, so OK here are the pictures.

San Antonio

Now that I am on the first leg of my trip that I am not staying with friends or relatives I have more time for blogging and relaxing. I rolled into San Antonio on Tues. afternoon and stayed in a campground for the first time on this trip. I did spend one uncomfortable night in a WalMart parking lot. Not the best Wallieworld I could have chosen but it worked out ok. Well the KOA I stayed at was nice and close to town, I was even able to take the bus into downtown to see all of the sights that San Antonio had to offer. OK, there is not that much to see but what there is is very cool! The Riverwalk is way way cool, beautiful and would be a great place to spend a few days with friends, lots of bars, resturants and shops. There are also a whole buch of Cathedrals and churches to see, but after two or three they all start to blend. Now the Alamo is a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but what a great historical place. My buddy Davey Crockett fought there, as most of you know I used to live on Davey Crockett Rd. in Asheville and he did hang out in that part of the state. I know it's way cool! I didn't see much more of San Antonio and I'm not sure if there is anymore??? Well I'm off to Austin next so look for updates soon.


Texas....It's a Big State

From sunny Florida to Texas was a bristling white knuckle ride through huge thunder storms and stupid drivers. Getting through New Orleans was frightening, with heavy rain falling pole drove like idiots. I was lucky to make it out alive but that was the worst of it. Once securely in Texas it was an easy drive to Texas City where my cousin Wayne Evans and his family lives. I had planed on staying only a day but was enjoying getting to know some more family so much I stayed a couple of days. The list of family goes like this, Wayne & Lisa, Bob Lisa's dad, Brook+two Wayne's daughter and her two kids, and Super Dave Brook's boyfriend. sorry if I left you out as my memory sucks and it's been a few days out of Texas City. Anyway I had a great time getting to know more of my family on my moms side and everyone showed me a huge helping of hospitality, from the TinCan parking spot to the incredible biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I wish all of you great success for the coming year and look forward to seeing you again sometime.

Love to you all, Cousin Rick

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Florida the sunshine state

Good to see you all, or at least to blog to you. I have been down to the sunny and rainy Gainesville area to see my good friends Steve and Marcia. I have to say hi to their son and nephew, Stevie and Clint, The neighbors Steve and Bevin, and the dogs; Jada, Teddy, Rocky and Gracie. Thank you all for a great visit and lots of fun and food, too much great food. I think I gained ten pounds there. Bevin I had two of your rolls tonight and they ROCKED!!!! Marcia I will be cooking up some of your chocolate chip cookie balls soon, more on those to come.

Wile down in FLA. I had a chance to go scalloping with Steve's brother Sid and nephew Clint. What a fun and productive trip, we filled our quota and then some, and when we got back to the house Stevie cooked up some scallops with a chipotle cream sauce that was out of this world good. Thank you Sid for that fun day on the water. I wish I could get across the fun I had while visiting everyone there, but since I can't I will just say Thank You All!!!!!!! Now about this Wii thing, you know you guys ruined me I want one in a bad way. Hang on to Tinman for me I will be back to play again and to get my Pro status back. For anyone reading this that dose not know about the Wii gaming system, STAY AWAY it is addictive and FUN!!! The bowling game is out of this world fun and I'm sure the rest are too.

Thanks again to the Fla. Crew, all of you. I will return one day!