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.

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