I don't know how you were reared but my childhood memories are filled with drinking from a water hose, hearing my mom yoohoo at sunset to come home from the neighborhood banana seat bicycle
Living in the heart of Texas offers lots of sunshine and outdoor fun. For many of our residents, it's a 9 to 5 grind. Rumors and word of mouth reveal some of our best kept secrets. Honestly, the number of trails to discover are countless. Running, jogging, hiking, with or without dogs. Some over or under bridges; some around ponds and lakes. All with views like postcards. Almost all are free. Oftentimes you could drive right by them and never know they're there. The nice part of working for yourself, you can hop on a path in the middle of the day and feel you're the only person on earth. A lone passerby may happen on a Monday but the weekends are brutal. Everyone from stroller to racer have the same idea on Saturday.
Zilker Park is a multi-mile path around Ladybird Lake. Downtown ATX. Paddleboards and swans galore. That's probably the most renown. There's dog park sections. A statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn, boat tours, bat sightings, ACL and The Kite Festival. Violet Crown is another one and more off the beaten path. I walked past the entrance more than once until a neighbor noticed the lost expression and pointed to a clump of trees not unlike the other clump of trees. But once you meander down the trail a couple miles, you come upon an oasis. How we ended up getting to it and how we got out of it were two completely different paths and both were dense. It'll be easy to keep my mouth shut and not share the beauty. I have no idea how to get back. To avoid that, here's a great link for finding paths in and around Austin: ►https://goo.gl/mBX5cn
There's a couple of trails that overlook Lake Austin - those with a fear of heights need not apply. Even my dog sensed the uneasy edge to a sudden drop below. Neither of us lingered once we reached the peak. You can see in the one picture we have together is him leaning like a drunk and he's not but a foot tall. I almost crawled back to the rocky steps. It takes adventure to live in this town. And here's another thing: If you were born with a good sense of direction, you won't when you move away. You could shake me up in a paper bag, toss me out and tell me to head home and I'll immediately know north, south, east and west. Austin isn't laid out normal. Another nod to "Keep It Weird" in my opinion. East Austin is totally south. South Austin is west as west can be. I KNOW I live north at the lake but I believe I'm supposed to live northwest. Northeast is north. And so is east. Hwy 1 (aka MoPac) goes east and west but it's noted as north and south. I used to be factual when giving directions or respond with a correction when someone provided a route. You finally pick your battles. I know where I'm going and that's what matters. ("So, just hop on the freeway going north. East Austin will be on your right." No, it won't but okay. *sigh*)
I wonder how the Boy Scouts explore. Aren't they required to earn badges and use compasses? Girl Scouts don't bother. They're busy eating (selling) cookies. This is THE town to use your grandparents' directions. "Stay on the dirt road until you come to a forked tree. Veer to the left and you'll see three giant rocks. Turn right. Now, if Mr. Johnson hasn't mowed lately, the rocks may be invisible. You'll know if you come to a rusty tractor. That means you've gone too far and need to turn around." That literally happened to me to meet someone at his house. In the middle of Deliverance except it was beautiful Hill Country. And no phone range. Somehow I passed the same donkey sign three times from three different directions. Finally, I found the abandoned tricycle (hidden in grass) up on the hill only because I was using his driveway to turn around. And there he was. Down the hill in a valley. Completely north west of Austin city limits but southeast of the next town over - a rock's throw away. I can't believe I made it home. Probably because I refused to have a cocktail. I knew my destiny might end that night if I had even a whiff of a beer. And GPS agrees with me! I've got backup. Don't bother using it in your defense. You'll just get the old wave off. For some reason it doesn't count.
The town isn't on a grid. It's weird in every direction. And I love it. It's one of the most beautiful hubbubs in Texas. If you ever feel like visiting, I'm more than happy to take you on a tour. Having lived here ten years now, I'm still exploring and finding something new. Trails included. But I'd suggest packing like you'll be gone awhile because - Heaven forbid we get lost, someone will need to provide directions and it ain't gonna be right.
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