Slept in Late again. We reluctantly left our luxurious accommodations in Spring TX and headed towards the capital city. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Austin TX and we were excited for this next stop. The only problem was its really hot. The high for today was 103 degrees. Ouch. During my research, I found a website listing “swimming holes” in Texas. On this list was one just outside of Austin, that looked amazing. So instead of driving 3 hours then going straight into the city and running around in the heat, we decided to go sit “pool” side and relax. Before i talk about the awesomeness of the Hamilton Pool, let me tell you about our drive from Houston to Austin.
First let me just say Texas is proud country. Ive seen more Texas flags in the past 2 days then I’ve seen american flags over the entire trip. They are on everything at least once. Their display of hometown pride is so insistent that you almost find yourself wanting to partake in it aswell. I was so close to pulling over and buying a Texas flag. Who knows, I still have another 6 days or so in this great state, I might end up following through. The drive today felt very Texas-y i can’t really explain what that means or what that entails but it just did. On the drive past the the ranches, sideways streetlights, cows, oil derricks, open sky, and even the “birthplace of Texas” , one thing was dominating….dead grass. Texas is having one the worst droughts in a long time and most of the plant life is dry and brown. Field after field is full of dead grass and trees that are so brittle and lifeless that some of them have collapsed. Its an interesting sight to see but its also sad. I guess every area of the country has its own climate problems. When we were just 2 or 3 states north of Texas, we couldn’t cross the Missouri river because it had flooded the roads. Its pretty crazy. The sun in Texas, on this late September day is HOT. It’s in the hundreds and being outside for more then a couple minutes is torture. Personally, I’ll take this over painful frozen fingers and ears any day but it’s still something to bitch about. At least the air in Austin is less humid then the steam shower they call New Orleans, But 100 degrees is 100 degrees no matter how you slice it. If it stays this way for the next week, which I’m sure it will, we are gonna be in big trouble. Let me remind you we have no AC house to come home to and no showers to use, we are homeless, and just like the bums, we are outside for the day and night. I have a thermometer that monitors the temp of the inside of the van. Today, parked, it was 115. That’s why we went here….
Nestled in the hills just west of Austin, within a nature preserve, was this gem of relaxation. The road to this place was windy and tight with dried up creeks, mini cacti,and deer skeletons. You pull into the grounds, park then hike 1/4 mile to the pool. The hike is really cool, you hike down this desert like rocky trail into the canyon to the “pool.” Like always the pictures don’t do this place justice. It’s a massive “collapsed grotto” with a couple trickily 50ft waterfalls, and jade green fresh water. We shared this hole with about 15 others. A German family, 2 or 3 Texas couples and their coolers of beer, some Swedish looking and speaking girls, an Indian family, and a hippie couple. When we first arrived the drinking couples were sitting in 8 inches of water like children in a kiddie pool, no one was really out swimming yet. Like I said early it was beyond hot out, the water was very cool prob around 65 or so. We went all the way in and with the view, the cold water and the heat, it was heavenly. This swimming hole is easily one of my favorite things we’ve done yet. It almost felt like we were some place tropical. Not only can you escape the heat by swimming but the grotto provides a nice shaded area to relax on the rocks and take in the scenery. We stayed till the park was about to close and drove into Austin.
With Falkor’s luck we found a parking spot in downtown on 5th and trinity with zero parking regulations (hotel Saetta, Austin edition). We were pretty tired and really hungry so we checked out a place I’ve wanted to go to for a long time, the Alamo Drafthouse. The Alamo is a string of theaters in Texas (originating is Austin) that serve food and alcohol before and DURING the film. The way it’s set up is there are your typical nice movie seats, and a couple couches up top, with stadium seating, in front of the seats is a bar like table top with menus underneath, you right down you order on a piece of paper and stick it in a slot on the bar top and waitress comes by from a walkway behind the row of seats in front of you and takes your order and bring you food. You can order anytime during or before the movie and the staff is quick to service you. The menu is a full menu, it’s not just beer and snacks. There are all kinds of dishes, that are cleverly movie themed, made with fancy ingredients and in a fancy manner. Think hip Brooklyn restaurant food. (Made with grass feed, local rooftop grazed, bathed in Niagara spring water, beef) Check out the menu HERE. Jill got a chicken caesar wrap and i got a Royal with cheese burger. To top it of i got a rooter float. We didn’t want to wait for the 8 showtime so we watched a “Music Monday” performance of BB King at the Austin City Limits festival in 1983. It was surprising entertain (especially since or recent visit to his stomping ground, and our recent love for the blues). It ran just a little over an hour, perfect timing. I gotta say this places not only had delicious food but it also had a really cool vibe. One of my favorite movie theaters I’ve been to in my life. Next we went to the van to put today away. The inside of the van was 94 degrees. It was gonna be a tough sleep tonight. I turned on the AC for a couple minutes, and we got the temp down to 83, jumped in bed and fell asleep before we could feel the temp climb back up again.
Next Stop: More Austin