Hmmmm. This was an interesting day! The kids and I took too long getting up and around. I swear we are still on Mountain time! We loaded the bikes and were so excited to explore the much acclaimed Zilker Park! We went to the visitors center first to get armed with information/maps as I felt kind of lacking in those areas despite our research. I had our maps and thought we were ready. Here’s a pic of the Texas State Capital Building (the small brown dome in the background) coming up Congress Ave.
We got to the park and decided to eat some lunch first. Rode back to the Park and realized we had no clue where we were going. We wanted to see the Botanic Gardens and the Nature Center and Barton springs pool. Maybe a few other things if we had time. I was so confused. No signs. We thought the paths on the map were bike paths, but they were streets. Zilker was touted as being so great with all these areas, but I swear people must run or drive everywhere. It was not biker friendly and the signs (maybe 2 in all!) were so confusing!
In the end we did finally find the Nature Center (after crossing over the Colorado River twice – which isn’t a bad thing!) The Nature Center was really neat. They had all kinds of skeletons and animal pelts and bones that the kids were encouraged to handle. Very hands on, very fun.
The Botanic Gardens was kind of hard to get to, so we biked around the back of it, but decided to head over to the Pool (which I didn’t realize was across the very busy street and there was not a light on this end of the park!)
We wound all the way around that part of the park. The kid first wanted to play on the playground. (I love that they ALL still love to do this and come up with some very fun and creative games to play with each other!)
Huck tried to pound out a little work during this time and while we headed over to check out the FREE pool.
Oh that is one thing Austin definitely has – sooo many things are FREE!! Most of the outdoor pools are free. And while it’s warm I didn’t think it was warm enough to swim in the 68 degree Barton Springs pool, but the kids waded in. Probably would have swam if we had their suits! 3 acres long and it is the home of an endangered Salamander that they are trying to revive. There was a sign explaining that Eliza Spring that feeds the Barton Pool was paved over and made into an amphitheater by Zilker. Austin is now trying to revive it and the salamander.
Next stop Mt. Bonnell. In spite of Google maps and a physical map and a GPS we had a heck of a time finding Mt. Bonnell. I don’t know if we were just mindless that day or what! I could not navigate us to save our time! We did go to a Nature Reserve that had about a dozen Peacocks – boy the kids LOVE peacocks! We asked another person there if they knew where the path started (as we believed we were in the right place.) Nope – go back up that hill that we had started up and thought we were on the wrong path.
Made it to the top. Some great views, but windy and we needed to head home! I desperately needed to go grocery shopping if we wanted to eat and we knew we were facing rush hour. it was 4. By the time we got back to the 5th wheel it was 7! Yep 3 hours. Sigh.
Oh but I can’t forget our HEB stop – the birds!! And when I say that I mean THE BIRDS!!!! We noticed them as we sat in traffic. All of a sudden near the intersection of I-35 and William Cannon Blvd the power/phone lines were FILLED with birds. I cannot over-exaggerate how many birds there were. I’m thinking thousands and thousands! So thick in most places it was unbelievable. And when a “group” of them would fly off it was the most insane thing we had ever seen. I was actually a little scared to get out of the truck to go into the store. And they kept showing up. There were a LOT of lines for them to sit on. I wish I had taken a picture. Huck took a video while I was in the store. It doesn’t show the magnitude since the field of vision is so tiny. It’s one shot of what is going on all around for about a full block. I need to find out what is so special about that intersection. Something is up, we just don’t know what. (well besides the birds!) 🙂