Living West of the City

We arrived in time to have an outdoors Easter feast with our daughter, Katie and her boyfriend Larnell

We resided for a month at an RV park in Hudson’s Bend west of Austin Texas, which sticks up like a thumb between the Colorado River and Lake Travis. There are other suburbs too, piling on one another. It’s an area of massive bluffs with multi-million dollar mansions and apartment complexes perched precariously on top, looking down on the lake, ravines and the city with its westward sprawl. Roads are hilly and winding. The road from our park was narrow and led to more new homes and boat launches for the lake. Out on the main road, heading eastward took us over Mansfield dam. You can see the bridge for the road in front of the dam in the picture below. It was always an awesome view. I could see Low Water Crossing Road every time we drove over the dam, and one day I convinced Cal to drive on it. The early morning fog blanketed us as we crossed. On the other side of the crossing, there was one boat shelter and launch for each of the houses on the bluff, but I suppose that the residents would have to drive around the upper bridge and cross the Low Water Crossing bridge to their dock.

There were a lot of parks near us and we would hike several times a week.

Bee Cave City Park had a nice dog park compared to others I’ve seen, with lots of room for Fido to run.
Bob Wentz County Park
Emma Long Metro Park – we had to ford this stream several times when the trail would flip sides.

The dogs, above, were at Emma Long Metro. Unfortunately we decided to walk this trail on a Saturday morning, and encountered families with unleashed packs of dogs running all over the trail. There were actually two more for this family, above. We cut the walk a little short, turned around, and voila! Hardly anyone on the trail going back. I heard later that Austin does have some trails where dogs can run unleashed…I guess we found one.

Hippie Hollow Park, clothing optional. It was a little chilly, so we opted to keep ours on.
Lots of nice places for sunbathing at Hippie Hollow
From Hippie Hollow, a view of the residences atop the bluff

The “lighthouse” was just on the other side of this bluff from our RV park, and we tried so hard to get to it. Gated communities thwarted us at every turn. Later on we found out it is just a water tower. I guess it looks nicer than the usual.

I drove into Austin by myself for a little retail therapy – this picture is from the Austin Antique Mall.

There was a day trip to Inks Lake State Park, which could have been a blog all by itself, and maybe someday I will do one:

We surprised a lizard which had been sunning on a boulder
We puzzled over all the reasons why a cactus might have a perfectly round hole in it. Something must have thought it was a tasty treat. We saw this again in subsequent hikes.

On another Saturday day trip with Katie, we visited a buggy museum. The place was stuffed with every possible conveyance a horse (or any other mammal) could pull.

Late 19th century paddy wagon
A Czech funeral hearse, built in 1880
And there was so much more!

It may seem like we were terribly busy, but there was plenty of time to relax at home. I experimented with some new dishes, and we tried making pizza on our Weber Baby Q. The pizza wasn’t bad, but not a 100% success either. We’ll have to work to perfect it.

Costa Rican Gallo Pinto. The only thing missing was the fried plantains.

One thing I am loving about our new life is that every park has a book swap library. Some are not so great, but the one at our park in Austin had many good books. I read all of these in the month of April. The only one that was not a swap was the Reader’s Digest Lowell Thomas book, given to me by my brother Jared. Lowell Thomas lived in a generation before mine. I constantly looked information up on Wikipedia while reading his book, learning more about his life and also that of Lawrence of Arabia, whom he traveled with and wrote a book about.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my best friend at the park, Pumpkin. She belonged to our neighbors, who lived full time there. Pumpkin would run up to us every time we were outside, and was always looking for cuddles and snuggles. She would always try to sneak inside our RV, and thoroughly enjoyed our lawn chairs, especially when we were sitting in them. From our window, we would enjoy watching her playing with leaves or trying to catch birds. That is her picture at the top of this blog, and here are a couple more:

In the above picture, Pumpkin is helping me show you that no one parked next to us on this side for the entire month we were in Austin. It was like having our own extended yard. The park almost filled up at times, so I have no idea why they never put someone there, but it was pretty darn nice of them.

It has been a couple of weeks since we were there. We’ve been adventuring since then, so there will be much to catch up on!

Next time – the scenery is changing as we travel west

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