Austin: the outdoors

Me in front of one of Austin’s Moonlight Towers. If you’ve ever seen Dazed and Confused, you would know…..

Moody Austin

Zilker Botanical Gardens – children’s garden dino

Hiking hill country (pssst…it’s not that hilly)

Band photo!

Since we spent six days in Austin, we had a good chance to really explore the city and its abundance of outdoor activities and sights. The weather also cooperated with us for the majority of the time and we saw mid-80s with a rain shower here and there. Nothing like the wet, cold weather back in Seattle!

Zilker Botanical Garden
We had attempted to go to Barton Springs that day (more on Barton Springs in another post as it warrants its own) but found out it was closed for cleaning. Boo. I thought our day was going to be a wash but then remembered the great reviews of the botanical gardens, which happened to be right down the road.  Unfortunately, most of the flora had bloomed for the year so there really wasn’t much to see AND the mosquitoes were horrible BUT it was a good way to get out of the sun. The Japanese garden section was quite lovely though and had some interesting water features. You could also hear the sound check going on for ACL, so that was a nice little musical bonus. Nothing like some pulsating beats whilst walking through the flowers!

Moonlight Tower
“The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin’, man. L-I-V-I-N.” Wooderson, Dazed and Confused

For all you film buffs out there, the Moonlight Tower was featured in the high school keg party scene of the 1993 cult film “Dazed and Confused.” The one in Zilker Park (pictured above) is not the exact one from the movie as I later found out with a quick iphone search – whomp, whomp. These 15 historical structures were built in Austin back in the 1890’s to provide light at night versus putting up a bunch of street lamps. They were also credited with putting a stop to a serial killer nicknamed The Servant Girl Annihilator (um, best serial killer name ever?) The towers are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Not super crazy to see, but the history behind them are pretty cool, man.

Barton Creek Greenbelt
We’d decided to get out of town for the morning and hiked about 4 miles on the upper part of this trail. I’d say hiking is a bit of a generous word for this trek – there was very little elevation gain – nothing like the hikes we have in Washington State where I’m sweating and cussing the entire way up! But I did enjoy seeing the natural side of Austin and it was nice to be under shaded trees and away from the sun.

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