Sunday, December 21, 2014

Longhorn Caverns, Burnet, TX

We are visiting family now for the holidays and will return to Austin for the last few days of our stay there but a couple of days before we left we drove to Burnet to visit Longhorn Caverns.  Definitely one that should be checked out when in the area!  Great history as well.

The caverns were known to the Indians long before the White Man who came to the area in the 1840's.  During the Civil War, gunpowder was made and stored here. In the 1870's outlaws,the Sam Bass gang, sometimes lived in the cave and during the 1920's it was the site of a nightclub.

It home to the Pipistrelle bat, of which only about 60 live in the cave but we were lucky enough to see two of them.

 Built by the Conservation Corp, this used to be the park office:

Pipistrelle bat

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blanton Museum of Art and more Lady Bird Lake, Austin

Downtown, on the UT campus, we enjoyed the Blanton Museum.  It houses a very nice Renaissance collection and modern art is always fun:

This entire hall is a work of art in blue and whit acrylic

 View of the capitol building from the museum:

 We have now covered every inch of trail around Lady Bird Lake and have certainly had some nice walks and enjoyed the sights.  It is a shame about the amount of garbage in the lake but we did see a volunteer organization down there doing is best to help alleviate the ongoing issue with resource help from the city:

 A low water dam crosses the east end of the lake:

 Tis the season!

Congress Bridge, the largest urban bat colony (over a million)lives under this bridge in the summertime! 

Hops and Grain brewery and beer samples after a walk!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Barton Springs and Barton Creek Greenbelt, Austin, TX

Located among the hills in south Austin is Barton Springs and the Barton Creek Greenbelt. There are about 9 miles of trail here running along the creek in a narrow limestone bluff canyon.  Lots of foliage, a bit jungle-like in places.  We have been there twice to explore most of the trail system.

Once again, you are in the middle of Austin and the trail goes under the freeway at one point.  There is also that trash thing that you get in larger cities.  Unfortunate, but seems to be a fact of life here.  Not to discourage, we really enjoyed the trail especially starting from the Scottish Wood Trail entrance which took us by several small waterfalls.  The first trip down there we started from Zilker Park and it rained about half the time we were on the trail.  Wet limestone is very slick and we only went 2 miles one way on the trail that day before turning back due to the slippery surfaces.

Barton Springs is damned up at Zilker Park creating a 3 acre man made swimming pool which remains a constant 68 degrees year round.  To cold for me but I'm sure refreshing in the summer months!

The Scottish Wood Trail starts off with this steep half mile limestone loose rock staircase.  Just keep it in mind if it is a rainy day!

This is your reward, though, at the bottom of the "staircase"

Sculpture Falls

Twin Falls

US Army Corp of Engineers Park, Iowa City, IA

Mike and I love it when we can find a COE park because they are always on water and our last stop at Coralville Lake was no exception.  A bi...