Monday, October 4

We woke up starving this morning. The rock climbing had taken more out of us then we knew. We headed back into town and found a place called the Sunset Grill to grab some food. As I looked at the menu, I saw something that struck me: Sonora Dog. I have seen these things on the Food Network. Some people also called them Mexican Hot Dogs. It is a hot dog, wrapped in bacon, covered in chili, cheese, guacamole, onions, etc., served in a sour dough bun. I knew I had to have one, and I was super hungry so even if it was huge, I was ready for it. It was delicious. Pretty much any with bacon is delicious; Maple Bacon Bars, Sonora Dogs, Ice Cream. ☺

Filled with chili and pork by products, we hopped on the road towards Austin, via Lake Travis. The crew had been talking about doing some cliff jumping, so we scoped out where we could do it. I found a place called Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis on the way from Fredericksburg to Austin.

When we pulled up to the check in booth at the park, we saw a sign that said, “Cliff jumping is hazardous, we do not advise it. Jump at your own risk.” Ominous, no? But we were determined. We drove around the park and found a nice 30-foot cliff. We checked the water line to make sure it was safe enough to not get hurt when we jumped in.

There is something really exhilarating about throwing yourself of a cliff into water below. Probably the same with throwing yourself out of an airplane or off a bridge to bungee. The feeling of freefall for that small fraction of time and then the splashdown into water.

We jumped off four or five times, each time getting a little more tired swimming around the cove to climb out, but the energy loss is worth the experience. One the second or third jump, I felt something was wrong, I went into the water and sat down under there, just being present in water. Something felt off though and as I came to the surface, I realized what it was. My leather bracelet that I had bought in South Dakota had come unsnapped when I hit the water and was gone. As I surfaced, I looked around to see if it was floating nearby, but no luck. It was gone to Poseidon. Not much you can do about it. I took a moment to wish it safe travels and hope the fish like that taste of cow, and that was that.

We sat in the sun to dry off and pull the pricklies off of our clothing, the area was full of these bushes, and they hurt! We then hoped back in our car and beat feet for Austin. My friend Jess told me about a bridge that was home to 2.5 million bats, and that they came out every night when the sun set, so we drove there to see what all the commotion was about.

We got to Congress Avenue Bridge about a half an hour before the sun went down, and set up on this little hill near the bridge to watch them come out. Jess had said she would meet us there when she got out of work at 730. Jess arrived right as the bats started their swarm out to hunt for the night.

It was cool to see the bats all coming out from the bridge, silhouetted in the dying lights of the day and the lights of the buildings as they turned on for the night. Something you don’t see everyday.

Jess then took us to the place she said had the best Tex-Mex in Austin, a place called Curra’s on Oltorf. The food there was pretty tasty, and the beer was good, too. They have carnitas, which is pork marinated in Coke, OJ, and milk, and then fried. They also have an avocado margarita, which is definitely an acquired taste, but it is quite the popular drink there, I saw many a green slushee drink resting on tables around the restaurant.

Jess then took us to see some of the nightlife, but as it was Monday night in Austin, we had limited choices. So we ended in an area that Jess referred to as Frat City, where all the frat boys go to drink and accost women. Good times!

We were greeted, upon arriving there, by the mayor of Frat City; a collar popped polo wearing, sunglasses at night having on, backpack on cause he has to look the part, completely wasted guy, who proceeded to get in most of our faces. After a couple of words exchanged, the Mayor stumbled off into the night to accost another day.

Tod was then set upon by one of the local hooligan/roustabouts, who asked him if she could have his water. When told she could not have it, she let out a slew of epithets concerning Tod’s less than abundant gluteus, and his potentially being either gay or a female dog in heat. She was a bit hard to understand. People in Austin must truly be desperate for quality spring water.

We walked around downtown Austin for a bit and then made our way to this bar called Jackalope’s. There was super crazy art all on the walls of this place, including a few velvet paintings, you all know how I love me some velvet paintings. Good place, you should check it out if you’re in the area.

After all that time swimming and cliff jumping, we were pretty tuckered out and didn’t last much longer into the night, so we headed back to Jess’s place to crash out.