Paul and I decided to take some time exploring Austin. One of the reasons we travel is to run in new and interesting settings. The Barton Creek trail did not disappoint. We left the farm in the morning and headed over to the park which is called Zilker Metropolitan Park. The park has a humongous spring fed pool which is home to plenty of fish and also endangered salamanders. I had a 13 mile run scheduled to do and the trail was about 7 1/2 miles long. We planned on an easy out and back run. Perfect, except that the trail was anything but easy. The trail started out flat and the sun was low in the sky. It wound along the side of Barton Creek which has cliffs for rock climbers, swim areas, and mountain bike trails which connect to running paths. Since it was Sunday we met many people at the start of the trail and fewer as we ran on. There are places where families came down to cool off or take a nice Sunday stroll. Paul and I zigzagged our way down the paths and climbed up rocky bits and enjoyed the dirt and smooth parts. By the time we got back to the park we were both pretty tired. A cool 62 degree (all year long) swim in the pool was just the right thing. We didn’t swim for very long but sat on the side of a hill soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the sheer delight of an amazingly beautiful day in February.
It seemed like much of Austin was in agreement as the park was pretty busy but not overcrowded. Another plus was that at this time of year, the pool, park and facilities (solar heated showers, bathrooms, children’s museum ) are all free!After we had our fill of the park we decided to get some food and fill our bellies. We stopped off on South Congress Avenue. It was Sunday around 5 pm and the street was still hopping. Most of the stores were open and there was an art market with food carts. We stopped for some drinks and appetizers at a recommended place Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. Nice open air bar and vibe. We walked a bit, checked out some stores and then had dinner at Gueros. Tasty albeit a bit touristy. We then headed back to the quiet sounds (or not so quiet) of birds on the farm and slept well. Good day, as they say.