Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
I got up fairly early (for me) and decided that it was time to take a walk as I haven’t been walking in a couple of weeks. By the time that I got out of the house, it was almost 11:30 am but I headed off towards Bastrop having already decided that McKinney Roughs was probably the best place as it had a lot of shelter from the sun.
I had not been following the forecast for the day knowing that it would be hot anyway I looked at it. It was not until I texted my friend BJ asking her if she wanted to accompany me did I realize just how hot it was going to be. She texted back to say that I really shouldn’t walk today as it was going to be almost a hundred degrees and the temperature could easily top the current record high of 97 degrees with Heat index values of 108 to 114. She couldn’t make it anyway which meant walking alone which is probably not advisable with the temperatures going that high.
That did it for me and as by now, I was already almost in Bastrop, I decided instead to drive around for a bit and as usual, listen to one of the stories from Audiobooks. So, I took off turning onto country roads that I had never driven before with a view to different scenery although to be sure, in Texas the scenery does not change very much over a short distance even if it is several miles. I did discover a lot of different areas around Bastrop that I hadn’t seen before before ending back up at my house. Along the way, I filled my truck at the gas station in Bastrop that is always quite a bit cheaper than anywhere else around and of course, a stop at Starbucks for the inevitable Latte.
In all of that, I only found one place that was putting on a show and worthy of parking. I got out of my truck and took a couple of pictures and then started to walk towards the center of the stream but almost fell ass over tea kettle as my feet slipped out from under me on the slippery surface. Luckily, my athletic reflexes came into play and I was able to stay on my feet but I gave up on walking to the center of the stream preferring instead to get back in my truck to take the pictures.
With the weather as hot as it is here in Central Texas, I often drive around in my air conditioned car, usually out in the countryside, listening to Audiobooks. I have probably put half of the 50,000 miles on the car doing just this. I like to explore the back roads and lanes off the beaten track and it is amazing the things I have come across. Mostly, I am out to find great pictures to post in my blog or to find yet another story but a part of me is on the lookout for that perfect 10 acres way out in the back of beyond as I still harbor thoughts of that little cabin in the woods. To be truthful, I am not sure what I would do if on one of these drives, I came across such an area that was cheap enough to be affordable to my limited resources. Would I take the plunge and spend my remaining years building a cabin and all that goes along with it or is that just pie in the sky and the dreams of an old man, not smart enough to realize how old he really is? In my case, the mind and spirit are very willing but sadly, the flesh is weak and I would probably kill myself with all of that work. At least I would die happy and be out in the countryside.
Yesterday was no exception as I chose to drive around in the Dripping Springs area on the west side of town. I found a couple of roads that I had not been on before and it is really surprising how often I come across collections of homesteads seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Some may be a collection of trailers, others are small houses with an acre of land and usually surrounded by broken down old cars denoting the status of the occupants who are probably honest hard working individuals trying to make a living. There are even larger houses of two or three thousand square feet set on several acres of land with manicured front lawns and large wrought iron gateways. the splendour of which is designed to outdo the neighbor the next estate over. There are all types to see when you get off the beaten track.
As I drove around, I found myself suddenly faced with this beautiful panoramic view as the landscape suddenly dropped off in front of me. I stopped quickly just to admire the view and luckily for me, nothing was coming behind me. I noticed an overlook to my left and pulled into it. Apart from the magnificent view, the first thing I noticed was the collection of beer cans and whisky bottles strewn all over the place. Quite obviously, this is a popular place for the local kids to park and drink beer and probably make out with their girlfriends. I could not help wondered how many young girls had drunk their first beers as they entered this grown up world then had lost their virginity to the young men’s advances, helped along by the booze. I wonder too, how many future generations have been conceived here.. This is the sort of place that is in all of the horror movies where bad things happen. Luckily for me, it was 4:00 pm in the afternoon and broad daylight so I felt pretty safe. Even so, it did conjure up some memories of some of the movies I had seen as I looked nervously around.
I got the camera out and was blown away with the incredible view in front of me. I could see for miles and miles as the landscape dropped away. Even facing the sun, I was still able to take some good shots. The panorama at the top is made up of four different pictures and pretty much shows the entire vista. The blue skies and scattering of clouds really brought color to the scene. The other pictures below are individual views of what was in front of me although, they don’t really do it justice. I didn’t have my wide angled or telescopic lense with me which would really have enhanced the shots.
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