Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walking Austin, Part 2 -- Sat., Feb. 16

For our second 10K walk, we drove into downtown and started our Lady Bird Lake Walk YRE (year round event) walk at a hotel lobby. The Walk Box had the walk route, start card and envelope to mail my $3.00 for the walk. I also stamped my Volksmarch books because I walk for credit (pins and badges).

From the start, this walk was really good. (Well, except for the old guy with the shopping cart on the sidewalk yelling at people at the top of his lungs. "G-d damn" this and "G-d damn" that. We don't know what he was so angry about. Mostly a mental problem, we think.)  We passed by Palmer Event Center which is where all the marathoners were picking up their packets for the race tomorrow morning.

On the back side of the event center were gorgeous views of downtown Austin. The day was bright, sunny, and 67 degrees with a cool breeze blowing.

Downtown Austin skyline.
The Army had some vehicles on display in front of the event center. People could climb in them.

From the back of the event center, we entered Barton Park. They are getting ready for the marathon tomorrow.

In Barton Park we had more expansive views of the Austin Skyline, walked to the top of observation hill and past the Liz Carpenter fountains.

Liz Carpenter fountains.

At the top of Observation Hill.
Liz Carpenter fountains.
Kayaking Lady Bird Lake...see the dog on the yellow kayak?
So many people were out today. It was absolutely amazing. The local population in Austin loves getting outdoors. We saw many walkers, bike riders, kayakers, canoe-ers and stand-up paddleboarders. At times the trail was downright crowded. Before walking across the trail to take photos, I had to look both ways to make sure I wasn't going to get mowed down by a bike rider!

On one of the pedestrian bridges over Lady Bird Lake was a ghost bike. I had never seen one before. Here's a photo and the description.

Ghost bike. Share the road!

After being on the south side of the lake, the pedestrian bridge was our footpath to the north side of the lake. Here are some photos from the pedestrian bridge.

After crossing the bridge, we saw some very pretty flowers on a bush. Does anyone recognize these? (Thank you, Colleen, for identifying this bush as mountain laurel. We did not have these in Portland, Oregon.)

Mountain laurel.
What kind of flowers are blooming here? Mountain laurel.
Bob and I were getting into Austin's vibrant vibe. Whole families were out enjoying the day. Lots of people were walking their dogs. You can tell this is an outdoor-oriented town. And why not with views like these and weather like this?

A greater scaup, I believe.

We walked 2K on the north side of the lake, then crossed back over the lake on another pedestrian bridge. Views from the bridge reminded me of the Willamette River in Oregon.

Greater scaup flock, or raft.
This post is getting pretty long so I'm going to add Part 3 to this.