A Day At the Springs – 07/15/17

I think the best part was how the big tornado was staged! But I am getting ahead of myself.

On Friday five TOWNies and two mini-TOWNies gathered at Zilker Park to enjoy cold water, a superb stage performance, and friendship. They were Nicole F., Judy L, Nancy V. L., Carrie L., and Marilyn F., and the minis: Abby and Emma.

Our strategic parking initiative was unnecessary as Fate smiled upon cars arriving at 10 am, 4 pm, and even 7 pm. The Barton Springs Pool was the usual stunning vista, with young people folding their bodies into elegant and inelegant dives, first-timers screaming as they lowered into the refreshing water, and fields of beauties perfecting their all-over tans.

As the day progressed the swimming pool water may have warmed up a degree due to the immersion of hot bodies, as our little group shaded under huge pecan trees on the south shore hillside, walked to Chuy’s for lunch, and intermittently dunked in the progressively cloudy springs water with thousands of others.

A couple of hours before the show began we established our blankets and chairs at the Zilker Hillside Theater and picnicked and people-watched until the tornado descended on stage.

This year’s annual summer musical (a 39 year tradition!) is “The Wizard of Oz,” and I was spellbound: I thought this show worthy of Broadway. From sets that were simple but very effective to poppies and snowflakes effected by ballet dancers, this production paints a delightful musical portrait, a timeless story in a timeless setting under the trees. We were clapping our hands in delight at the singing, at the pup Toto, and at the stagehands’ artistry.

One cannot remain in the water for long, but you cannot go to Barton Springs without sensing the roll of a thousand years’ human history, from First Nations’ drinking and cooling in the flow from caverns below to the first Europeans’ milling and bathing in garb so opposite of today’s women. It is a critical and priceless gift from the Earth to us. And the ZHT Wizard of Oz made it even more magical. We hope you will go see it yourself.


Wednesday Walk at Turkey Creek Trail – 07/12/17

Five TOWNies [BarbaraS, GailP-C, Jacque (with Sheba), Lisa (with Junko), and NicoleF (with Brave Emma)] gathered at Turkey Creek Trail in Emma Long Park to walk 3+ miles.

No one got their feet wet – except the two dogs!  Water levels all along the trail were way down.  Maidenhair ferns are stressed and brown.  A usually wet spring wasn’t flowing.  We added a bit to our usual 2.75 miles by walking into the area that connects with the park.  Brave Emma led us for awhile and marked the trail turns.  We do appreciate that she joins us!

Join us next time!  Jacque

Kayaking Lady Bird Lake – 07/12/17

There were six TOWN-Austin women AnnaE, JudyA, NicoleF, SandyO, PegG and me who kayaked Lady Bird Lake. It was a beautiful night to kayak. The skies were overcast and there was a slight breeze.We kayaked toward downtown and observed the many cranes and progress of the the expanding skyline. We could hear a bit of the music at Blues on the Green as we kayaked by Zilker Park.

Afterwards most of us went to Las Palomas and sat outside for a bite to eat. Nice to visit and end the evening with good food, Sangria and wine. The next date for kayaking on Lady Bird Lake is Wed. July 26. Linda Foss will lead. Hope you can be there!
Gail P-C

Hiking River Place Nature Trail – 07/05/17

Hey TOWNies!

Seven of us met to hike River Place Nature Trail this morning – AnnaE, Jacque (with Sheba), LisaS (with Junko), NicoleF (with daughter Emma and dad Monroe), and Sallie (with Maggie.)  We were certainly a mixed bag of hikers today.

Anna hiked ahead to the kiosk on Big View and then hiked back for 6 miles.  Sallie and Maggie left us about half way through the Canyon Trail.  The remaining five of us hiked much of the Canyon Trail, but then turned around and hiked all of Little Fern Trail.  I think we hiked about 5 miles in 160 minutes.  Have to tell you Nicole’s dad Monroe (71) was out in front of us for much of our five miles.

Much of the water is cloudy and not flowing.  It’s was hot and humid today.

We’ll do this again and hike the entire trail.  Thanks to all of you for joining me to day.  Jacque

Kayaking Lady Bird Lake – 06/28/17

Eight TOWN-Austin women, LindaF, Jacque, Judie, Gail, Suzanne, Gloria, JudyA and Anna, kayaked on Lady Bird Lake Wed, June 28, 2017. The water was calm and the temp bearable!  We had good shade along the edge as we kayaked around Red Bud Island. We saw a number of turtles, who were not frightened by us and remained lounging where they were.  We spotted a crane and a red bird that was not a cardinal. Several saw what a first looked like a snake, but turned out to be a floating stick!  Several kayaked to the dam and everyone else continued around Red Bud Island. There were a number of fishermen catching and releasing.  The traffic was light on the water.

Afterwards four of us went to Shady Grove and sat outside for dinner and refreshments. Our conversation was around cooking or not, places that delivered meals pre measured to cook, gardening and the farmers markets.  It was a beautiful evening!

Hope to see you next time on Lady Bird Lake, Wednesday, July 12.  Gail P-C

Biking Trail from Govalle Park

Eight TOWNies: me, BarbaraC, CarolC, GailP-C, Jacque, JanetFB, NicoleF & EmmaC  rode our bikes this morning.  For some this was a new location to ride.  Everyone found the park, and unloaded their bikes.

We started on the trail a few minutes past 8:30.  Thanks to the recent rain there was water in the creek, and everything was green.  We made good time, and the miles wheezed by.  Carol stopped traffic so a snake could cross, and Gail and Janet were going so fast they sped past the 5 mile marker.  When they saw the next marker they realized they had pasted it.  Barbara saw a rabbit along the way.  Everyone made it back to the parking lot a little past 10.  We got the bikes all loaded back up.  Janet shared some yellow meat water melon.

Happy and safe 4th everyone.  Janice

Wonder Woman Movie

What a blast! POW! WHAM!
I got to see this movie with my own Wonder Woman, Susan Walters!
Actually, I am a Wonder Woman, too, because I wonder why “Diana” needed a man in order to stop a German….oh, never mind.
Fun movie, especially at Alamo. Go and enjoy.

Kayaking Lady Bird Lake, June 14

Having the Rowing Dock nearly inaccessible due to traffic from Blues on the Green turned out to be no barrier!

Our paddle, which usually ranges from 4-7 TOWNies and friends this week included 12!  We welcomed first-timers Nicole F. and daughter Emma C., Carol C’s friend and neighbor Barbara C., and Linda F’s friend Suzanne R., who kindly counted the cash while the Leader was distracted.  The regulars included Carol C., Anna E., Lois K., Diane N., Gail P-C, Maria V., Gloria W.

The weather was just fine, the group made a colorful line at the bottom of the cliffs that mark the route to Redbud Island.  They zipped around the island and headed toward Barton Springs before Emma and The Leader returned to the dock.

Not everyone wanted to meet for supper, maybe because of the challenge of the overland route to Jason’s in Westlake.  General dismay at the lack of adult beverages was alleviated by grainy soft-serve ice cream, and the varied menu works for most tastes. The conversation involving Diane, Gloria, Maria, Gail, Barbara, and Carol C. included the discussion of the mathematical challenges of quilting, with Anna E. showing us some amazing photos, and general discussion of the Texas Legislature and Carol C’s work in it this year.

Join us for our next paddle on June 28th.  LindaF

TRIP REPORT – Hiking Bull Creek

Hey TOWNies!

Three of us (Jacque [with Sheba Diva], LisaS [with Junko], and NicoleF and her daughter Emma) met at Bull Creek Park to walk 4.12 miles, talk, wade through water several times, and pick-up trash and recyclables.

We enjoyed such a lovely, humid day and getting to know each other a bit better.  Junko and Sheba were wild women – running, leaping, playing in the water, and eating snacks.

I know, I know; it’s nice to be retired.


Hiking at Milton Reimers Ranch, 6/3/17

What a super turn out for our Saturday hike at the Travis County Reimers Ranch Park. Fourteen (yes, that’s right) of us gathered to hike, relax, talk, and eat lunch. JacqueA (and Sheba Diva), JaniceB, JenLaG, JennyF, JoanB, KimW, LisaS (with Junko), MarshaK, NicoleF (with daughter Emma), SallyN, SandyS, SusieA, and TaskinaM.

We met at the ranch at 9 am. First thing we all did was check out the status of the restrooms, and we found them to be more than acceptable. With SallieN as our leader, we hiked the hike-and-bike trail, enjoying views of the Pedernales River from the scenic overlooks. Lots of talking went on as we hiked and identified flowers and bushes. We continued by walking the multi-use trail to our picnic area.

Each of us brought our lunch, and Lisa, Joan, and Junko provided watermelon. More visiting went on. One thing about our membership: we are truly interested in keeping up with what’s going on with each other.  And I really like that about TOWNies!

We hiked about 4.25 miles in just over two hours. The rocky terrain was challenging in some spots as were the inclines. But we started and finished with 13 hikers — so that’s a success! One of us opted to relax and enjoy the area rather than hike — and that’s perfect too!

We’ll repeat this hike in the fall, so think about joining us!



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