August 9th, 2014
Hike: Greenbelt – Zilker to Mopac, Austin, TX
Weather: mid-80s, warm, sunny
Length: 8.61 miles
For my first hike back in Austin, I thought what better than the Greenbelt and afterwards a dip in Barton Springs? I had originally only planned to go about 4 or 5 miles, but I first reached Gus Fruh and decided to go to Mopac and 360. Then when I reached 360 and wanted to keep going. I finally forced myself to turn around shortly after because I wasn’t prepared, or in good enough hiking shape, to go much further. I do want to do the full length of the entire Greenbelt (14 miles or so) at some point in the future.
Court went to Dallas for one of her classmate’s birthdays, so it was just me. I hit the trail around 8am and finished up in a little more than 3 hours. There were quite a few bikers, but relatively few hikers for a Saturday in August. The creek is almost totally dry again. The trail was mostly shaded and the heat wasn’t too bad that early in the morning. I saw a few new parts of the trail that I hadn’t seen before, including walking underneath 360.
With the crowded trail there was no real wildlife, though I did see one rabbit as he hopped off the trail. At one point on the way back, I saw a bench that was dedicated to a woman who had died in 2008 and the weird part was when I looked up in the trees near the bench. There was a neon green life-sized mannequin with no features other than nipples. Instead of a face on the tiny head there were letters that spelled ‘hi’. Oh Austin, I missed you.
There was some interesting graffiti underneath the 360 bridge and also a couple of stone benches on the edge of the creek that looked like maybe they were supposed to be part of a dock or something, but were never completed. Maybe just benches. Not sure.
Barton Springs afterward felt amazing. I think that needs to be a new post-Greenbelt hike ritual. Glad to be back in Austin.