We headed southwest from the Smokies toward central Texas. Let me tell you what a long terrible drive that was! Texas is, by far, the worst state to drive through. Before we hit Austin we drove by miles and miles and MILES of ranches. The first dozen were cool to see how life is in Texas, then the rest was just dragging and painful. We hit Austin at about 6pm on October 29th. It was a cool city with interesting stores and really strong Long Island Iced Teas. We walked through the city a bit and had dinner then took the short drive west to Milton Reimer’s Ranch State Park in Dripping Springs. The park was beautiful and well maintained with new facilities. What we went there for was some climbing. There is a lush green canyon in the desert park full of climbs. We found our way in and walked through flower bushes completely full of bees to find some short but fun limestone climbing. We weren’t completely thrilled with the climbing, but the climbing canyon was an awesome place to observe nature. Mike’s favorite was a black squirrel.
We also saw huge butterflies, geckos, and many kinds of birds in the pond outside of the canyon. On our trek out we came across a cave that I wanted to explore. Unfortunately it was only about 30 feet deep.
After we left the canyon we headed to Hamilton Pool, which was on the other side of the park.
We were overheated from climbing and hiking around in the desert so the frigid spring water felt amazing! At the pool we also saw a water snake. I forget what kind it was, but the ranger said it was harmless.
That night we stopped to do laundry and finish the recharge process with Ramen and Gatorade then set out for another full day of awful Texas driving, but this time through oilfields literally as far as the eye can see. We did not see any animals in those hundreds of miles, and we wondered what the land would be good for after it has been fully exploited. The speed limit was 75 there on a single lane highway without a median. I found it pretty terrifying to drive there with 18 wheelers tailgating you for going 73 mph.
Texas and Milton Reimer’s Ranch State Park were cool, but I don’t see us going back there.