First full day in Austin

2/20/22

Today I got out and explored west Austin on my bike.

First, I had to visit Rabbit Food Grocery, the all vegan grocery store here. The location had changed since I last visited Austin; now it’s next to a much-loved vegan restaurant, The Beer Plant, which I may or may not also end up visiting during my stay here. I stocked up on some treats for myself and others at Rabbit Food, including some locally made chocolate bars.

Then I continued north to Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve. This was an interesting place, containing both hiking trails (some much steeper and rockier than I had anticipated) and manicured gardens and buildings… and even a resident flock of peacocks!

After exploring the park for an hour or so, I decided to climb a bit more of a hill on my bike to reach Covert Park at Mount Bonnell. One of my hosts had mentioned this place as a good spot for views, if I didn’t mind some climbing. Sure enough, the road was pretty steep for a little while. When I got to the park, I discovered a very long stone staircase to the top. I did want to see the view, so I huffed it up the stairs carrying my bike, first in its rideable form, and then folded up, when I decided that would be more efficient.

I made it to the top, but found myself chagrined to discover that everyone in Austin apparently had had the same idea. The small area at the crest of the hill teemed with people, so it was hard to really take in the view or relax much. There again, the terrain was quite rocky. Rather than carry the bike back down the stairs, I rolled it as best I could downhill to the parking lot, but the footing was rough and quite uneven at times.

Afterward, it was a pretty smooth downhill ride for most of my way back. I did stop for groceries at the flagship Whole Foods location in downtown Austin, and passed some pretty sights on the way there; I stopped for a scenic rest on a bench along the popular riverfront path.

The temperatures are to reach into the 80s for the next two days, which will possibly be the highest temperatures I have experienced in the entire five months of my journey so far. I need to enjoy the warmth as best I can, because the mercury seems set to drop precipitously again shortly thereafter, and we might even see some rain. Never a dull moment in Texas when it comes to navigating the weather!

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