5/12/15: a little reminder about how wonderful the Texas Hill Country is! First published on 6/6/13
I took a little trip this morning in order to hike to Hamilton Pool. Hamilton Pool is an historic swimming hole, about an hour outside of Austin. Hamilton Creek empties into the Pedernales River, spilling over limestone outcroppings to create a 50 foot waterfall. In Cozumel, this would be known as a cenote. I thought it would be worth a look, and I was absolutely correct.
The pool is about a mile from the entrance to the trail. It is the Hill Country, so it is up and down, up and down. The path is rocky and uneven with plenty of gnarly roots. I had no trouble on it, actually, I love nature and I love paths like this. I am quite surefooted on uneven surfaces, it is only on smooth flat ground that I fall…or smooth steps. Hamilton Pool is one of those places where generations of people have enjoyed the “swimming hole”. The water is cool and green, and looks inviting, but sadly, there are times when one cannot swim because of high bacteria levels. Today was one of those days.
After the hike, I could see why you would want a swim. Whew. So I checked out the caverns and the pool, and enjoyed some time just watching and listening to the waterfall. It is nice and cool under the roof of the outcropping. It was nice to actually sit behind the falls as well.
I headed back after 20 minutes at the pool (since there was no swimming I didn’t stay for a long time) and somehow, I missed the turn off to the main path back to the parking lot. Instead, I hiked an additional mile along the Pedernales River. I have no idea how I could have missed the main path….but I was in unfamiliar territory, and I thought, great, I can see myself lost, wandering along the river to the pool and back again for hours. I can hear Randy and the kids already, another “kooky” mom story! Fortunately, I managed to find the path again and headed up. And I mean UP. The Hill Country is very hilly indeed! So I did over 3 miles of up and down terrain. I can hear some snickering that 3 miles is not much distance. But hey, I am over 50 (I cannot believe that, it is astonishing to me) and I have a few health issues. I have an erector set in my spine, 8 pedicle screws and rods holding it all together, so I am pretty happy with my hike this morning. Of course, diving or snorkeling would be better, but the water didn’t look too clear, and I admit that freshwater fish are kind of boring. Most of my trips tend to be near diving, but not freshwater. I have been diving in the cenotes, with incredible geological sights, but there are no fish at all in cenotes, so I only did it once. Kind of boring. I need action! Anyway, if you are near Austin, Tx or in the Hill Country, take a hike to Hamilton Pool. It is a beautiful place to relax.
Evening: Tonight we headed to the Oasis, one of the most popular restaurants on Lake Travis. The views are panoramic! On the way home, we ran into some of our neighbors! I LOVE wild life!