Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fear and Loathing in the Hill Country

"There she blows!-there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!"
— Herman Melville (Moby Dick)

A two hour journey through rolling hills west of Austin had brought us to this moment. Looming ahead, shockingly bare and pink like a giant granite bosom, was Enchanted Rock.

After two hours packed into family hauler, our crew (Shannon, Mikey, friend Maura, and her kiddos) was definitely ready to enjoy the stunning spring day by hiking and goofing off at "The Rock." Mikey was particularly ready to go, and only a steady stream of Goldfish and pretzels kept the demon baby of doom from emerging.

Then we got our first sign that this might be an ill-fated spring break day trip. It was literally a sign announcing that the park was closed for two hours. What the velcro is this?

"And the sign said anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, Hey! what gives you the right
To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in
If God was here, he'd tell you to your face, man you're some kinda sinner"

-"Signs" by Five Man Electrical Band

I'm gonna go all Earth Father Hippy Lebowski here and say that there's something really wrong when you journey hours to commune with nature at a gigantic rock, and "The Man" turns you away at the gate because of arbitrary capacity rules.

We were not happy. The situation got even worse when we returned two hours later, only to be turned away yet again. DisEnchanted Rock has earned a spot on my lifetime ban list (the first geological formation to earn this honor), and I am in favor of chopping it up to make beautiful and easy to maintain countertops.

So, what do you do when life gives you lemons? That's right, you put them aside and go looking for some good fruit. Thus began our hopefully meandering Hill Country Consolation Prize Trip of Shame. We worked our way up through Llano and visited the bustling metropolises of Burnet and Liberty Hill.

 In the end, we had a great time together. We saw ancient cabins, raging rapids, picturesque bridges, scenic lake vistas, and a family of wild bald eagles. A day of disappointment and rage against a bathysphere formation transformed into a chilled out journey of friendship and mini-destinations.

Here are some pictures of the adventure:

We are posing with super friendly bird watchers at the bald eagle nest site near Burnet, TX
This was a pretty cool bridge at Llano

Mikey and I are enjoying an extremely safe photo location

1 comment:

Sarah said...

So much to love here:
HST props -- check!
Lebowski reference -- check!
Song lyrics to a fav -- check!
Placating a Toddler with snack food -- check!
Embracing your Elitist Hippie side -- check!
Putting Enchanted Rock 'on notice' a la Colbert -- check!