We headed west and then north out of Austin, Texas, driving through the rolling hills and green countryside that, except for the temperature, reminded me very much of western Pennsylvania and home.
Janice was driving, I was riding shotgun, and Dot and Lynn were stretched out in the back seat. It was Saturday afternoon and we were headed for Lake Travis, a beautiful body of water with 65 miles of shoreline.
We had spent the early part of the afternoon in a beautiful art center, a number of galleries within a gallery, featuring work by Austin-area artists, many of whom had their studios in the site.
It was one of those times when you are grateful that you do not have your checkbook, or have placed yourself on a limited budget as we had, because a lot of Christmas shopping could have happened there if we were not careful.
Delicately crafted handmade jewelry, intriguing abstract wood sculptures, amazingly lifelike portraits painted by a lawyer/painter, and some fantasyistic photographs were just some of the pieces on display.
With the sun beginning to show signs of fading away, though, we wanted to commune with nature for a while before darkness came down. Folks had told us that a visit to Hippie Hollow was a must, but after dropping by there, we ended up spending more time at Windy Point. We got a beautiful view of the sunset from this area, looking out to the west across this wonderfilled body of water.
After the sun went down, we spent some time visiting at the camping area with some Austin scuba divers who were having a joint campout. The people who were trying for night-dive certification were having an underwater pumpkin carving contest (this was the weekend before Halloween).
Well, we still had to change clothes and get back to Austin for some night life, so we got into our “evening dress” and headed down to Sixth Street fo’ a Cajoon dinner at the Boiling Pot Restuuraant.
It was pretty great, except that we had to use our hands and I was with some ladies who didn’t know what to do with a crawfish. (Yes, you can do more than just bait hooks with ’em.)
Yeah, I loved the crab best of all, but if my tummy could handle the spiciness, the crawfish would have been my favorite.
We finished up with Austin’s live music scene, including piano bars, blues and jazz.
There were also artists doing airbrush paintings while you watched, and jewelers displaying their work on the sidewalk.
What a road trip.
Most of my readers have probably been to Austin, but it was a first for Janice and I.
The people were great — not at all like some big-city folks.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University.