On Sunday, I fled the ranch for the comforts of an Austin hotel, then went out for another night of drinking and bar-hopping. By Monday morning, I was ready for some r&r. A friend who lives in town took us all out to Krause springs, an absolutely delightful swimmin’ hole about 45 minutes outside of town in the Texas hill country. I never expected to discover such a paradise in this part of Texas, but I’m glad I did.
As lovely as the planted gardens were, we were there to swim in some springs, and swim we did. At the top of the hillside was this manmade spring pool, filled with clear cold water. Worth a quick dip, but I was more excited to get to the natural spring pool below.
After a long and refreshing swim, I took a short walk around the area, to look at the display of wildflowers that have been brought out by the recent rains. The wildflowers have been pretty incredible the past couple of days; mostly I’ve seen them in great masses along the roadside as I’ve gone zooming past. It was nice to go out and see them at a slower speed.
The outflow from the springs wound through an amazing forest of ancient cypress trees larger than any cypress I’ve ever seen. Years ago, I saw some impressive ones in Corkscrew Swamp sanctuary in south Florida, but these were even more amazing.
The cypress on the left was almost as big around as a redwood tree at the base. Like a redwood, the center of the tree had been burned out from multiple forest fires over the years, and only the living part just below the bark remained.
After another swim in the clear upper pool, I walked a bit more through the cypress forest before heading out. This was the largest of the trees I came across; far larger than any trees I expected to find in Texas. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with Krause springs, and I expect that on my next trip out this way, I’ll be bringing the family and pitching my tent in their campground for a day or three.
Just a couple of miles back toward Austin, we stopped at Opie’s BBQ, a famous local culinary establishment where every night they smoke up a massive pile of beef, chicken, pork, and sausage; they open at 11, and stay open until all the meat is gone. Although somewhat off-topic, I just had to share this image of the mouth-waterin’ carnage we encountered.