Monday, May 29, 2006

Things to See and Do in Travis Heights

Margie and I went for a tramp in the woods - but he got away. Ba-dum-pum!

Sorry about that. Oooooold joke (old enough that the term "tramp" is used to refer to a vagrant instead of, say, to Margie and me).

The coolest thing about Travis Heights is all the little tucked-away spots, so going for a walk around the neighborhood gives you a constant sense of discovery. I should have brought the camera. Margie and I spent most of the day walking through Stacy Park and scrambling around in the bed of Blunn Creek, getting our feet wet and generously providing food for needy mosquitoes.

On Alameda, right off Riverside, there's a flight of steps leading down to the creek. At the bottom is a little pool and tiny waterfall; if you ignore a bit of debris strewn about from higher waters, the spot seems remote and unspoiled and you'd have no idea you were about three minutes from downtown. You won't spot it from a car, because there isn't much of an opening in the shrubbery at the top of the steps - some of which is poison ivy, by the way, so be careful! I've never seen anyone else down there, but figure since my entire Austin readership consists of about two people, I'm not likely to create a sudden influx of traffic to the spot.

And just north of Little Stacy, by the softball field, there's this giant trifurcated tree leaning over the creek - a live oak? I don't know much about trees, but I know what I like. And I really like this tree; it's huge, and must be ancient. Two thick trunks split off and grow parallel to the creekbed; but a third juts out over the water. The third trunk is completely hollow and easily large enough to climb through without much crouching. The roots are thick and tangled - it looks like something out of The Hobbit.

Renovation is proceeding apace, I notice, at the Ivanhoe Village apartments by Little Stacy. I'd love to get a place there, though I figure since they're being fixed up so nicely the rent will be through the roof. I've been going to Little Stacy since Eric was a baby, and always thought those looked like a really nice place to live.

I love the trail through Stacy Park and the pretty old stone bridges over the creek on Monroe and Woodland. And I really like the mix of old and new houses in the neighborhood. Even most of the McMansions have character (except for that one the next street over that won the Austin Chronicle's Ugliest McMansion contest).

It's so nice to have all this within walking distance from home. Margie's thinking about moving to San Marcos; a most inconvenient location for a beloved sister, so I'm hoping our little tramp will change her mind.

Oh for gosh sakes will you stop groaning? It wasn't that bad.


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