Thursday, June 27, 2013

Splish, Splash, Splat: The Blue Hole

Neither of us had any idea that people actually traveled across the country to see the very watering holes that have been hiding under our noses our entire lives.
The Blue Hole is only 4 miles from Jacob's Well and has underwent some beautification changes over the last few years to help preserve and protect it's special qualities, just like the passionate advocates of Jacob's Well are in the process of doing now.  
The amount of visitors are limited per day, but once you've paid to get in, you're free to come and go as you please for the duration of the park's hours. 
Fed by it's neighboring artesian spring, even during the drought days when so many lakes and rivers in the Austin area were dry to the bone, The Blue Hole was able to stay open. 
A beautiful grassy courtyard greets your gaze as you fist walk through the gates. 
And then your breath is stolen by the crystal clear beauty of the deep blue/green tinted waters, made possible by the continuation of limestone and shale lining the creek's bed.
I literally stared into Cypress Creek for a solid 5 minutes before I could be a normal person again and look away. Did someone put dye in this water???
Once I snapped out of my hypnotic state, I decided to join in on all the fun the kids were having and swing into the water. Up the gigantic old knobby Cypress I climbed, then I looked to the guy handing me the ring I'd hang onto and said, "I've never done this before. Have any advice?"
"It's easy," he said, "Just hang on tight!"
I did just that, and pushed off the trunk of the tree, hoping for the best. 
I was able to hang on long enough to feel like I was being suspended in the air before I plummeted, my left thigh slapping the surface of the lagoon-like water so hard it left a whopping red whelp, leaving me a rash of petechia from the minor trauma as a souvenir.

"Your turn!" I yelled to Patrick as I swam back to him.
A little timid, I think from just recently breaking free from the swimmers ear that was threatening to huant his day minutes before, he was content with jumping off the bank ledge.
He leisurely swam out under the canopy of Cypress trees that so elegantly draped over the water and waited for me to join him with the floaty.

If you know anything about Texas, you know it's pretty darn hot outside right now, but with this actually being the first real weekend of summer, the heat's full potential hasn't even been touched.  
And given the fact that our entire day was spent protected by the harsh sun in the shade, we actually got a little chilly and had to take a break from the water every now and then. 
Our sitting rock was fantastic evidence to remind us that the ocean once inhabited the area.
After a little R&R, I was ready for some action again. 
You know that feeling when your gut tells you the situation is a little off, your instincts kick in and throw out a warning signal of possible impending doom, but your determination to carry on wins the argument? Yeah.....
I knew the second I wrapped my fingers around the slippery wet metal ring suspended from the branch by a heavy chain that my hand strength probably wouldn't be able to sustain the weight of my body against the pull of gravity this time, but I jumped anyway. 
My fleeting grip was so pitiful, there was nothing to show for the stinging water up my nose and the base of my bathing suit top around my neck but a picture of a splash. It happened that fast.  
At least my first time on the ring was a little more brag worthy.....but aside from the embarrassing fall, it was still fun. 
A small detail no one may mention about the water in this area is it's so hard (I'm guessing it picks up a ton of minerals along it's journey through layers of rock), compared to the slimy soft water we're used to, after you dunk your head and your skin air dries, everything feels tight and dry like your face has just been shrink wrapped. I hated the feeling and craved lotion, but Patrick said he liked it because it made it him feel young.....
We did some exploring on the hiking trails around the park and found the cutest little ampitheater.
After getting our fill of admiring nature, we moved on to the next adventure on our list with crossed fingers that there'd be a spot for us to set up our tent.
Famished from playing in the water, we almost stopped in the charming downtown strip of Wimberly to replenish our stomachs, but out of indecisiveness kept on driving, which is when we found this irresistable BBQ stand.
Amazing. Cheap. Fast. 


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