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2012-01-14 - Lady Bird Lake Loops

~21 miles @ ~9.8 min/mi

Son Robin and I fly to Austin Texas to visit family on Friday the 13th, and the first order of business on a frosty Saturday morning is to do penance in advance for all the salty, greasy Tex-Mex food that I plan to consume during the next four days. On the way to Town Lake (now called "Lady Bird Lake") I pass a neighborhood convenience store whose marquee reads:

CHICKEN WINGS GIZZARD LIVER BURRITOS FISH

A bit farther down Springdale Rd "Mr. Catfish" is closed at 7am. Decorative lights are shining, however, at "Planet K" on Cesar Chavez Blvd. From the outside it looks like a dance hall, but apparently it's a local chain "featuring the best selection of imported cigarettes, pipes, vaporizers, incense, underground books, erotica & more". Hmmm!

Country music FM station KASE plays the catchy song "All Over Me" by Josh Turner. The refrain lodges in my head along with the tune for the first few miles: "Bring on the sunshine, bring on the good times, girl let me look at you, / Jump in the front seat, kick up your bare feet, honey let your hair down too". Ducks cruise near shore, dabbling and diving for breakfast. Dog walkers and training groups of runners greet me. Later some say, "Hi again!" upon our next encounter. A slightly-gibbous moon settles toward the western horizon as beams from the rising sun catch the tops of downtown Austin skyscrapers. Graffiti on the pillars of Longhorn Dam advise:

RELEASE YOUR EGO MATERIALISM IGNORANCE AND REALIZE YOUR SOUL!

You can almost read tops of some of the words on the current Google Maps street-view; perhaps I garbled them in my notes on 2010-09-22 - Lady Bird Lake Loop, or perhaps they've been repainted and changed over the years? GPS trackfile splits are encouragingly brisk: 10:42 (potty break) ⇒ 9:52 ⇒ 9:36 ⇒ 10:09 ⇒ 10:01 ⇒ 10:42 (water bottle refill) ⇒ 9:37 ⇒ 9:16 ⇒ 9:21 ⇒ 10:11 (another potty break) ⇒ 9:38 ⇒ 9:23 ⇒ 9:17 ⇒ 10:23 (water refill) ⇒ 9:27 ⇒ 9:24 ⇒ 9:23 ⇒ 9:30 ⇒ 9:30 ⇒ 9:33 ⇒ 10:03 with that last including a final back-and-forth crossing of the dam to add a quarter mile and reach a round number on the odometer.

^z - 2012-01-24

I like this!