How To Give A 2 Year Old Boy A Haircut Discover Your Back Yard

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Discover Your Back Yard

Last year, with a travel budget just short of a family ski trip, we ditched a summer trip to Florida (sorry sis) to check out some old familiar neighborhood activities instead. Well, they know me anyway, since I grew up visiting these recreational areas several times throughout my childhood. We started with the assumption that we would head into the heart of the hill country and make my mother’s house the starting point for our day trips to the great swimming holes of Central Texas. With the help of several websites and the book Splash Across Texas by Chandra Moira Beal, we found our targets. We decided on Hamilton Pool, Krause Springs, Guadalupe River, Comal and Barton Springs as our natural swimming holes.

When the chosen time arrived one Friday night we packed up and headed out of Hot Houston Town towards home base in Austin, not far from the Mopac (Loop 1) Express in the Northwest Hills. We set up camp in 3 spare bedrooms that my mom can offer to any wayward member of the clan – after the requisite hugs and greetings and some obligatory catch-up talk. Bright and early Saturday morning I got up and set out on my usual journey to find the best Latte in the Hill Country. Which is often a Starbucks, but this time I gave the little spot across from the running mecca of Murchison High School. It was a very pleasant surprise to find a great latte without all the fuss. After a quick haircut at my favorite Haircut Store in Austin, the family headed to Hamilton’s pool.

When we got to Hamilton Pool just after noon, we found that the parking lot was already full and they were only letting cars in while other cars were leaving. Seeing that we were the fourth or fifth car in line, we turned around and headed for the little known private swimming hole of Krause Springs.

Due to some great last minute planning and some last minute problems at work, we left all the information and maps we downloaded from the internet on my desk at home. So, using my male tracking, I brought us into general proximity and let my wife ask for directions at the gas station on the corner to finally fix our target.

Indeed, it is their backyard

Krause Springs is Elton and Jane Krause’s backyard playground. The Krause families took over this beautiful site and opened it to the public slowly building improvements over the years as time and money allowed.

There are 32 springs in the camp, which are equipped with connections for campers. Two sources feed a 70′ x 20′ pool at a rate of 70 gallons per minute at a temperature of about 70 degrees. The springs never slow down, even during severe drought.

Below the house and man-made spring pool is a swimming hole in the stream, lined with tall cypress trees and a waterfall that comes over a fern-covered cliff.

Krause Springs is west of Austin off TX 71 and Spur 191 in Spicewood. Take Texas Highway 71 west from Austin, cross the Pedernales River, drive 7 miles, turn right on Spur 191 at the Exxon station, right on County Road 404 and look for a sign on the left that directs you to this private park.

Fallen Grottos – Hamilton Pool

Day two brought us back to Hamilton Pool. This time we arrived early and managed to beat the crowd. The pool and grounds, however, are never overcrowded thanks to the effects of the Travis County Parks Department at the gate. Since being taken over by the state in partnership with Travis County, it has transformed from an old-fashioned wild and crazy swimming hole where bikers, frat boys and other misfits partied into a family preserve and swimming excursion. Hamilton Pool is a collapsed grotto with a 45-foot waterfall that cascades into a swimming pool and flows less than a mile downstream into the Pedernales River. We hiked the Hamilton Creek Trail and rock jumped over the Pedernales from the beach.

Day 3 took us to the Guadalupe River – Canoeing down the Guadalupe we rented two inflatable canoes from Jaks after checking out a few repairmen on our ride up the river. We got a map of the river from one of the repair shops in Gruene (locally pronounced Green) We are trying to find the canoe drop. Most river outfitters rent tubes that make lazy descents of the best Central Texas river waters. Everyone told us it would take us all day to get where we wanted to go. We kept wondering what they were trying to point out. The Guadalupe trip was done in 3 hours, but my daughter stopped paddling after 30 minutes, so we decided to call the river experience over for the day. My son managed to negotiate a small breaching dam without tipping over, so he bragged about it for days. The real trick was to get all three of us in the other canoe into the same gap and keep the drinks in the cooler.

On the fourth day we did Schlitterbaun – Well, that’s all you’ve heard about. A large commercial water park located along the shortest river in the United States. Schlitterbaun differs in several ways in that there are three parks in two different locations that you can reach by hopping on the convenient Schlitterbaun shuttle. West Park differs from most I’ve seen in that the water is pumped out of the Comal which is cool and refreshing and all the rides are tube rides just like the original New Braunfels attraction filmed at Landa Park. The Master Blaster, which was named the best water park ride in America for several years in a row, was a water slide. We waited in the Master Blaster line for over 2 hours and all for 90 seconds of excitement. The kids loved the rides, and we really enjoyed the family being together, so some adventure is a little kitsch.

The Great American Shopping Adventure On the fifth day, my wife went shopping at the outlet mall, and my son and I went the other way. It turned out to be the real highlight for my son and I on this trip – Texas Ski Ranch. The ski ranch has a lift lake that is perfect for beginners and experts alike. The schedule gives the rider the perfect opportunity to learn and improve new skills and tricks. My son and I learned how to wake board better without the hassle of getting up at 6am for 30 minutes of perfect water. At the ski ranch, the water has always been perfect for wake boarding.

All in all, don’t take for granted what you have yet to discover in areas close to home. Just because you pass it every day on your way to work doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring. Get out and talk to local outdoor sporting goods and equipment stores. What you find may surprise you!

For more information on family adventure travel, visit http://www.advenquest.com

Website: http://www.advenquest.com

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