We finally managed to drag ourselves away from the comfort and hospitality of Brad and Lynn’s and made our way to Austin Texas.
We went straight to Sixth St. because that’s where everyone told us to go but it was still pretty early in the day so not much was open.
We walked around for a bit and then decided to hit the Internet to find some of the places to go to experience Austin.
The first place that caught our eye was the Hope Art Gallery.
This is a lot of underdeveloped foundations that have become a place for graffiti artists to go to practice their craft.
Maria and I are both fans of graffiti art, when done well anyway and this place had plenty of beautiful artwork.
It reminded me of a place that used to be in New York not far from us called Five Pointz that was a graffiti mecca, but was sadly torn down in the name of “progress” (aka the pursuit of more money).
My big pet peeve with the Hope Gallery was that there were some beautiful works of art and then someone would come along and lazily write a tag over it or do something else to destroy it, this causes the place to be an ever changing gallery which is good but I still feel for the artists that put such time, energy and heart into their drawing for it to be destroyed.
After the gallery we hung out for a bit in the van (waiting for the clock to strike 6pm so we could park for free) and then pulled up to this nice little park on the water.
We left the van and took a walk down Rainey St. (we were told it was the more laid back version of Sixth but still great for live music) and stopped at a food truck, which seems to be huge in Austin because there are food trucks everywhere, and got some Indian food then headed to bar to get some drinks and listen to music.
We spent the night at that park but when the morning came it was a mad dash to find a bathroom. We hit a number of gas stations with no luck before finally hitting a small café.
After our morning routines were completed and we felt somewhat human again we headed out to Barton Springs Park, which has a spring fed pool, of course we picked the one day of the week that it was closed for algae removal.
We spent sometime working on Houdini, tinting the rear windows, before meeting up with someone we met through Couchsurfing.
We met up with Vanessa at a nice little restaurant on the water. Vanessa, a college student and future nutritionist, had an amazing adventure of her own recently, she rode her bicycle from Anchorage, Alaska to Austin, Texas to help raise both money and awareness for childhood cancer (which is surprisingly one of the least funded).
She was also very interested in our trip because she is planning on doing something similar (in fact she was meeting with someone later that night to possibly purchase the vehicle for her trip).
Vanessa also brought us to a nice mountaintop view before bringing us back to her place where we hung out and got to know each other. She was also nice enough to allow us to use her shower.
We said our goodbyes and then we headed back to the city and went to The Elephant Room for some awesome live jazz…and maybe a couple of really good beers.
Afterwards, we headed back to the same park we stayed at the night before but this time we explored a bit better.
See the park has this huge rusted metal structure, which both Maria and I assumed was some sort of art installation…when we actually walked around it to the other side we realized it was a bathroom and even had a public shower as well, all that running around in the morning doing the peepee dance for nothing. Oh well, time to move west.