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Road Trip

Day 10

Jennifer Alden (Friday, January 19, 2001)

We woke up at the Ranch House Motel. We had a great breakfast (included in the price of the room -- we definitely recommend the Ranch House) and hit the highway. It took a couple of tries to actually get onto I-20, since the signs in the area are pretty ambiguous, and you have to swerve across oncoming traffic to get into the merge lane.

We took I-20 to Abilene then took 183 south towards Austin. We had been expecting a repeat of yesterday's long, boring drive but 183 was one of the best roads we've seen so far. It has a 70 MPH limit most of the way, except for several cute little towns where you have to slow to 45 or so. The scenery was outstanding. In the town of Zephyr we saw some great cars for sale and a cool fire truck.

183 took us all the way to Austin and when we got there we went first to the University of Texas. There are lots of great buildings on the campus (and some cool funky stores off campus). After we'd looked around there, we went to the Governor's mansion. George W. should be moving to DC tomorrow, but we didn't see a U-Haul or anything. We went to the Texas State Capitol, which holds a visitors' center and an O Henry exhibit. (Us goofing around at the Capitol.) We were pointed towards the 6th Street shopping area, but the map we got had a reference to a bat colony on it, so we decided to check that out first.

Austin has one of the worlds largest urban bat colonies (1.5 million) living under the Congress Street Bridge. Near the bridge are all sorts of bat information kiosks where we learned that bats are rarely rabid, that they don't get tangled in your hair, and that they eat something like their own weight in mosquitos each night, which made them Jennifer's new best friends. Sadly, the bats head to Mexico each year in October, so we didn't see a single bat.

We then went to 6th Street, which turned out to be five blocks of bars and tattoo and piercing parlors. There is probably a lot going on there later at night, but we were there just after sundown and there were only a few happy-hour people around.

Dinner was at Threadgill's, an Austin landmark. Delicious southern cooking. If you are ever in Austin, eat there.

After dinner, we hit the road for about three more hours. We had just passed through Houston when we stopped at a Best Western for the night.

Texas Capitol 2.jpg University of Texas 2.jpg Goofin 3.jpg Lawrence at George Ws.jpg For sale.jpg
Fire truck.jpg No bats.jpg Garb a GoGo.jpg


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