Local to Austin, Zen

Hiking the Greenbelt in Austin

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One of the things I want to do more of in 2015 is to get back out in nature. We’ve been on the kids’ schedules for so long that I feel like we’re on the verge of turning a corner and getting out of the house with more regularity.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on the Greenbelt for a real hike. The last time I can think of starting from the Twin Falls access point (Mopac frontage road at 360) was back when we had our dog Boo Boo 3 years ago. Also, in those 3 years, Austin’s population has exploded, and every time I passed that trailhead, there would be cars lined up practically to Barton Creek Mall.

On one of my half days off from work, I filled up a water bottle, put on my hiking shoes and headed out. It had been raining the days before, so the trail was a little soggy in spots, but there was SO MUCH WATER flowing. Remember when I did the yoga and hike along the Greenbelt near Zilker, and we were climbing over boulders since it was dried out? That’s what’s typical year-round. It was nice to see water in this horrible drought we’ve been facing.

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Also because of the rain, not many people were hiking along the trail. It was a little odd to be so secluded, but it was one of those days that I really needed peace and quiet and to reflect on my own thoughts.

I came upon this huge oak tree and a single boulder after passing a ton of brush. I enjoyed  a few moments of meditation, some cleansing breaths and listened to the water and critters nearby.

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The hike out to Sculpture Falls always feels like forever. I think it’s 2-ish miles from the access point. But when you get there, it’s so worth the hike. You’re facing cliffs and greenery, and there’s the soothing sound of the water flowing over rocks that are carved smooth and with little nooks and crannies.

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I sat and savored it for as long as I could before I needed to start my return hike. By the time I got back to Twin Falls, my Fitbit was buzzing with excitement for surpassing my 10,000 steps goals. It was a perfect 3 hours. I can’t wait for my boys to be old enough to join me on hikes. I’d take the 3 year old, but frankly, there are still some spots that I’m not 100% comfortable with myself. Maybe in another year or two, when I can trust that he’ll heed caution. 🙂

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