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Austin

October 19, 2013

Texas – Saturday, October 12

I headed into Austin to start the day with some walking, and got out in the South Congress Street area because it looked like a fun place to walk, and wasn’t really downtown. I heard later it’s call Soco (combining South and Congress), and it was a lively area on a Saturday morning with lots of funky little shops, eateries and people. I had to park quite a ways away, but Tula and I didn’t mind the walk. We walked all around the Soco area, and went into some of the little neighborhoods with their small tidy homes. Then I put Tula back in the van and walked a little more and actually went into a couple shops. There were some interesting stores, but the most amazing one was the cowboy boot shop. I could smell the leather even before I walked through the doors, and the whole place smelled like leather – it smelled even better than some of the food stands I’d been walking by! I can’t imagine the amount of inventory they carry – the boots looked like they sold for $300-$800, and there were countless pairs on display, not to mention leather purses, belts, wallets, and still more boots! It was too rich for my blood, but sure was fun to look around. I went back and got Tula and we walked around another part of the neighborhood, and then I needed a bite to eat. I didn’t want to leave Texas without having some good tacos, and I had noticed a taco place that always seemed to have a long line of people waiting to eat, and finally by mid-afternoon there was no more line, so I was able to sit at the outdoor patio with Tula. It felt good to sit down in the shade – it was still really hot and muggy out. I ended up sharing my table with a couple other people, and one of them was an Austin native and it was fun to hear what had changed over the years.

By this time I had walked about 4 miles in the Soco area, and I was ready to go to the other side of the lake and walk around the “real” downtown Austin. Tula walked about a mile and a half with me in the heat, and it just wasn’t as interesting on this side. I walked along more of the lake trail and covered another mile and a half, and then it was time to put some miles on.

I didn’t make a donation today because I only have one left for Texas, and I had plans to meet up with the person for my last donation whenever I was in Lubbock. I knew I couldn’t make it as far as Lubbock tonight – Texas is a big state to drive through! After a pretty sunset I ran into some heavy rain which slowed me down, and prevented me from walking my last mile today, so I’ll have to add it on to another day. I drove til it was pretty late, and made it to Abilene where I stopped for the night.

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