Austin, Texas - 29 March, 2006
The yellow 'Dillo stops at the front door. The 'Dillo is a reproduction of an historic streetcar design. It's free to ride and goes to all the places we want to see in Austin.
The Texas tower was occupied for ninety minutes on 1 August, 1966 by Charles Whitman. He killed and wounded 46 people from his perch in the tower. Local citizens brought their own deer rifles on campus to bring him down when they heard the first reports of the shooting. He was a Marine.
The Colorado River runs through downtown. It's called the 'Town Lake'. The river is beautifully landscaped on both banks and filled with joggers. We are encamped just over the river from downtown.
Each day at sunset 1.5 million bats emerge as a black cloud from beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. It is the largest urban bat colony in America. We plan to take an umbrella tonight and watch them. Why the umbrella? Think about it.
Austin is famous for its music. The 6th Street and Red River Entertainment District Offers restaurants, bars, and live music after the bat show.
The State Capitol complex and Governor's Mansion are downtown, as is the University of Texas, the Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library, the Texas History Museum, the George Washington Carver Museum and a huge Art Museum. Carver invented both peanut butter and mayonnaise.
The bat pictures didn't come out. Bats pollinate the agrave plant which is essential for the production of Tequila. The Austin bats eat 20 tons of insects each evening. In November they will ride a cold front back to Mexico and then return in March to have pups. They fly the night storm at altitudes approaching 10,000 feet and speeds of 60 MPH.