It’s springtime in Austin.  The cold snap I predicted on Friday was short lived.  On Sunday, it was absolutely beautiful outside.  So I hopped on the ol’ bicycle again for another romp through my neighborhood.  This time, I had a very specific mission… There is an extensive network of parks and greenbelts and hike/bike trails within a mile of where I live.  However, there is not really a connecting path between my subdivision and the parks.On my street (which does a big loop), there is what looks like a gate to the greenbelt behind some not-yet-finished homes.  There isn’t a trail beyond that gate, but about 50 yds in, there is a almost-finished bridge that looks part of a typical greenbelt trail.  Very odd.  I’m under the impression that this will eventually hook up to the Brushy Creek trail system… However, to complicate matters, there is a golf course (and some additional homes) between that point and the established trails.

I took my mt. bike through that gateway (I had to carry it because I was afraid of nails on the ground from the construction site (not an entirely invalid thought.. when we were exploring my parents’ current home as it was being built, I stepped on a rusty nail… and, no, I didn’t bother updating my tetanus and nothing happened (except that I couldn’t open my mouth for a while… as if it was locked… a locked jaw 🙂 j/k)).

I digress..

So, I went through this rough patch of land on my bike, and I dumped out onto a small cul-de-sac of… well… mansions.

Maybe that’s overstating it… these houses backed up onto some gorgeous gold course views and probably had at least 6 bedrooms and some very nice cars parked in the garages, etc.

So I wound my way through the streets and hit various dead ends… I was clearly in an “above-average” subdivision, so I esentially had to worm my way out to the entrance… This spit me out onto a long street that I take every morning to get onto Parmer for my God-awful 40-minute commute.

I decided I should approach my mission of finding the connecting link between the trails and my home from another direction.

I biked up to Parmer and rode until I got to Brush Creek Rd… This street is not particularly bike-friendly, but it was under a mile to get to the trailheads.  I discovered a little duck pond and some nice places to fly kites.  Families were out and about and every once in a while, I’d spot a Serious runner (you know the kind: wearing nothing but lycra and sunglasses, running way too fast among the baby strollers, and not even nodding when you say “Good Afternoon.”

I biked the entire length of the Avery Ranch section of the trail and found an awesome dam overlooking a decent-sized body of water (part of the golf course).  This would make for a spectacular early-morning sunrise view while jogging.

The end of the trail spit me back onto Brushy Creek Rd.  I was tired at this point (going on 1.5 hours of riding around), so I decided to head home the way I came  (via Parmer).  So I didn’t find what I was looking for (although I DID see some potentially promising off-shoots.  What I need to do next time is drive to the trailhead so I have more energy to explore… give me a break, I’m out of shape).

Getting outside this weekend was very good for me.  Much healthier than hacking away at my blog.  It’s definitely Spring.  The weather forecast is promising 80 degrees towards the end of the week.

Now I have this sudden, almost overwhelming urge to plant a garden!  I saw a whole bunch of seeds for sale at HEB…  I want to make a little garden bed and plant salsa-ish “crops”: tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro and various other herbs for cooking.

Is there an online one-stop resource for gardening tips?