After flying into Austin-Bergstrom and picking up our trusty rental car we made our way into the city for lunch at Mr. Natural which is a vegetarian store and restaurant on E. Cesar Chavez Street. We ordered a couple of their sandwiches which were good, but it seemed that most people were there for the lunch buffet. We finished lunch and made our way more into downtown Austin to stop at REI for some camping fuel and Whole Foods for some dinner and breakfast items.
I also had to check out the walk-in beer fridge where you could build your own 6-pack, so I created my very own “local roundup” of Texas brews. Among them were a Shiner Black Lager, Shiner Farmhouse Ale, Austin Amber, Independence Pale Ale, Alamo Golden Ale, and Real Ale Brewhouse Brown.
Whole Foods was even kind enough to supply some free ice to keep them cold! With supplies all loaded up we headed out to Pedernales Falls State Park, which was about a 45 minute drive out of the city.
The drive through the green Texas countryside was beautiful despite the weather being totally overcast. When we arrived at the ranger station to check in they let us pick out our own camp spot, rather than just assigning us one, which I thought was nice. With a recommendation from one of the rangers, we chose camp #36 which was near one of the trails that led down to the river.
Before setting up camp we decided to drive down to where the falls were and check out that area. From the parking area there is a short hike to an outlook over Pedernales Falls and the river.
The river seemed to be a little low, but it was still a very scenic area. We explored down in the rocks and near the water for a while and then headed back to camp.
Back at our campsite, we got everything set up and then decided to go down the trail that was right next to us before it got too late. At the time, we weren’t even really sure where the trail led to but it seemed worth checking out since I had overheard some other campers talking about something they saw down there.
We followed it down to a part of the river which was further downstream from the falls we had just visited. The trail followed the river downstream for a little bit and then came to an area called “Trammel Crossing” where it was shallow enough to wade across to the other side, however we did not feel in the mood for wading so we headed back to camp. On our way back we came across a family of deer that were out for their evening snacks in the foliage and I realized that this was what I had heard the other campers talking about.
Back at camp we made our dinner which consisted of the soup and biscuits we had bought at Whole Foods earlier. Not very extravagant, but it was a quick and simple meal to prepare and eat.
Somehow we were able to stay up somewhat late despite running on only 3 hours of sleep from the night before, but this made it easy for us to fall asleep. In the morning we awoke to the sound of raindrops on our tent, but luckily it was not a heavy rain, and it let up eventually so we were able to get out, make breakfast, dry the tent out, and pack up. Then we were off to Luckenbach!
More pictures from this trip can be found here.