Friday, August 29, 2008

Ride to Seattle: Episode 2c: Austin

Its an eight hour drive between New Orleans and Austin TX, and at least half of that is just driving through the swamp, miles and miles and miles of it. Its really pretty and strange looking, with dead tree stumps and snowy egrets poking out of the water everywhere. On the recommendation of my friend Nick who calls Texas home, we stopped in Beaumont TX for lunch at Willy Rays BBQ. It was some of the best BBQ I've ever had, Steve and I hardly spoke, just ate.

From there, straight on to Austin to Steve's friend Lauren's place. There are two main things to do in Austin for an out of towner I think. One is to go see some live music, and the other is to see the world's largest urban bat colony, conveniently located under a bridge overlooked by a TGI Fridays. The menu had bats on it, there were bat shaped cookies, and supposedly some building nearby is shaped like a bat when viewed from above. Yes, friends, Austin is bat town USA. The colony has about 4 million individuals in it, and every day at dusk they're supposed to shoot out from under the bridge like a huge black cloud shot out a cannon. We sat and ate some chips on the TGI friday patio and waited and waited and waited. Finally, long after the sun had set, we began to see handfuls of bats fly by, no more than 4 at a time. We walked to the bridge and looked over, and could see thousands of them swarming in a circle around the bridge posts, but as long as we had waited, there never was any cloud setting of for the hill country. We walked away disappointed, but we all agreed we had never seen more bats in our lives.

From there we walked to the world famous Stubbs BBQ and concert hall to see Devil Makes Three. You should look them up if you don't know them, I describe them as Country Death Music, and Steve describes them as Alcohol Soaked Americana. They look pretty much exactly as you'd expect from those descriptions. According to some source which I don't really believe, the three of them (2 guys, 1 girl) were orphans together, worked as carnies for a while with some traveling circus, and then learned to play music. Whether thats true or not, its looks like it COULD be true, which is what really matters anyway. They were really really good. We may see them again in Tucson.

Speaking of Tucson, we're currently en route there. Its a thirteen hour drive.

God help us.

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