To the Bat Bridge Batman!

September 12, 2016, my last day in Austin and I relaxed and got to the Congress Avenue bridge in the evening, also known as the Bat Bridge.

Congress Avenue Bridge

I got to the bridge early because I heard lots of people come to view the bats.


Slowly people began to arrive both on the bridge and below on the water.



Austin’s Bats

Ok … I stole the following from the Bat Conservatory website in Austin.

Every summer night, hundreds of people gather to see the world’s largest urban bat colony emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin, Texas. These 1.5 million bats are fun to watch, but they’re also making our world a better place to live.

When engineers reconstructed the Congress Avenue Bridge in 1980 they had no idea that new crevices beneath the bridge would make an ideal bat roost. Although bats had lived there for years, it was headline news when they suddenly began moving in by the thousands. Reacting in fear and ignorance, many people petitioned to have the bat colony eradicated.

The Austin bats eat from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of insects, including agricultural pests.

As the city came to appreciate its bats, the population under the Congress Avenue Bridge grew to be the largest urban bat colony in North America. With up to 1.5 million bats spiraling into the summer skies, Austin now has one of the most unusual and fascinating tourist attractions anywhere.

Austin’s bridge bats are Mexican free-tailed bats. They migrate each spring from central Mexico to various roosting sites throughout the southwestern U.S. Most of the colony is female, and in early June each one gives birth to a single baby bat, called a pup.

Despite the popularity of the bridge bats in Austin, bats are still among the world’s least appreciated and most endangered animals. Like other wildlife, bats suffer from habitat loss and environmental pollution, and now, the added mortality from White-nose syndrome and wind turbines, but persecution from humans remains a primary cause of their decline.

Bat Time

As the sun set the bats began to appear. It wasn’t what I expected though. I thought they would fly out into the sunset. Instead they circled around the bridge in a growing state of frenzy. Periodically a few would fly off.

I person there said the react differently all the time and you are never quite sure how they will exit. Sometimes they do fly off into the sunset.

The result was all I could get for a picture is this.


I really cool experience though.

Have I told you I love Austin! So much to do.

Location of the Congress Bridge


First Sunday of the NFL Season in Austin Texas

It is Sunday, September 11, 2016, and it is the first Sunday of the new NFL season. My goal was to find a good bar I could watch it at.

Tally Ho

Normally, back home in Victoria, I would be up early and walking to the Tally Ho Sports Bar to be first in. They always had a cheap breakfast buffet where I would load up on bacon and eggs. The feature game was always the Seahawks. If they weren’t playing at the time, the winner of the last draw got the couch in front of the big screen and got to choose the game. The featured game sound was always turned up.

I had my regular seat and Jessica always served me. She always greeted me by name when I walked in. By 4 or 5 pm I would leave to watch the night game at home. Those were my happy days.

Where would I go now? No one would know my name.

The Tavern

I did some research and chose The Tavern to go to. It was suppose to have lots of TVs. There was free parking for my motorcycle. The food menu looked good and cheap πŸ™‚ And there was a history to it.

According to their website, in 1916, just four short years before the Prohibition era began, R. Niles Graham hired first generation Austin resident Hug Kuehne to design a grocery – a fabulous one of a kind space to provide food, dry goods and sundries to the 30, 000 people living in Austin at the time. Kuehne, who went on to design many other iconic Austin establishments, brought the building plans from his native Germany and modeled the store after the public house popular throughout Europe. The Enfield Grocery Store operated until 1929 before moving next door and making room for the steakhouse that would one day become The Tavern. Legend has it that a popular yet secretive speakeasy & brothel operated on the second story of the building and that a former employee still haunts the second floor!

In 1933, after that terrible Prohibition, The Tavern was officially born and has been serving up good times ever since! Few other Austin gathering places have been home to so many students, soldiers, legislators, presidents, and our town’s general citizenry as The Tavern. Current management has given this old beauty a face lift with high definition displays, facility upgrades and an attention to detail that continues the tradition of this Austin Landmark as a defining part of our unique cultural identity.

Sunday Football and Writing

I spent the day at The Tavern watching football, eating nachos and drinking beer, and writing my daily journals. It was no Tally Ho but it was good. The Texas teams were featured and not the Seahawks. No big screen TV. The Tally Ho has 2! But it was a good day.



After a while I migrated to Starbucks only to be kicked out shortly thereafter at 6 pm! I couldn’t believe a Starbucks would close at 6. That wouldn’t happen on the west coast πŸ™‚


It was time to head “home.” Yes, my Airbnb was feeling like home.


My Location for September 11, 2016


Blue Bell Ice Cream, Airbnb and Texas High School Football

Today was a great day of visiting the Blue Bell Creamery for ice cream, getting to my Airbnb, and watching Friday night Texas High School Football in Austin.

Blue Bell Creamery

When I looked up things to do in Texas, the Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham was on the list. How could I resist ice cream!

That was my first stop of the day. And I couldn’t resist have two cups – Camo and Cream and Cookie Dough.







OK … I must be feeling better. More pictures today πŸ™‚

The ice cream was awesome. A very distinctive taste to it. A farm fresh taste. I would have liked to taken tour, but due to a 2015 listeria outbreak they have stopped tours to prevent any contamination.

My Austin Airbnb

After ice cream it was time to make my way to the Airbnb I reserved in Austin. I was quite apprehensive about this. Not my style to stay in a stranger’s house ha ha. But it is good for me to stretch and grow. That is what a large part of this adventure is all about!

I found the location. I was given the code to the door previously as the host didn’t know if she would be there or not when I arrived. Soooooo in I walked into a stranger’s home. I kept saying to myself, “this is wierd,” as I walked to my bedroom and started bringing my belongings in.

All of a sudden the host appeared. She must have been there as I was bringing stuff in. She couldn’t have been nicer! She made me feel at home right away. All my anxiety disappeared and the place felt like home. Thanks Chalu!!



Friday Night Texas High School Football

Another thing on the list of things to do in Texas was to see a Friday night High School Football game.

I researched the top ranked teams in Texas. Westlake was ranked number 7 in the state and I think 26 or so in the nation. It was fairly close by. Off I rode.

It was one of those events you just have to smile at if you haven’t been to one before. It is high school and they do it up big!






It was a great night πŸ™‚


My Route for September 9, 2016


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