The River Gem in San Marcos, Texas
Texas is actually pretty cool....
After Brad and I went to Carlsbad Caverns, we drove through all of the oil fields in Northern Texas down to San Antonio, San Marcos, and Austin Texas. It was my first time ever visiting Texas and it surely did not disappoint!!
San Antonio, Texas
We spent a short amount of time in San Antonio. We visited with Brad's friends and went down to the boardwalk, which is where the river flows through downtown San Antonio. We stopped and checked out Dick's Last Resort Restaurant for a bit. Dick's is known for the attitude that the staff dish out as part of their job. They start off the entire experience stating a disclaimer that if you are easily offended then you are in the wrong place. All the servers are snarky a**holes. It's their thing. It was pretty fun.
Rio Vista Whitewater Park in San Marcos, Texas
After our stop in San Antonio, we headed up North to San Marcos, Texas with the Rio Vista Whitewater Park in our sites! I connected with Andy Armendariz, who is one of the local SUP extraordinaries in the area and we paddled with a few of the outdoor recreation majors and employees of the Outdoor Adventure Center, which is located in Sewell Park.
Unfortunately Brad still had his open hand wound, so he could not paddle. Instead, he was the designated photographer on the river's banks.
I decked myself out in my full wetsuit, PFD, shin guards... the usual Colorado river paddler gear and I immediately regretted it. It was mega overkill because the water was a glorious, constant 70 degrees!
The river above the park is mellow relatively shallow. We could see the bottom of the river the entire way because it is spring-fed, crystal clear water.
We put in at the Outdoor Adventure Center and paddled about half a mile upstream to see the restaurant on the riverside and the waterfall, then we descended another mile or so to reach the whitewater park. We spent some time surfing at the park as the sun went down. It was amazing!!
I LOVE whitewater parks. It is so inspiring to see paddlers playing on the waves, people relaxing on the river banks, and friends gathering because of a whitewater park. The parks are such a great way to build a community and it felt so good to come as an outsider to this community and feel integrated and accepted right away.
So with that, I will end on this note: if you are on the fence on whether or not you want to become involved in river sports, you should just do it. Especially if there is a whitewater park nearby where you live. If there's a whitewater park, there's a paddle community. If you build it, they will come...
And if you live in that area of Texas, then you are in the perfect place to get started on river paddle boarding and river surfing. You can literally paddle the river year-round!
After paddleboarding we drove up to Austin to visit an equestrian vaulting friend of mine. Vaulting (the "horse trick riding thing that I do") is such a small, niche sport that it's easy to have amazing friends all over the country just because you have that in common. Rosie is one of the coaches for a vaulting team called Lone Star Vaulters.
Rosie and her husband, Matt, graciously offered to let us stay at their house, Fort Firefly. Their house is so beautiful and serene and it was also complete with the coolest dog and cat.
I would LOVE to come back again, stay longer, and get the full experience. I know that there are so many adventures to be had in Auston, like paddle boarding, mountain biking, exploring the city, and vaulting!