Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kayaking upstream

What to do today? Something different! Explore somewhere local and get some exercize...
I've been eyeing up the Guadalupe river each time I pass over the bridge. Time for a kayak tour.
A small amount of research on Google earth found a launch point right under the I35 freeway - nice - not!
No matter, soon we we are headed upstream.
 Look closely and you'll see a couple of turtles on the tree.
 We headed up the Comal river.
 Which is pretty amazing, a few of the rivers around here are spring fed, 72'F year round and outstandingly clear. That's swimming pool temperature ! Check out this link.
 We found some rather sedate rapids to play in, still fun though.
 And still easy enough to topple in - hah hah.

Leon Creek

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without buying myself a new toy, so i picked up a chest mount for the goPro Camera. I headed for Government Canyon State park, only to find it closed tue, wed, thu... Sad, closed even to walking ? I don't know. The concept of closing the outdoors seems strange to me, outside of nuclear leaks, or war zones etc.

Plan B then, Leon Creek, which has some single track too. Jeff and Heidi showed me around on Thanks Giving - Thanks Jeff, Thanks Heidi  :)
 So here are some results from the chest mounted GoPro.
 The angle is pretty neat, and no need to stop for every photo op.
 Of Course the angle gets to be a bit the same after a while.

But last time I went I had not camera (or a chance of keeping up)   ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Night Ops

I had seen these lights off in the distance a week ago, and was told they were off-limits, as they were in an airforce base.

Well, what better way to see Christmas lights, than to sneak through the boundary, under the cover of darkness by kayak in the rain ;)
The rain was not really part of the plan, arriving 12hours before forecast, but somehow added to the experience.
I gotta say, it was a good laugh sneaking around the Christmas parade.

Hope this puts you all in a Christmassy Spirit ;) Merry Christmas ! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Enchanted Rock

A friend and I headed out to Enchanted Rock State Park, just north of Fredericksburg.
 Its a pretty place, fairly small for a state park, I think we walked 2/3 of the trails in under 3 hours.
 It was a nice break from the local scene.
 It reminded me a little of Pinnacles Nation Monument.
 Lots of interesting rock formations.

A pretty day, nice and relaxing.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Going Underground

After six days straight at the Luling airfield it was time to go explore somewhere. Kit, Ewelina and me, headed to Natural Bridge Caverns.
Its been a little while since I've been down a cave.
Being a tourist cave, venturing off the path is off limits, but that keeps the spectacular formations prestine.
I forgot my camera, not that I've had much luck with underground photography in the past.
These pictures were all taken with my phone! I can't believe how well they came out.
Of course the cave is very well lit.
The short trip made me want to join a "Spelunking" club, I have great memories from teenage years, swimming through caves in freezing water, and climbing up waterfalls in the pitch black.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Well it has been a busy few weeks here in Texas. Much of my time has been spent working on the website for the Hang Gliding school we are putting together ThermalRiders, it's a work in progress still, but has the basics at least. Between that, testing out the equipment and teaching, there's not been time for much else. Having said that, I did get to check out San Antonio a bit more, the art gallery has a sky bridge with a view of the city, the building itself is the old Lone Star Brewery.
Last week I designed and put up some posters for Faulkers pub. Which hopefully will get a few more folks interested in Hang Gliding locally here.
Driving back from Luling we stumbled on this gasoline station, I think it was still in operation, I don't think they take credit cards though ;)
Finally I got out and about yesterday, Kit, my partner in crime took my by the Gruene Hall, a famous music Hall.
Looking at all the old photos I look forward to seeing some of of the music I like here.
Gruene also has a nice river running through it, which deserted at the moment is packed in the summer by people tubing. Easy to see why.
Locally there is a strong German influence, New Braunfels hosts a "Wurstfest" I don't know about how traditional that might be in Germany ?
There was plenty of Sauerkraut and German beer on hand, it certainly was a popular festival.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lookout Halloween

The folks at Lookout Mountain really know how to throw a party. I know that from the last time I visited, the hospitality is outstanding. I'll let the picture speak for itself.
Since first seeing this ramp in May, it had a strong allure over me, generating huge desire to run off of it. (better to do this with a glider).
I was so pleased to get to fly over the fall colors.
Even more pleased when the sled ride I was expecting at 5:30pm in November turned into a boaty soaring flight.
I flew out to Trenton along the path of the May Tornado, the grey leafless path up the mountain is the route we both took. (right hand side of the picture) Interesting that it was a good "lift line" this flight too.
Back passed the launch ramp.
The sunset lit up the fall colors very nicely - wow, what a day.
I am stoked with this flight.
There's the launch ramp again.
Darkness approaches, time to get down.