Turtle and Muck

So I was hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin this past weekend. Over the past few days we’ve had large rain storms and the creek was flowing swiftly. Normally it’s barely a trickle. I especially liked the sounds of the rapids flowing over the rocks. I started my hike at the Barton Pool end at about 7 AM and went in two miles. I had intended to make it all the way to the Hill of Life (the other end), but I got a late start. So after 1 hour of hiking I turned around and headed back to my car.

On the way back I had to climb down an angled flat rock and when I did I slightly lost my balance and leaned backwards. With the heavy pack on I suddenly was on my back and unable to grab anything. I was “turtled”. What a strange feeling that is. So I rolled on my side, but for a minute I was waving my arms and legs in the air without touching anything. Awkward!

Then at another spot I made a slight mistake and turned right instead of going straight. Within two or three steps I realized it. My feet began to sink in muck. Suddenly I was in trouble and stopped, but not before my left foot was 4 inches into the muck. When I tried to pull out this foot the shoe stayed behind and I had to step backwards on my nice clean sock, then I turned around, reached down and pull out my sunken shoe. Next I sat down and I put back on my hiking shoe, dirty sock and all. Ugh.

Returning back to my car I drove to the Hill of Life and meet the others who were to climb the hill. This was my first Sierra Club meet-up and the group was disorganized. Maybe that’s a bit strong in that it was listed as an independent hike. So instead of meeting people and hiking together I hiked the hill four times by myself. Boring! On the last time I continued down the Greenbelt for 3-4 miles and then turned around, because I needed more miles. All together I did 13+ miles, I “turtled”, and I got stuck in the muck. Lots of firsts for that day.