The kids and I spent one day this week at Barton Springs Pool. "The Crown Jewel of Austin," it takes the lion's share of credit for luring me to this awesome city.
Barton Springs is home to "Parthenia," the mother spring of four natural springs located in the heart of Austin.
It's also home to the Austin Blind Salamander, an endangered species found nowhere else on earth, and hence, the subject of quadrillions of editorial columns and letters to the editor. This teeny salamander is at the center of a raging struggle between land developers and Save Our Springs (SOS) activists.
Cute little bugger, isn't he?
The spring flows up from the ground in the area of the diving board. It pumps out an average of 31 million gallons per day, making for some clean, clear, chilly water - a steady 68 degrees year round. And when the air temps are above 100 degrees, it makes for a truly refreshing plunge. Otherwise, its just focking cold!
Here's DauA doing The Flying Squirrel, her approach dive to getting one with the last remaining salamanders.
And here are all three kids, setting off on a destiny of swimming from one end to the other, without stopping.
One lone swimmer makes it.
Even Robert Redford, who says he grew up swimming in Barton Springs, has jumped into the debate. He co-produced a documentary, The Unforseen. The trailer has a nice panoramic view of the Springs, and, more importantly, a sweeeet shot of Redford looking his environmental activist hottie best.
Ok, so after looking over this post, I gotta go back.
Blind Salamanders, make room!