Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blanco State Park

During these hottest of the hot Summer days, Roy and I have decided that checking out local swimming holes is a good goal. Not having been in warm water that is over our heads for more than 20 years, and thinking about actually swimming; we both went to our first location with nervous jitters. It's apparently like bike riding in that you never forget how to do it!

We went to Blanco State Park. It is set-up like a greenbelt of picnic areas along the Blanco River. The river runs through the center of the community of Blanco. There are spillways along the river that help keep sections of the river full of water, even in a drought year. You can swim anywhere along the river, but they also have a swimming pool built into it. Given the drought, we aren't seeing the swimming pool area at it's best.

It can look like this. Maybe we'll get to see it this way in the Spring.

We rented inner tubes and paddled ourselves quite a way up the river. The river was shallow enough in some places to stand out in the middle. There was a nice bedrock bottom. I'd forgotten how much muscle power it takes to climb on and off an inner tube repeatedly. I could feel the corrosian cracking off my joints, but by the time we got back to where we started, I could barely hang onto the tube any longer. We played like we were twenty year olds, and got sun in places that hadn't seen the sun in many years. Over the next few days we could feel where the river had hydrated out skin and conditioned our hair. That felt nice. We paid for our afternoon of youthfulness with a week of achy bodies and feeling our age. We look forward to another swimming trip, but with flatter floats and a little less exhuberance.

There are some rental cabins and a lodge, that are not affiliated with the park, close to the main swimming area. The state park has a camping area, and possibly cabins, too.

This is the road next to the river. The bridge crossing it is Highway 281. It runs through the community of Blanco and past the entrance to Miller Creek RV Park only 6 miles away. With an annual state park pass; the Blanco State Park swimming area is free to use as often as one likes, and is easily accessible. A local told us with a hot Summer like this one, we should be able to go swimming clear through to Halloween! Wild isn't it!!!