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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Austin, TX

By Jul 21st 2010 No Comments »

Our travels took us next to the city of Austin, Texas.  After a long drive, we were looking forward to some quality time experiencing one of the many things the locals partake in on a nightly basis.  This brought us to beneath the Congress Ave. Bridge, sprawled out in a grass park amongst hundreds of Austin, TX residents.

Every night at dusk, thousands and thousands of Mexican free-tail bats emerge from their day’s hibernation to partake in their nightly feeding. This includes a black cloud emerging from under the bridge, swooping high and low for insects, directly over the awaiting crowds gathered beneath and along the top of the bridge.  This nightly spectacle has drawn hundreds of visitors, near and far, each night, to experience one of the rarest occurrences in the United States.

We arrived about an hour prior to sunset, picked our seat on the lawn, and waited patiently for this natural event.  As time drew nearer to sunset, we were astonished at the amount of people filling every inch of green space on the lawn, as well as lining the bridge to the other side.

Fifteen minutes past sunset, ­­­a few hundred of the free-tailed bats appeared from their cavernous hideouts and began circling beneath the bridge, slowly provoking the rest of the swarm to break free from their shadowy den.

We waited another fifteen minutes, eager for the massive swarm to overwhelm to Austin skyline. Unfortunately, that night was not our night.  As the sky grew darker, it became harder and harder & eventually impossible to see the bats as they appeared from under the Congress Ave. Bridge. However, this surely means one thing…another trip to Austin in the future.

The following morning we awoke early to explore some more of the city. As it was a Sunday morning, we were joined by only a few other pedestrians, and were able to enjoy a quiet, car-free and crowd-free stroll through the city.  The Capital building offered great photos with its manicured, green lawns while each stroll down the side streets was seemingly enjoyable…partly due to our private tour but largely due to how clean the city streets in Austin are.  Another thing we noticed, was how active the people of Austin are.  Those we saw out at 9:00AM in downtown Austin were either running, jogging or partaking in some other form of recreational activity.

Austin, a beautiful and lively city.

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