Since I was a young girl, I always had an obsession to put my feet in the water; watch running water from waterfalls and streams; walk in the woods; swim in the ocean or just simply watch the ebbs and flows of the ocean; I even used to ask my mother to drive me around our town after the rains to see brooks. When I was old enough to drive, I would drive to the NJ shore and to the lakes, springs, and streams in Northern NJ, NY State, and PA to get in touch with nature.
There is something spiritual for me to put my feet or body into a clear, babbling stream of water; to swim in the ocean. It’s being one with nature I suppose. Whenever traveling, I try to visit the local beach and put my feet in the ocean. This calms me. I also try to collect a few shells or rocks from the sea. I have been able to swim in The Gulf of Mexico: Pacific Ocean; Atlantic Ocean; North Atlantic (Portugal); Caribbean; Mediterranean (Italy) (Spain); Tyrrhenrian Sea (Italy); Coast of Amalfi (Italy); Gulf of Naples (Italy); Lugurian Sea (Italy); Straight of Dover (Ireland); Irish Sea (Ireland); Celtic Sea (Ireland); The Atlantic Ocean (Ireland); North Sea (UK); Balearic Sea (Spain); Alboran Sea (Morocco); and English Channel (UK). Each special experiences. I even felt a bit adventurous in Barcelona and sunbathed on a topless beach; I have to say, it felt freeing (no one else was on the beach lol)
My childhood home was next to an old Indian Reservation inhabited once by The Lenni Lenape Tribes, so there were many acres of land, with great streams to explore as a young girl, and I did. I would spend hours in the woods hunting for rocks, minerals, arrowheads and fossils. I enjoyed being one with nature then too. When I was 18, I moved to the countryside in northern New Jersey; Chester to be precise. I loved exploring the land nearby and then started moving further towards Pennsylvania. There is a town called the Delaware Water Gap, this area is a magical place to visit; especially in the fall! I eventually lived in The Gap.
The first home I bought was in a small town in Effort, Pennsylvania. The homestead was a red farmhouse placed on 22 acres of beautiful land. The property was surrounded by over 200 acres of Christmas tree farms; very secluded. Evergreens, ferns, orchids, and mushrooms grew on the property. When it snowed, it looked like a winter wonderland. The land was beautiful; however, I always felt uncomfortable in Effort, landlocked. I moved to The Delaware Water Gap. Every drive was scenic.
I moved to Austin, Texas in 1992. What I didn’t realize, was how many natural springs there were to swim in; I was in heaven. Here’s a list of some of the Springs I visited on a regular basis:
There’s a reason Austin is often ranked one of the fittest cities in the country. From natural pools along our many local greenbelts to spring-fed icons like Barton Springs and Deep Eddy pools – Austin offers an abundance of outdoor activities for everyone.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Head south of downtown to the Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls area of the greenbelt and chill out in the shallow waters, enjoy the slow-moving current and spread out for a picnic on the sidelines. Explore the falls and waterways in the spring and fall, or after rains.
Located in Spicewood, just 30 miles west of Austin, this popular camping and swimming destination has been privately owned by the Krause family for more than 50 years. The hospitable Texans invite guests to explore 32 springs, a man-made pool and natural pool. Make time for a stroll through the Butterfly Gardens.
Barton Springs Pool
In the heart of Zilker Park, minutes from downtown, lies this 200-yard swimming paradise. Barton Springs Pool features year-round, 68-degree, clear water, deep diving and shallow areas for the kids and grassy hills for sunbathing. You name it, this park has it – and everyone knows it, so get there early if you can.
A 40-minute drive from town takes you to another world. One of the most inviting geological phenomena of the Texas Hill Country, Hamilton Pool provides excellent hiking and trail running trails, as well as a stunning swimming hole with a 50-foot waterfall. Hop on in – the water is nice and cool. Note: Reservations are now required between May and September.
Deep Eddy Pool
If you’re looking for a traditional public pool experience in the heart of Austin, Deep Eddy is your go-to. A day pass will get you access to the oldest, natural swimming pool in Texas. There’s plenty of grass, plenty of shade and a whole lot of cool, clear water.
A must for any Texan and Texas visitor, Jacob’s Well Natural Area gives folks the unique opportunity to swim directly in an artesian spring. About 40 minutes from Austin, the spring’s cool, clear water surrounded by rock ledges and lots of trees represent what all Texas swimming holes used to be, and should be. Note: Reservations are required during peak seasons.
Enjoy! Until I write again.