McKinney Falls State Park; Austin, TX

We had some time to do a little hiking in the park before leaving for Fredericksburg, about an hour up the road. We could walk to the trail that led to Upper McKinney Falls right from our campsite. The falls are fed by Onion Creek.

The trail was aging asphalt, and nothing really special. I can imagine it's nicer in here when the leaves are back on the trees.

It was a short distance to the Upper Falls from the trailhead. This must be a wonderful oasis on a hot summer day.

There were numerous warning signs about the rocks hidden under water (thus, diving was dangerous), and about the swiftness of the river after rainfall, and about water quality. It seems pollution washes down after a rain, and water quality is checked twice weekly for pollutants. Looking to the right, we saw this.

Our shadow selves wanted to get in the water here, and so we let them...no diving, however. You can see the rocks beneath the surface.

From there, we went back to our campsite and drove to the trailhead for the Lower Falls. (We probably could have walked it, but we were feeling lazy.)

We crossed a vast slab of limestone to get creek side.

There, the falls looked much as the upper falls looked.

Looking to the right, we saw this.

To the left, this.

There was an old homestead and a gristmill if we could get across the river. Mike had no problem making this leap across the rushing water. Me, on the other hand...as much as I wanted to see the homestead and the grist mill, I could not make myself take this giant leap.

We gave up on the idea of getting across and headed back to the campground. There was a little time, and so I set up Pfelicity for free motion quilting. You might recall that a finagled the extension table for Pfelicity by threatening to throw a toddler-style tantrum at the time I purchased it. You would have done the same thing...admit it.

There were a few moments of confusion trying to figure out how to attach the optional open-toed quilting foot. My biggest complaint about Pfelicity is the piss-poor instruction manual that comes with it. The instructions are probably contained on the packaging that came with the foot itself, but I don't have those with me. Silly me thinking the instruction manual would be informative.

I've only used the extension table a few times. The picnic table at our campsite was perfect for  sandwiching the Meowvelous Mini quilt for quilting. Then I needed to decide on an all-over quilting design for it. I love doing these little kitty quilts because they are good ones for practicing something new. Angela Walters has done a pretty good YouTube video for her Swirl Hook motif. It helps me if I can chant some little ditty to myself describing the design as I go. In this case, "Swirl, S, Hook, Echo." Here's a picture of the practice piece I made for myself from the quilt and batting scraps.

So...not too bad...certainly good enough for the kitty quilt. And off I went. I was limited in how much time I had, and so I'm only about 2/3 finished. I'll have some time up the road to finish it off and get the binding attached. Mustn't keep the kitties waiting.

We're ready to do some exploring in Fredericksburg, TX. Many of you encouraged us to pay Fredericksburg a visit, and so I'll say more about it in my next post.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Laura McFall said...

You’re right up the road from us in NB! You’re right - getting started on that trail at MF is a bugger, but the rest of the trail is pretty awesome.
We had lunch in Fredericksburg yesterday. It was such a beautiful day to drive around the Hill Country. Be sure to check out One Quilt Place quilt shop. It’s off the beaten path, but worth finding. If you get to Kerrville, Creations is a ‘must see’.

I’ve only recently started following this blog. Keep up the great posts.

Thank you for sharing.

Brown Family said...

Those falls look much different when there is a lot of rein up stream! That is a neat quilting design!

Olka said...

Wow it's really stunning view! I would love to go to Austin one day. And I will! :) These falls are amazing. And lucky you, that there is no snow! In Poland it's snowing now :( To be honest - I don't like winter and cold days.

I like these swirls which you've made on the green starred fabrics! I like quilted patterns :)

Sherrill said...

That park looks gorgeous. Need to get down there since I'm relatively close. I envy your camping. Used to love camping but I don't have DH here anymore to do the driving and hooking up. Fredericksburg is wonderful--have fun.

WoolenSails said...

That looks like a nice place to walk, even in the winter. A shame that it is not a great swimming area, looks inviting.


Kate said...

You've been to some fun places in the big state of Texas. My SIL and family lived in Austin when we lived south of Houston, so we got up that direction pretty frequently. The Ladybird Wildflower center is so lovely in the spring. Hope the weather stays reasonably warm so you enjoy your trip to Enchanted Rock and Fredricksburg.

piecefulwendy said...

Well, you know I had to go read your toddler temper tantrum post. Ha! Glad you are enjoying some nice hikes, etc. The quilting is looking good. I need to make some kitty mats and practice my free motion, so thanks for the reminder! (I'm a Janome girl -- can we still be friends?? :-) )

quiltzyx said...

I had to laugh at myself just now...when I got to the pic of the lower falls & read "There, the falls looked much as the upper falls looked." I had to scroll back up to the upper falls to see them! The picture of "water falls" that I have in my head are much longer falling! Even with all the bare trees, you got some lovely pictures.
Nice quilt motif for the kitty quilt!