Pam LeBlanc, center, leads a group plunge into Barton Springs at a Pocket Adventure event on Aug. 11, 2016. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman

We wrapped up this month’s Pocket Adventure yesterday morning with another collective leap into Barton Springs Pool.

That chilly jump, the perfect start to a hot summer day in Austin, sums up the “get your hair wet” philosophy that Pocket Adventures co-founder Meredith Walker, executive director of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, and I share.

George Cofer, right, leads a hike down the Violet Crown Trail, which will ultimately run 30 miles from the trailhead at Barton Springs to Hays County. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman

It bums us out to see folks sitting on the edge of the pool, hesitant to take a head-first dive into the water for fear of looking silly, smudging their makeup or mussing their hair.

We say do it anyway! Live life, create adventure and get dirty as often as possible.

That’s why Walker and I launched our series of potent, pint-sized adventures. We want you to explore your city, learn a little something – and get your hair wet.

Yesterday’s event featured a short hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, led by George Cofer, executive director of the Hill Country Conservancy. Cofer talked about the Violet Crown Trail, a 30-mile route that will eventually lead from the parking lot at Barton Springs all the way to Hays County.

Marcy Stellfox explores the rocks at Campbell’s Hole during a Pocket Adventures hike. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman

We scrambled down the trail for about a mile, paused to scamper over some rocks and admire the scenery at Campbell’s Hole, then headed back to the springs, where we lined up on the edge of the pool and counted down for a group splash-in.

Thanks to J.J. Langston, executive director of The Barton Springs Conservancy, for letting us enjoy that cold water for free.

Afterward, we munched on tacos donated by Tacodeli, which I love not only for their tacos, but because they’re such strong supporters of the city’s cycling community.

My favorite part about yesterday’s event? When a woman who attended our first Pocket Adventure – someone who had lived in Austin for four years but never been in Barton Springs – told us it inspired her to start swimming there three times a week.


Walker and I are already plotting our next adventure. It’ll probably take place in late September.

Look for updates in the Austin American-Statesman and on the Fit City page on Facebook.

Participants in Pocket Adventures hike along the Violet Crown Trail near Barton Springs Pool. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman