I’ve been told that while I’m near Austin, I need to go “see the bats”. This, it turns out, means viewing the largest bat colony in North America, which peaks at 1,500,000 bats, fly out from under the Congress Bridge at dusk. Well, that sounds fun! Let’s go!

This sort scenery is  part of what sparked the idea for the RV trip to begin with. This sort scenery is  part of what sparked the idea for the RV trip to begin with.

On my way, I decided to go grab a steak in Austin, what with Texas being reputed for longhorn steer and all. Fancy-pants steakhouses were out of tonight’s budget, so instead I went to something that sounded like a bit of a staple of Austin: the Original Hoffbrau Steaks

The camera seemed straighter at the time The camera seemed straighter at the time

The food was OK. The fried mushrooms were cold, but the steak was decent enough.

The weirdest part, though, was the restroom. They have an arrow pointing out the back door labeled “outhouse”, and it’s not just for decoration.

Yes, it’s actually a very tiny outhouse, disconnected from the restaurant building. As someone here in the RV park said, Austin most certainly doesn’t need any help being kept weird, it does it all on it’s own.

With dinner out of my way and dusk approaching much faster than I expected, I hustled out of there and scootered down to the bridge a mile away.

There was a decent crowd gathered to see the bats, all waiting expectantly. And waiting. And waiting…

You see, the bats are seasonal- they go somewhere else for the winter. This is pretty early in bat season, and no bats were emerging. Unsure whether it was just bad luck of my early arrival in Austin, or impatience with the ambiguity of “they come out at ‘dusk’”, I stuck around while most everyone else grew impatient and left. 

I went down to the foot of the bridge and listened, very definitely hearing bats squeaking inside, but not seeing anywhere that 1.5 million of them could be hiding out of my sight. 

I sat there for around an hour, reading stuff on my tablet while I waited, before giving up. I saw a handful of bats come out, but nothing noteworthy. 

This is what we call This is what we call “low bats”

So I scootered around downtown a little before heading home.