Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rain in Austin

Some of our adventures along the way on our summer tour are planned and scheduled ahead. Some are not. I'll let you decide which type this was -- but I'll have to call it Stop # 8 and 1/2!

It rained in Austin last night; a nice hard downpour with thunder, lightening, strong winds and a little hail. We rejoiced in the storm because Austin, too, has been suffering from a drought.

This morning on our walk we decided to hike to the falls to see what difference last night's rain had made. First we hiked to the Lower Falls.

before the rain

after the rain 

It was amazing to see what a change several inches of rain had made in the size of the Lower Falls. Now we were curious; what would the Upper Falls look like? We headed off to see.

before the rain

after the rain

While we were admiring the overnight changes in the falls, we decided to take some pictures of each other sitting on the rocks near the Upper Falls. The camera, of course, was at home a 20 minute walk away. So we decided to use Bruce's cell phone camera.

I positioned myself in a sitting position on the edge of the rock shelf overhanging the pool at the base of the falls. Bruce handed me his phone so I could take his picture, and it slipped from my hand. Over the edge of the rocky overlook it bounced; and then down, down, and down until it landed on the rocks at the water's edge. There, about 12 feet below us, it lay open and face down but with no apparent injuries!

Now what? Not only was that gadget half of our available phone connections but it contained names, addresses and data about family, friends and other important contacts. Memos and data were stored away in there as well as our schedule for the coming months.

Bruce immediately went searching for a path down to that lower level. The only way down was now blocked by the high water! He was quite discouraged when he returned to where I was guarding the fallen phone from my perch on high.

As we were brainstorming other possibilities of rescue, a young couple came down the path carrying fishing poles. We must have looked worried because they asked if anything was wrong. Bruce's response was to ask, "How good a fisherman are you?" The young man hemmed and hawed and then replied, "OK, I guess. What's the problem?" We explained the situation and Bruce asked if he thought he could snag the phone with his fishing hook. He didn’t think so.

So they joined us in looking for a way down over the cliff to rescue the phone. No luck. He and Bruce decided that the best chance was to get a rope to secure one of them to rappel down over the rock cliff. Bruce headed home to get his strong, car-towing nylon cable for the job.

As the three of us waited for Bruce to return, the young man decided Bruce’s idea was worth a try: He dropped his fishing line down over the edge of the rock cliff. Patiently, painstakingly, and persistently he attempted to "catch" the phone on the fish hook. I had little hope that he could but suddenly I heard him yelp, "I've got it!" and I could see that his pole was bending as if he had snagged a huge fish. Slowly and carefully he lifted the line until the hook and phone appeared above the rocks. His wife quickly grabbed the phone saving, it from another rocky fall.

I could hardly believe my eyes! I immediately dusted it off and tried to call Bruce to see if the phone was still in working order. I couldn't get through -- and then I realized that I was dialing the number of his phone which I was using! When I called my phone, which Bruce had taken with him, the call went right through and I was able to share with him the good news of our morning miracle.

after the rescue

I wonder if there’s always that much excitement when it rains in Austin?