New Pocket Adventures series wants you to get your hair wet

Series from Meredith Walker and Fit City starts with jump into Barton Springs


Come on, jump in.

Meredith Walker of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is teaming with me, Fit City, for a new event series aimed at getting people outside to explore Austin and stretch a muscle or two. We’re calling it Pocket Adventures ATX, and our first event is set for 8 a.m. June 29 at Barton Springs.

The hourlong event, presented with the help of members of the Barton Springs Conservancy, will feature cool facts about the springs from Karen Kocher, creator of the “Living Springs” interactive documentary, music by springs-lover Sara Hickman, breakfast tacos, coffee and — this one’s non-negotiable — a group plunge into the chilly, spring-fed pool.

The idea for Pocket Adventures comes from our shared philosophy, which we call “Get Your Hair Wet.” Walker and I have noticed that, too often, some folks relegate themselves to the sidelines while others take the plunge into swimming pools, rivers and lakes.

Why? Life isn’t for some to enjoy while others sit back and watch, staying clean and dry. It doesn’t matter if your hairdo wilts or your mascara smudges; we should all take part. And through some carefully plotted quick-but-potent adventures, we hope to encourage people to do that.

We’re starting with Barton Springs because, well, we think of it as the soul of Austin, where you’re just as likely to find yourself swimming alongside the former mayor as a hippie who used to sell flowers on the corner.

“We have this clean water that’s a natural place in the middle of the city. It’s unique in the world, and we should do everything we can to protect that,” says Kocher, a senior lecturer in the Radio Television and Film Department at the University of Texas. “It touches every value that we have in Austin — the importance of open space, respecting the history of place, a spiritual gathering place for every religion. It’s inspired artistic creation, and it’s a cultural community gathering place.”

If you want to join us, meet at Philosopher’s Rock outside of Barton Springs Pool at 8 a.m. June 29. Entry is free, but registration is required. Sign up at http://tinyurl.com/hunn4q8. Attendance will be capped at 30 people. Rain date is July 13.

Stay tuned for future adventures, too. We’re scheming up more power-packed snippets of fun, in the form of an after-dark hike with your dog, as well as bicycling and paddling excursions.


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