If Austin were a religion, swimming in Barton Springs Pool would be its baptism – and there is nothing that will make you feel more fully Austin-ized that taking that leap during the full moon. If you happen to do it after the setting sun has raised temps into triple digits, all the better.
Tonight, my daughter and I made the trek to the spiritual center of Austin, passing games of ultimate frisbee and zorb ball soccer (if you haven’t seen that…google it, but make sure you are sitting down). We were there for the cool, clear water that bubbles up through the limestone. We were there to hang out with hundreds of people of all ages and bathing suit styles (or not). We were there to howl.
Shortly after sunset, when the full moon rises, everyone at the pool begins to howl like wolves. Simultaneously stunning and hilarious, it is deeply weird, which is why it is so perfectly emblematic of my city. If you are lucky, a couple of our famous bats will fly overhead. After about an hour of swimming and howling, Austin has been tattooed on your soul. You’re in for good. And unlike other forms of baptism, this one can been repeated as often as you like.