Emma Long Metropolitan Park – Austin, TX

After Kathy’s triathlon was successfully held, it was time to head back to Austin for my final couple of weeks before heading out west. I wanted to stay closer to the city so I could be, well, closer to the city. Staying about 30 minutes to the south for 6 months really made me want to experience camping in the city, if possible. Turns out, it is very doable!

Emma Long Metropolitan Park is an Austin jewel right on the Colorado River – the Texas Colorado River that is. It has 20 RV sites as well as a bunch of tent sites. About half of the RV sites are right on the river and the rest are across the road (still very close to the river). However, the sites are pretty small and pretty old. All have water and electric, but most are just 20 amp service, with a few 30 amp service. There is a dump station at the park.

My parents followed me up to Emma Long so they could check out Austin, and of course, spend more time with their wonderful son. That would be me, in case there was some confusion. So this would be spot #2 of camping with my parents. Went from zero spots camping together to 2 just like that! 🙂

Another advantage of picking Emma Long Metropolitan Park is that Kathy’s work is across the river and around the bend, so almost a stone’s throw away. This meant that Kathy stayed with me for a few of the 6 nights that I was here, which meant more time spent getting to know my parents. It probably would have been quicker for her to kayak to work instead of driving, as there wasn’t exactly a direct driving route, but I have yet to get a kayak. I am such a slacker!

Speaking of driving, the route to Emma Long not only takes one up a very steep hill (and then slowly back down again to the river), but the road to the park goes forever through a forest area (imagine that – a forest in a park). While you are in the city, by the time you get to the park you think you are really out in the boonies. That was nice to have relative isolation while being close to all the action.

My parents stayed for just a couple of nights before they headed back home to Phoenix, which meant I was by myself for the last few days. Just me and all the boats zipping up and down the river, which technically was a lake here, but was as wide as a river. Go figure.

I had no idea there were so many bass boats in Austin, but apparently there are. They would start hauling ass up the river at dawn and would go into the night. It was a bit weird hearing the sounds of a bass boat moving quickly and just see the nav lights zip by. Not sure I would be brave enough to go that fast on a dark river/lake. There were also plenty of wakeboard and waterski boats buzzing up and down during the weekend I was there, which made for good people watching.

Emma Long turned out to be a great second to last place I stayed in Austin this time around. It was a refreshing change staying in the city and not having to drive for 30 minutes to get into the action. And it was nice to get a chance to show my parents a bit of the city which I had been calling home for the past 6 months.

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