ENTERING BARTLETT. With Nigel the Land Rover
illegally parked I walked out into the middle of the street to take this picture.
With just over a dozen parked cars on a four block stretch and no pedestrians anywhere
this is one of your quieter towns.
A TALE OF TWO TOWNS
BARTLETT AND SALADO
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
Sixteen miles separate Bartlett and Salado, yet in many other
ways they're worlds apart. Bartlett is a very quiet little town where traffic is scarce
and pedestrians virtually nonexistent. Salado is just the opposite. There trendy shops
cluster together, parking is scarce and pedestrians rule.
eems you can't go anywhere these days without getting
tangled up in traffic. And if Austin is between you and where your headed be prepared.
Using the name of the capital city and traffic jam in the same sentence lends new meaning
to the term "redundant". Ms Intrepid and I found ourselves stuck in the
middle of the I35 parking lot well south of the city. Following the lead of dozens
of other northbound vehicles we departed the Interstate, crossing the grassy knoll and
onto the access road and another cluster of cars.
I'll spare you all the details but in the end we turned west,
picked up Manchaca Road, north to Ben White, west to North Loop 1, north to Hwy 183, east
to I35 and finally north toward our destination--Salado.
Naturally, all this maneuvering gave Ms Intrepid plenty of time
to study a map where she divined an interesting diversion by some method known only to
her. How she comes by this information from a less than detailed map to places she's never
been is a mystery worthy of scientific study. Kinda like my shortcuts, her interesting
diversions add a fair amount of time to the trip as well as a wealth of opportunities to
get lost. But that's what we do. You never know where you are until you get good and
lost. And somewhere in the middle of lost is where adventures begin.
The map you're looking at is much larger than what intrigued Ms
Intrepid. The fact is, on the original you can cover the whole affair with the tip of your
little finger. She tried to point out what she had in mind while I was dodging and weaving
on the Interstate at 70+ mph and being sucked along by everything from big rigs to compact
cars doing 80-90 mph.
"Sure, you bet," I said having learned long ago you never
argue with a woman holding a map.
Besides, she ain't known as Ms Intrepid for nothin'.
Now, take a good look at that map then forget most everything you
see. First off I haven't a clue what Schwertner looks like. I reckon that dot an the
map is larger than the community but most likely I'm wrong. So if you belong to the
Greater Schwertner Chamber of Commerce please accept my apology. I was probably distracted
by the small heard of buffalo somewhere in the general vicinity.
Another fact that map leaves out is all of the
curves in the road. There are so many they don't bother with them "curve ahead"
signs followed by the sign depicting the general shape of the road. That's a good thing
too. Otherwise with all the signs cluttering the roadside you wouldn't be able to see this
pretty piece of Texas Blackland Prairie. If you're the one driving you might
want slow way down.
When you get to Bartlett, which has the same size dot
as Schwertner, you'll know you're somewhere.
PAGE 2: BARTLETT / PAGE 3: SALADO
PAGE 4: POSTSCRIPT: JARRELL
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