Friday, September 18, 2009

The Lake Travis Time Machine

H.G. Wells has nothing on Lake Travis. One of the few benefits of the extremely low lake level this year is the ability to literally travel back in time. As Lake Travis has shrunk, shorelines retreated, and the “sometimes islands” have appeared, it is possible to walk on the historical ground that used to be land along the Colorado River prior to the lake’s creation in 1941.

Thousands of tree stumps and remnants of old buildings have been basking in the oppressive Texas heat, after being submerged for so many years under water. Unfortunately, other historical “treasures” have surfaced as well. Cars, motorcycles, tires, rusty beer cans, bottles, batteries, gloves, bricks, barrels and old ropes have all been given up by the lake. While each and every one of the items “coming to the surface” has a history, it is an unpleasant history of carelessness and neglect.

Last Sunday, the annual Lake Travis Underwater and Shoreline Cleanup took place. Each year, volunteers remove huge amounts of this “historical” trash from the lake, and this year was no exception.

Soon, hopefully, the rains will begin anew. The past and its historical treasures, both good and bad, will once again disappear as the water begins to rise.

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