Shane Townsend tests out his Revo sunglasses as a city boy and a country boy.

THE AIR on 6th Street sways with blues beats like lazy footsteps. Calls of drink! drink! drink! punctuate smooth whistles and easy twangs from behind chest-high wooden bars that stand just inside half-open store fronts. A cowboy on a sorrel quarter horse eases down 6th and turns onto Congress with cars lined up behind him.

The six o’clock sun sends light off glass and limestone, so I slip on my new Revos. They fit right — like a SCUBA mask protecting my eyes from saltwater sting. Down the west 6th corridor, crops of Austin — old and new — thrive and wilt and sprout in a zero-sum rotation.

The Hoffbrau – serving buttery steaks since 1934 — stands like an old man who’s seen it all and has the scars to prove it. Across the way, a bar has had its day in the sun and is browning and quiet. Down a bit, the Brew Exchange emerges to sell new ideas and new good times. At the traffic signal, a BMW, a cyclist, and a rusted-out Dodge pickup shuffle for position. The waaaaah and doooot of horns and prrt, prt, prrrrrrt of jackhammers scoot me off 6th.

Three steps onto Shoal Creek Trail, a canopy of trees and an avian chorus join forces to protect the creek from the city. The Revo Headway’s polarized lenses take the water’s glare. Sunfish in reproductive fire reds and electric blues swim in fearless posture over discs of clean gravel — the beds where soon they’ll lay their eggs.

Mexican free-tailed bats squeak, squeak from beneath the bridge as they ready themselves for an evening jaunt into ranchland. A night heron feeds in the slower water, devil’s toenails at his feet. An alligator snapping turtle, the size of a hubcap, sits nose upstream with water rushing over and around him. He too looks like that old man who’s done most everything. I sit and watch him.

A peacock sounds his alert in the distance — just one more reason Austin is weird. From the brush at the far bank, a frog starts to click, click, click, click like gravel, tapping a high-pitched chert rhythm. A soft shell turtle bobbles up below me and I watch him until it’s too dark for sunglasses.

A few weeks before, when what may have been that same turtle popped up, I leaned over for a better view. My sunglasses slipped off my face and splashed down. The little turtle panicked and dug in a flail back down through the water with my el cheapos in slow pursuit.

Just one more victim in the vicious $20 sunglass cycle — buy them, scratch them, dirty them; sit, stomp, and tread on them; bend them, lose them, break them, buy them, and on it goes. A week later I got these complimentary Revos in the mail. That ended the cycle. For me at least, a good piece of gear is worth taking care of.

Photo courtesy of Revo

Here are a few of my favorite Revo Headway specifications:

  • Removable leash and buoy. I prefer to keep it assembled so everyone knows the water awaits.
  • The REVO Eco-Use™ frames use castor beans instead of only petroleum products, making them environmentally intelligent.
  • The Motion-Fit™ pressure point system and hydrophilic nose and stem pads work together to make the fit comfortable, functional, and sweat resistant.

I use my Revo Headway sunglasses whenever I’m outdoors, whether I’m on my daily 6 o’clock walk into the sunset, paddling, running, biking, fishing, or drinking micheladas with my boots kicked up at a 6th Street patio bar.

Part of Revo’s Eco-Use Collection, the Headways are new for 2012 and are available for $209.95.

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