Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wheeler NWR, Town Hikes and Celebrating our Anniversary…

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge 024Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge 020Well it looks like the Government won’t settle their dispute before we leave Decatur so we won’t be able to finish up our hiking in the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.  Fortunately we did visit the Visitor’s Center before the shutdown. The visitor center at the refuge was very informative and welcoming. After checking out the exhibits we went just outside the center where bird feeders were set up and the goldfinches were partaking in the offerings.

This is a large refuge as it encompasses some 35,000 acres. The day we visited we decided to hiked a couple of small trails adjacent to the center to get a feel for the place. The first meandered through the woodlands and at the beginning of the trail was a healthy invasion of bamboo. The trail then took Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge 015us through a nice Bald Cypress swamp complete with a boardwalk through its middle where we spied a red eared turtle that appeared to be stuck. I grabbed a piece of bamboo to free him from his confines only to watch it gleefully kerplunk back into the water… it just appeared as if it were stuck. There were many interpretive plaques identifying plant species making the walk all the more enjoyable.

The second walk took us to an observatory for viewing waterfowl. Sadly we didn’t catch a glimpse of any ducksHuntsville AL 007 as it is still a bit early for migration here but did see some Great Blue Herons wading and fishing the waters. We especially enjoyed the view from the upstairs windows of the scenic marsh although it did get a little stuffy up there. Next we drove the perimeter of the park enjoying the leaves just beginning to pick up their autumn hues of yellow and red. We figured we would surely be able to return in the coming days to get in some longer hikes but boy were we wrong!

Another day we stumbled onto Mooresville, Alabama which was the first town established in Alabama. We walked around this historic little town as it is quite small.  We enjoyed seeing interesting homes here that are mostly well kept and date back to the early to mid 1800’s. We also found a neat little church and the oldest operating Post Office in Alabama in this quaint little town.. As we drove on toward Huntsville, Alabama we saw Lyla’s Dance Hall and thought that there must be a story behind it. Sure enough there was…

Mooresville AL 001  Mooresville AL 002

Mooresville AL 003Finally we spent some time strolling around the old downtown area of Huntsville taking in some of the interesting older buildings and enjoying some of the history presented on the historical markers. But the main reason we came to Huntsville was to end this day at another microbrewery called Straight To Ale Tap Room, clever name Eh? We especially enjoyed our happy hour brews as we were celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary... Good Beer, Great Life, Fantastic Wife... What more can I ask for…

NOTE: We chose to stay one additional day here in Decatur as heavy rains are predicted today due to the cold front colliding with tropical storm Karen so we will head to Montgomery, Alabama tomorrow…


  1. Happy 38th! 38 years of great beer, great wife, and fantastic fun does sound familiar. Bring some of that Ale with you to FL. Penny just found a place in Vero that has happy hour ale days, with lots from which to choose. Stay dry!

  2. A very happy anniversary to you both.

    We had to change our plans and not go to Big Bend. This shutdown is coming very annoying very quickly.

  3. Happy Anniversary, just keep enjoying this amazing lifestyle.

  4. Haven't been to Wheeler yet. Happy Anniversary you two!!!

  5. Happy Anniversary. Celebrating over a beer is how we would do it too.