KY: Kentucky Explorers

You're invited to join the Kentucky Explorer’s Winnebago Club. We're all about the adventuresome RVer looking for something new. We have many upcoming events in 2022, check them out below!

January 14-16, 2022

The Crane Festival in warm, sunny Decatur, Alabama highlights the big bird migration. You probably have a few birds at your bird feeder, but …..  these birds will NOT visit your feeders!

Map of migrationpatterns

Decatur, Alabama is a HOT spot for migrating birds. 20,000 or so each year. This is a can't miss event. To celebrate the cranes “come back”, the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge is hosting a Festival. You can find more information by visiting https://www.friendsofwheelernwr.org/festival-of-the-cranes-2022. The Wheeler Festival offers activities and assistance for all nature enthusiasts, from a novice birder, somewhat bird savvy, to Audubon members. The festival has happened for about 10 years and each year more activities are added for people of all ages and birding knowledge. Venues across the city of Decatur are involved in the planning and hosting of the festival. The focus of the festival is to showcase the refuge and its role in providing winter habitat to thousands of migratory birds.  We typically have over 20,000 Sandhill Cranes, thousands of waterfowl including ducks and geese, and approximately 20 rare and endangered Whooping Cranes making Wheeler their winter home. Below are some of the highlights of the festival geared toward adult birders:

  • Saturday and Sunday at Visitor Center- see website for details and times
    • Sunrise Breakfast at the Refuge. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.
    • Richard Beilfuss of the International Crane Foundation will be available to discuss crane conservation.
    • Paul Bannick will hold a photography workshop.
    • Christopher Joe will lead a birding 101 class.
  • Saturday and Sunday at the Princess Theater – see website for details and times
    • Lauren McGough will be presenting on her time in Mongolia learning to hunt with Golden Eagles.
    • Paul Bannik will present on North American owls.
    • Auburn University Southeastern Raptor Center will be bringing raptors to see up close while learning about the rehabilitation and conservation efforts at their center.
    • Overland – documentary about Lauren McGough and hunting with eagles.     
  • For the serious birders in your group, North Alabama will not disappoint. Be sure to check out the Wheeler Refuge webpage. There are miles of trails to walk and view winter waterfowl. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/wheeler/

This is a part of the Alabama Birding Trail.  There are over 50 sites in North Alabama and several sites are on or near the refuge. You canlearn more at https://alabamabirdingtrails.com/trails/north-alabama/

Another great opportunity would be to check out the Eagle Awareness weekend at Lake Guntersville State Park.  Each year Bald Eagles make Lake Guntersville their winter home and the Eagle Awareness weekends are great opportunities to see and learn about them. Learn more by visiting https://www.alapark.com/parks/lake-guntersville-state-park/eagle-awareness.

I have every intention to attend the festival as well as arrive several days in advance to explore the area including Athens, Florence and Tuscumbia Alabama. You are welcome to join me! I suggest you arrive no later than Friday. They offer a discount for cash. Rates are $40-$45.  https://www.jaylandingsrvpark.com/rates/

If you email me your contact information, I will keep you in the loop.  Please send: full names of those coming, email address & cell phone #, otherwise you’re on your own, which is okay too. Decatur, Alabama is 440-miles away from me and things DO HAPPEN. I will contact you if things go awry. If I am unable to attend, please attend anyway. There is ALSO a possibility that the Crane Festival could be CANCELLED due to health concerns, so please double check before you leave home.  Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, 3121 Visitor Center Road, Decatur, AL 35603  256-350-6639. If you’d like to park as a group at Jay’s Landing, just ask for my location.  I suggest bringing: a bird book, pair of binoculars would be nice, very small, easy to carry chair, warm water boots, small warm blanket, & gloves. The heated observatory sounds wonderful (bring a face mask) but I don’t know it’s size.  You also may want to explore outdoors and attend the guided tours too!

April 10-20, 2022 

A warm, sunny leisurely “traveling rally” to smell the flowers as we travel through lower Mississippi, Louisiana and beyond.  Exploring plantations, fine dining, southern gardens, and architecture.

April 21-27, 2022 

Foley, Alabama at Johnny’s Resort RV.  This is a traditional designation rally (same site & campground for 7-days). Campers can sightsee at their own leisure and meeting up at different camp sites to play cards, barbeque, and socialize.  https://www.zemanrv.com/resorts/johnnys-lakeside-rv-resort

June 9-12, 2022 

Boonesborough Ky. State Park Campground, reserve your site ASAP, fills fast. https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/fort-boonesborough-state-park/KY/91810/overview  Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester, KY is the second Saturday in June (June 11, 2022) on main street in Winchester.  We will meet and greet on Thursday afternoon, June 9th, then decide where to eat. Friday we can explore the Winchester area, and Saturday is a full day on main street in Winchester with food and music.  Sunday, we depart for the Kentucky Horse Park or wherever.                                                  

June 13-16, 2022 

Kentucky Horse Park Campground.  To explore the park, Lexington Kentucky’s historical sites, taste test the dining delights of Georgetown and Midway, Ky.  Sightsee the horse stables, samples along the bourbon trail, check out the Keeneland, investigate the Toyota auto plant and check on the mansions on the mend. https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/kentucky-horse-park/KY/90800/overview  

Summer  2022

Volunteerism at Heartland Farm in Pawnee Rock, KS.  This farm is endorsed by the Sierra Club as an environmental supporter.  Note p. 41-42 in the December issue of the Sierra Club Magazine.

The farm is organically run by three Great Bend Dominican Sisters, a farm manager, and volunteers.  https://heartlandfarm-ks.org/get-involved/volunteer/

This is a great way to learn new information and to support the future advancement of American small farmers.   https://heartlandfarm-ks.org/experiences/custom-experiences/

October, 2022   Vermont

Mid-November, 2022  Pecan Trail 

                           

Happy Trails,   

Rachel Stultz, [email protected]

Pres. of the Kentucky Explorers’ Winnebago Club                  

859-781-1088

                                                                                               

Comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to leave a comment.