Daytrippin’ – Day 10

This morning we awake at Wheeler State Park – good sign, as that’s where we were when we fell asleep last night!

Today is a beautiful day and it’s going to be a busy one.  We wolf down some nourishment, then we’re off to try our hand, again, at our golf game.  Thank goodness we play better today than when we were at Pickwick.  (not perfect, mind you, but better)   It was a perfect golf kinda day and we really enjoyed ourselves despite any errors in our game.

At one point, as we were heading to another tee box, I looked over, and lo, and behold, I saw, at a distance, Miss Tiggy Winkle scurrying through the dry leaves! And, I am not sure, but I may have seen a small clothes line with a few dainty handkerchiefs dangling out to dry.

Okay, okay, it wasn’t Miss Tiggy Winkle.  Just a puggie little groundhog, but it did make me think of Miss Tiggy Winkle and her cute ways.

At Wheeler, near where I spotted "Miss Tiggy Winkle"

This friendly state employee gave Clint a ride to the clubhouse to get a golf cart.

I really cannot tell you what Clint is doing in this photo.

Enough said about golf, we turn in our golf cart and pack up the boat, walk the girls, and we’re off.

New cabins for rent at Wheeler State Park.

So long Wheeler, we’re headed up river to Decatur, hoping to try out The Hard Dock Cafe for a late lunch/early dinner.

Enjoying the ride and all the sites

I cannot put into words the beauty and expanse of the Tennessee River.  I am not sure any writer could do it justice.  There is a feel that you get being out on that body of flowing water, it’s calm, it’s spaciousness, the impact of so much nature surrounding you.  It’s more than words can say, it’s something that you must feel for yourself.  It is a feeling I want to carry with me when we have to head back to the farm.  I don’t want to forget this river, ever.

Every mile marker we pass has a bird's nest on it

The L&N Bridge as we enter Decatur

The prize for “Most Personality” on this March 2010 trip most assuredly goes to this railroad bridge keeper.  The man had the cutest southern drawl and the friendliness that I wish all us southerners had.  You cannot talk to this man and not be smiling when you’re done.  Even the second time through, it still felt strange seeing the bridge lift for little ole Barefootin’.

The Hard Dock Cafe at River Walk Marina

We pull in to the Riverwalk Marina and tie up.  Steve, the owner of the marina and Hard Dock Cafe comes down to welcome us.  He informs us that he has told his wife we were coming because she wants to see our dogs.  It’s not long before she shows up, we all talk, they pet the girls, and we talk a little more.  (and I take the girls for a potty walk)  They tell us some of their favorites on the cafe menu and then we say our goodbyes.

The Hard Dock Cafe reminds us of Flora-Bama, down on Perdido Key, run down with loads of personality.  My kinda place.  Since it’s a beautiful sunny day, we choose an outside table looking over the river.  We are quite impressed with the choices on the menu and, decide right then that we will be back to try more of the dinners.  This time we both go for an appetizer.  Clint orders the crab balls (yep, we agree, funny name) and a side salad.  I order the buffalo shrimp and side salad. Both appetizers were really good.  The best buffalo shrimp I’ve ever had, and Clint vouched for his too.   The only downside was paper plates and plastic utensils, but they did go right along with the rest of the decor.

The Hard Dock Cafe opens at 3pm, Wed.- Sat.  On Friday and Saturday’s they have live music.  If you are ever in Decatur and want a place where you can just relax and enjoy, this is your place.

Heading back down to the boat from Hard Dock Cafe, the dogs are in the boat watching for us

Once again, today, we untie the lines and push off.  This time, our destination is Ditto Landing, a marina owned by the city of Huntsville.  Ditto is where we will be bedding down for the night.

It is 4:30 when we leave the Riverwalk Marina and move into the river once again.

To find this marina, we just follow the road signs...

We shared almost half a box of expensive crackers with all the cute ducks where we docked for the night

Peace and quiet at Ditto Landing

The night is uneventful with one exception, no water at the docks.  They had told us that they did have water…the marina worker comes down to apologize the next morning before we leave and only charges us $20 for the slip.

Ditto Landing is being redone by the city of Huntsville.  They are putting in new transient docks and a new marina office and bath and laundry facilities.  It is in a beautiful little cove, so it will be great when the renovation is completed.

There are loads of people fishing here at Ditto Landing.  Little inlets and islands dot the area and it makes for a great spot to bring your bait bucket, lunch and a rod.  I love seeing everyone enjoying themselves so much.  Only problem, the junk they leave behind is disgusting.  I can’t imagine coming to this beautiful spot and leaving my coke bottle and napkin on the ground when I leave.  Why do humans do that!!!?? I truly do not understand people who leave trash or throw it out their car window.

Ditto Landing also has camping facilities and a playground or two.  There is probably much more offered than what I saw.  I was limited to what was between us and the showers.  Too pooped to do any real exploring.

Sweet dreams all!

Today’s Question: What well-known animal will attack and kill a rattlesnake, copperhead or water mocassin, be bitten and survive the snake’s bite without any effects?   It is an opossum, they are somehow immune.  Every animal has it’s unique qualities, just like each person.  : )

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