Monday, January 21, 2008

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

The sun finally came out and so it was time to do some more exploring. Off we went to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Now before we had gone there by boat so today we drove the 33 miles and entered the main gate.
We went inside and showed them our national park pass and talked with the people about the possibility of doing volunteer work. The ranger gave us a packet, we looked at the exhibits and pictures and took off to explore.
The refuge has a total of 16 miles of public road and lots of stops and trails. It became obvious that this place is not a one day visit. As we drove along we saw our first live armadillo, we saw lots throughout the day. Always wondered what armadillo tastes like, I heard that it is kind of like pig, hmmmmmm.
Anyway we passed several stops and walked to several vantage points. The most noticeable was Jones Lake where Renita spotted the biggest alligator we have eer seen! It was at least ten feet! Luckily it was on the other side of the pond. As we watched it float around ducks kept approaching it but it must have been full as we didn't get to see it feed. Darn.
WE then drove to the observation tower to look for whoppers but didn't see any. he usual egrets, herons, rosettes, were all present but no whoppers. The tower is really eat as it is higher than the oak canopy and provides you with a great view of the refuge and the intercoastal.
Our last drive, in the refuge was a one way road that wound through the marsh for 11 miles. It had warning signs as to a size and width limit, but we had no problems and I actually could have driven our house down it. The only problem was there was no place to park it as the turnouts are about 30 feet or so. AS we drove it I wished we had brought our bikes as the total trail is 16 miles and it would have been a beautiful ride. Next time!
On our way home we stopped at a tiny place called Hoppers Landing. It's 3 miles from the refuge and has rv parking with full hookups! Amazing. I was kind of reminded of the movie, "Deliverance". In other words a great place to hunt and fish between trips to the refuge! Clear skies!

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