With only had a limited amount of time in Mobile, I had a hard time narrowing down how I wanted to spend our time. But, when I saw the opportunity to go kayaking with WildNative Tours on the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, I knew that was what I wanted to do. It seemed like the ideal way to get to know Alabama a bit better, even if there was a chance we’d be seeing some alligators.
Once we got down to the Delta, I was grateful we had chosen this activity. The area was beautiful. I am not sure what I expected, but even on the cold, cloudy morning, I knew we had made the right choice. I often find that spending time in nature allows me to better understand a new place, and with the help of our guide, Chris, by the end of the trip, I learned a lot about Alabama.
Kayaking is not one of my strongest activities, if I am being honest. But, lucky for me, when we showed up I saw a tandem kayak, which meant I’d have to rely less on my skills and more on John’s. This would also allow me to focus on documenting the activity, and I was pretty sure he’d protect me from gators. In many ways, it was a win-win situation, at least for me.
As made our way throughout the Delta, the wind was on our side, which made kayaking a bit easier than usual. Chris was not only an excellent guide in terms of the activity, but he was extremely knowledgeable. He didn’t force information down our throats the whole time, but he did have a lot to teach us about the area, and he let us know the information naturally. When we’d encounter animals or plants, he give us a bit of history about them, and on occasion tell a joke.
He was more of a storyteller than anything else and that I could appreciate. Since he had grown up in Alabama, he had lots to share, and I enjoyed every minute. As we learned on our trip, Alabama ranks number five in ecological diversity in the fifty United States. This is something I would have never guessed, but thanks to the state’s location, it has the coast, as well as this river delta, and even part of the Appalachian Mountains.
After a bit of time kayaking, we stopped off at a new camping site that was being built. There was an area for the kayaks to park and unload, as well as covered, screened in platforms for camping. This just made me want to come back and plan a weekend adventure in the area.
We got in our kayaks and headed back to the launching site. Since the morning was cold, the gators weren’t out, although I did see a small one peak its head out from nearby Chris’ kayak. I was not only excited to see it, but even more excited it was under Chris’ kayak instead of mine. We waited for a bit for to see if it popped back up, but unfortunately it stayed under the water.
While we may not have really seen any alligators, we did spot an eagle chasing after an osprey, and then had some windy paddling on the way back to the center. This made for a work out on its own. As a reward for our efforts, we stopped at Felix’s Fish Camp, a nearby restaurant situated on Mobile Bay, for a lunch of crawdaddy patties and fried green tomatoes. It was the perfect way to end our time in Alabama and plan our next trip back to the state.
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We were guests of WildNative and Visit Mobile, however, all views and opinions are my own.