Energy Forum 2009 Challenges & Possibilities
for Alabama

Tuesday, October 13 5:30-8:30 p.m. – dinner and speaker

Wednesday, October 14 – 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – all-day Forum
Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Interfaith Environmental Initiative of Alabama (IEIA) is hosting Energy Forum 2009: Challenges and Possibilities for Alabama to explore sustainable options to meet our growing energy needs.    Energy Forum 2009 participants include members of faith, science, education, the arts, environmental, business, government, energy providers, and consumer sectors, coming together to learn and to encourage and support informed choices for care of creation. IEIA is committed to facilitating collaboration and information sharing to produce workable decisions and outcomes for sustainability in Alabama.    Registration is available at A listing of companies and organizations that are involved, along with a detailed schedule, will soon be available on the BBG website.    Registration: $50 includes dinner, lunch and refreshments Or: $25 for October 13, $25 for October 14   Please send questions and comments to


Alabama Sierra Club Outings

Cahaba Group Events

Sat. 10/3. Solar Home Tour. Come along on this tour of four solar high efficiency homes in Blount County. Bring your family and friends. This will be some ideas of the homes of the future. These are not just a model home. All have been lived in for years. We will see a straw bale and underground home among the four we tour. This is an easy walk and will be a joint tour with the Birmingham Hiking Meetup. Wear walking shoes and bring a snack and water. Bring rain gear just in case. Rated easy. Please RSVP to or call 205-540-3930. I have to give a count of how many people will be with us. We will meet at Jacks in Homewood at 07:30 or the park and ride off I65 north at exit 284 at 08:15.

10/10. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike.  This hike will take us from Cleburne County Hwy. 94 northward to U.S. Hwy. 278.  At about 7.7 miles, we will traverse elevations ranging from 850 feet (beside Terrapin Creek) to 1600 feet – crossing Maxwell Gap, Augusta Mine Ridge, and Lanie Gap before terminating at the High Point trailhead.  In the northeastern part of the state near Piedmont, we should see some early color on the trees!   This hike is located in Section 12 of the Alabama section of Pinhoti and gains a rating of strenuous due to the many changes and unevenness in terrain.  Make sure to bring a camera.  Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch.  Optional dinner afterwards.  Call or e-mail for meeting place and time.  Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879,

Tues. 10/27. Monthly Meeting. The Cahaba Group will host a screening of the award winning "Kilowatt Ours"; a timely, solutions-oriented look at one of America’s most pressing environmental challenges: ENERGY. Explore the sources of our electricity; the problems caused by energy production; and the solutions to our dilemma.   Meet the individuals, businesses and communities who are leading the way, using energy conservation, efficiency, and renewable, green power.  Learn how YOU can make a difference while saving money and the environment!   For more information on the film go to Bring your friends and family. Snacks will be provided
 Location: Birmingham Zoo Auditorium. 7pm

10/31. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike.  This Halloween hike will take us from Bull Gap (AL Hwy 148) along the ridge of Rebecca Mountain to FS603A just outside Sylacauga.  This 11 mile trek will take us along the newest section of the Pinhoti Trail south of Bull Gap.  The trail follows an old roadbed along the spine of Rebecca Mountain with views to the east and west.  Fall color should be at its peak!  If we’re lucky, the Rebecca Mountain Sasquatch will surprise us with a showing!  We’ll end the hike just 3 miles outside of Sylacauga! This hike is located in Section 12 of the Alabama section of Pinhoti, and gains a rating of strenuous due to the distance and unevenness in terrain.  Make sure to bring a camera.  Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch.  Optional dinner afterwards.  Call or e-mail for meeting place and time.  Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879,

Coosa Valley Events

Sat., 10/17.  Chief Ladiga Bike Outing.  Meet at 10:15 am and the trail intersection in Piedmont.  The group will head toward Georgia and we will aim to have a picnic lunch at the intersection of the Chief Ladiga and the Silver Comet trails.  This is about 14 miles and should take no more than an hour and a half or so with a couple of small breaks.  We will have the picnic lunch on the picnic tables there and return after 45 minutes to an hour.  This section of the trail is very scenic and has only a few, gentle grades.  It should be very doable for a reasonably fit person with decent equipment, (average cruising speed should be in excess of 10 miles per hour and more like 12 or 13).  The trail has mileage markers ever ½ kilometer as I recall and anyone not feeling up to the whole 28 miles can peel off at any time, have lunch on a bench, and return at their own pace.  There are about a dozen road intersections that require caution as you pass over them but very little traffic.  The entire trail is paved and smooth.  If you have a choice between a road bike and a mountain bike, choose the road bike.  Mountain bikes have the fat, knobby tires and they appear more comfortable but their rolling resistance is much higher than road bike tires – bottom line is skinny tires go faster and easier.  However, it should still be quite doable on a cross or mountain bike – just a little more exercise.  Outings Leaders Steve and Cindy Garrison.

Thurs. 10/22. “Green” Holidays.  Terre Lee, a member of the Coosa Valley Group of the Sierra Club will be sharing some ways to keep our holidays GREEN.  She will have some ideas for homemade gifts, decorations, and maybe even a recipe or two.  For sure Terre will bring along some of her super secret homemade wheat and herb bread and share the recipe for anyone who likes to give gifts that are a true labor of love.  Come participate as we string old fashioned popcorn garlands, or just eat the popcorn! While we’re munching, we’ll also talk about general green info such as the greenest cars, what’s new in solar and photo-voltaic products, and the latest wind power possibilities.  For example:  Did you know the IRS will give you a 30 per cent tax break for installing alternative energy equipment like solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps and small wind turbines this year?  Way to go IRS!  It isn’t often we can say something like that! As usual we will appreciate it if you will bring your own travel mug or other non-disposable drinking apparatus so we can avoid consuming more disposable cups.  Coffee, drinks and snacks will be available to enjoy. Be there at 6:30 pm on October 22, at the Joe M. Ford Center, Room 210 - 405 Korner Street in Gadsden.  For more info call David Fincher at 256-538-9444.

Mobile Bay Events

Fri.-Sun.10/2-4.  Ka-ching!!!  On the first weekend of October the streets of downtown Mobile will be clogged with fans of the bands performing at the annual BayFest music romp.  The Mobile Bay group's beverage (mostly beer, that means) booth is also an annual feature.  A small percentage of the large sales is our main source of funds for the following year's activities.  Volunteers working a few hours in the booth get free tickets to roam the whole festival site.  To sign up or to get more info, contact Mike Stratas.  Call 251-654-1982 or email

Tues. 10/20.  Mountaintop Removal in Mobile.  There's neither mountains nor coal mining in Mobile.  But LOTS of coal is shipped through the port here.  To display the mining methods that unearth some of that coal, Eric Blevins is bringing the Mountaintop Removal Road show to town.  As long as burning coal continues to fuel much of the economy and to jack up the earth's temperature, Mobile will be a major shipping hub.  So we are implicated in scalping mountains to get the coal and in global warming.  To learn the grim particulars--and perhaps get jolted into action--come to October's monthly meeting:  Botanical Gardens in Mobile municipal park, 7:00 PM, Tuesday the 20th.  For more info, call David Underhill at 251-599-8699 or email

Montgomery Events

Sat. 9/26. Perry Lakes Park Day Hike. Rated Easy. Located near Marion, this park has a bird tower, numerous trails, nesting bald eagles, and a large beach along the Cahaba River. Bring a lunch and a bathing suit if you want to take a dip in the Cahaba River. Meet 9 AM at Prattville’s Target at I-65 Exit 179. Contact John or Kim Ackerman at 334-361-4732 or

Sat. 10/31. Moss Rock Preserve Day Hike. Rated Easy. Moss Rock Preserve: Rocks, hills, and nature near Hoover Al. Bouldering, hiking, and nature close to civilization! Meet 9 AM at Prattville’s Target at I-65 Exit 179.

Don’t miss our Monthly Meetings! Our monthly Group meetings are on the second Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m., at the E.L. Lowder Library, 2590 Bell Road in Montgomery Al.

North Alabama Events

Fri. 9/ 25. Quarter Moon Walk on Wade Mountain. Easy.  Easy walk to the glades on top of Wade Mountain, first glade on Wade Mountain Trail, then Devils Racetrack. Once on top we will not use flashlights. Bring insect repellent, flashlight, sturdy boots, water and binoculars. Enjoy some binocular astronomy, owls, and a moonlit trail. This is also part of the Landtrust outings. Meet at the trail head on Spragins Hollow Road at 7:00pm, or meet at Olive Garden at 4:00pm for dinner before the hike. Call Doug Horacek for more information at 772-6788.

Sat. 9/26. Tims Ford State Park hike. Strenuous. This 10-11 mile hike is rated strenuous due to distance.  Tims Ford is an often overlooked Tennessee state park which offers an in/out scenic trail along its reservoir.  If you don't catch the action one direction, you probably will coming back!  We will leaveat 8:30am from the parking lot behind McDonald's at 2234  Winchester Road, HSV, near Publix.  Bring snacks, food, water, bug spray and good hiking shoes.  An optional snack/dine out afterward for those who leave the trail with an appetite.  For more info, contact Sandy Kiplinger at

Tues. 9/29. Mountain Evening Hike. 6:00pm - Easy. 3-4 mile hike. Meet at the Monte Sano Hiker’s parking lot. Judy Burley, 883-4267.

Sat. 10/3. Stonedoor hike. Strenuous.  This ten mile rugged hike is in the South Cumberland. The Great Stone Door is a 150-foot deep crevice at the crest of the plateau by which we will enter Big Creek Gulf. We will follow the Big Creek Gulf trail with a side trip to Ranger Falls and return by way of the Big Creek Rim trail that promises spectacular vistas. Bring lunch and water.  We will eat at a local restaurant on the way back. Meet at the Publix on Winchester Road at 8:00am. Contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or

Sunday, 10/4 - Wade Mountain hike. Easy. Join us on a long but easy outing on Wade Mountain on a crisp fall afternoon. There will be fall wild flowers on Devil's Racetrack and butterflies on the glades. Bring water, a camera and sturdy hiking boots. Meet at 2:00pm at the Wade Mountain trailhead on Spragins Hollow Road. Contact Doug Horacek at 772-6788.

Tuesday Hikes Move Downtown
Tues. 10/6. Downtown Evening Hike. 6:00pm - Easy. Meet at the Land Trust parking lot at 907 Franklin St.  Virgil DeStefano, 539-0348.

Sat-Sun. 10/10-11. Sandy & Michael’s Awesome River Adventure! Moderate. Let your woes fly, breath the tranquility, take Facebook worthy photos, and enjoy the ride as we paddle down 13 miles of the scenic Elk River in Tennessee.  After a day on the water, we’ll park our tents under the trees and share fish tales and gossip by the campfire. Contact Sandy Kiplinger or Michael Stewart  for more information on canoe/kayak/shuttle fee, camping fee, what to bring, etc.  Reserve your spot by October 1.  Non-refundable deposit of $15.00 required.

Sat. 10/10. Walls of Jericho hike. Strenuous. The Walls of Jericho is a large, bowl-shaped natural amphitheater that shoots water out of holes and cracks in the canyon wall during times of high water flow. This is a unique area that consists of more than 21,000 acres of rivers, forested uplands and caves spreading across the Alabama and Tennessee state line. This beautiful tract, once the hunting grounds of Davy Crockett, has an extraordinarily diverse array of plants and animals. We will enter at the Tennessee trailhead and exit on the Alabama side with a side trip to the Mill Creek blowhole. The hike is approximately 10 miles with a 1000 feet elevation gain. Bring lunch and we will dine afterwards at a local restaurant.  Meet at 8:30am at the Publix in Hampton Cove.  Contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or

Tues. 10/13. Downtown Evening Hike. 6:00pm - Easy. Meet at the Land Trust parking lot at 907 Franklin St. Michael Stewart, 656-5836.

Tues. 10/20. Downtown Evening Hike. 6:00pm - Easy. Meet at the Land Trust parking lot at 907 Franklin St. Nancy Dudney, 882-9408.

Sat. 10/24. Signal Point hike. Moderate.  Signal Point is the highest point on Signal Mountain. The hike from Signal Point to Edwards Point is part of the Cumberland Trail with striking overlooks of the Tennessee River. The hike follows the top of the Tennessee River Gorge and covers some rocky terrain and requires some climbing. The area includes the Julia Falls Overlook, Edwards Point , a view of Rainbow Falls on the trail to Middle Creek across the suspension bridge and Lockhart’s Arch. The hike is about seven miles.  Bring lunch and we will dine afterwards at a local restaurant.  Meet at 8:00am at the Publix in Hampton Cove. Contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or

Tues. 10/27. Downtown Evening Hike. 6:00pm - Easy. Meet at the Land Trust parking lot at 907 Franklin St. Ken Shrider, 772-9442.

West Alabama Events

Thurs. 10/15. 7:00pm. Monthly meeting. "Earthquakes and Other Possible AL Hazards" Sandy Ebersole, Geological Survey of Alabama. University Capstone Village retirement home, Card Room, 601 5th Ave E, Tuscaloosa

Sat.  10/24. Catfish farm outing. (near Greensboro, about 1 hour drive). Meet 7:30am. Books-a-Million. Probably we will visit a catfish farm, a tilapia farm, a shrimp farm, and the Fish Center, with a catfish/shrimp fry lunch afterwards ($7.50 contribution).  Some walking, not strenuous. Call or email Pieter Visscher (205 339 3690,, by October 23 if possible) to sign up, or for more information.