This week’s entry is a little different – we’ve had many long travel days as we move down these rivers and it’s given me a lot of time for reflection…..uh oh! But first, the normal trip update.
We left Columbus AL after the rain stopped on Monday and traveled to an anchorage and then to a marina in Demopolis AL on Tuesday. It rained hard off and on for the 3 days and nights we were there but we made the best of it. We caught up with other Loopers in Demopolis and spent a day touring a couple of beautiful antebellum plantations.
The rain brought a mean cold front with it. When we woke up on Wednesday morning it was 75 when we went to bed it was 40, in fact it’s been colder here in Alabama than it’s been at home. It’s been hovering in the mid to low 30s when we wake up so the heat has been on and our winter(ish) jackets have come out to play.
As I’ve mentioned previously, the rain makes the rivers rise which means there is likely to be lots of debris in the river. The logs and downed trees that are on the banks get swept in when the river rises and they up and down in the water or sometimes just stick straight up. You really need two sets of eyes to watch for what’s coming, hitting something could cause major damage to the props or worse, your boat! At the marina in Demopolis the dock master gives a talk each night to discuss weather and river conditions to help boaters decide when to stay and whether to stay another day or get going. Given that many of us had to avoid traveling south before November 1st, there are many many Loopers traveling to the same docks and anchorages – which are few and far between on this leg of the trip, so how many are traveling also has to be considered so that there’s enough room for everyone. So we decided to leave on Friday morning and did so just before dawn with 7 other boats and cruised almost 100 miles to Bobby’s Fish Camp, another iconic Great Loop destination. It’s not really a marina, just a dock with a restaurant where we had to raft up 3 deep in a roaring current. The captains all did amazingly well and I’m glad it wasn’t a bigger group!
After the fog cleared we all peeled off of each other 😏to continue on our trek south Shortly thereafter I am thrilled to say that we cleared our last lock of the loop! We have done over 100 locks since leaving Fort Myers in March so this is a huge feeling of accomplishment. I did a happy dance out on the bow of the boat at 7:30 this morning in the fog and chill – it wasn’t a good dance, but I danced!
So, as exciting as this trip is, lately I’ve been thinking about what we’ve left behind, and today underway I compiled a list of what I miss. For better or worse, I’ll share it here:
Things I miss from real life (from least to most)
The gym – can’t believe I’m saying that but I’m putting weight on partially due to lack of consistent exercise and mostly due to Docktails. Please note that I miss the gym the LEAST of all that follows.
My car – not the vehicle itself (though I do love Baby) but the places it takes me…..like……
- Home Goods – if we are in a car we haven’t been near one in months
- Stop n Shop – I can’t believe how often I buy groceries at Walmart which I never did before – but there hasn’t been a choice! (PS – Danny says he loves the “Wallymart – nothing like being able to buy your oil for the boat at the same place you buy your lettuce)
- Tendercrop Farm – seems like a long time since we even came across a Farmers Market!
My hairdresser Tom – As he would say if he saw me “Girl…….those roots!!”
My washing machine – I’m SO over marina washers and dryers, especially the lugging it to and from the boat part
My dining room – I really miss making the table look pretty and having my people around it eating the food I buy from anywhere but Walmart
My kitchen – it’s not big as kitchens go but it’s WAY bigger than our galley on the boat – though we do cook and eat well (too well as stated above)
My bed – we have a king size bed on the boat but we are thinking we need a new mattress. We say Ouch for the first several steps every morning – actually, we do that at home too, but still……
The view of the river from our front porch – yes we always have a waterfront view on the boat and it’s often prettier than home – but home is OUR view
I guess I miss my whole house 😀 now that I look at all of those
And most of all – the number one thing I miss, of course – my people. Our good friends and our families. I miss our friends Robyn and Terry and I especially miss my sister Brenda though I hear from her almost every day. I really, really miss my kids and most of all I miss Lilah. I hate that I’ve missed two of her Halloween’s, a Christmas and I’m about to miss a birthday ( though I did fly home for her birthday last year and was home for her dance recital). We will be home for Christmas this year and I look forward to spoiling her rotten.
That’s it – that’s enough! So I just asked Danny if this sounds whiny and he shrugged which means yes. Sorry for that – I know we are blessed beyond words to be on this trip and have loved much of it, mostly the new places we’ve seen and the people we’ve met, and I look forward to winter in Stock Island, which is minutes from Key West. We are getting closer and closer with each days’ travel and I’ll continue to share our journey.
I will be cheerier next time and hope you miss us too!
Captain Dan and Cruise Director Jodi