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As I sit here at the kitchen counter looking out at the falling snow I’m wondering just how long it will be before we can chop a hole in the ice and get Tourist back in operation. Not anytime soon from the looks of it.
So as I often do when faced with reality, I space off into my happy place…..On the water!
Here are a few random pictures of some past happenings.
A colorful meal being prepared by Mike.
Checking on the neighbors.
Nancy & Pam solving the worlds problems.
Eirean heading out. (Mike & Nancy)
Bill, Pam, & Barb relaxing on the bow.
Mike lookin patriotic on July 3rd.
Raft ups waiting for July 3rd fireworks.
Setting a stern anchor to keep the armada in place.
Captain “Fiddle F…” trying to figure out his camera.
The start of the air show.
The highlight of the show. An F-18.
Trouble comes in fours.
One of the things that I always question when a blog I’ve been following goes quiet is “I wonder what happened. Did they quit cruising or maybe worse have health issues or get a divorce?” Any number of thoughts pass through my mind as I ponder what could have happened.
Well I’m happy to report that in our case the answer to all of the above is NO. Although our cruising has been curtailed quite a bit since we made that left turn onto the Tennessee River.
As well as Tourist making a left turn so did our lives as we’d known them for the previous few years.
The passing of my Dad was the beginning of our directional change. That was followed by Pam’s Dad being diagnosed with cancer and her Mom’s on going battle with arthritis. That combination prompted the selling of their multi-level house and moving into an independent living facility. A hard move to make but a good one for them and peace of mind for the rest of the family.
A few months later we moved my mother into the same facility when she was diagnosed with dementia. She had been living at home alone and in general not taking care of herself. Getting her to move took a little convincing but once the move was made she hasn’t looked back.
We now have my Mom and Pam’s parents not only in the same facility but across the hall from one another. No one can make a move without us hearing about it!
Needless to say our focus has changed.
As far as the blog is concerned I’ll try to do a few recaps over the next few months of what’s been happening in our lives. There could even be some boating involved.
I covered 2016 in previous posts so I’ll start randomly in 2017.
Since we’ve been home most of our time has been spent locally. We were able to sneak away in June of ’17 for a few days to Las Vegas where we met Rick & Sarah (M/V Private Affair) and Mark & Kate (M/V Mar-Kate). Of course what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so sorry, no incriminating pictures. Let’s just say we had a good time!
Pam and I did take a one day side trip to the Grand Canyon where we were able to take pictures. So here are a few.
Our first stop out of Vegas was at the Hoover Dam.
Looking out at the low water of Lake Mead.
One of the Lake Mead marinas. Notice where the water level used to be on the mound in the lower part of the picture.
Looking down river from the Pat Tillman Bridge. The old road is visible on the right side of the river.
Pat Tillman Bridge that took traffic off of the dam .
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead from the bridge.
From Hoover Dam we continued on and picked up I-40 at Kingman, Az.
Who could resist stopping at the Road Kill Café in Seligman, Az.
You may remember last spring when Tourist pulled out of Fort Myers and headed north. Our intention was to work our way back over familiar waters to the Tennessee River and make a right turn with a final destination of Tellico Lake in mind for the summe…
Last tow of the season. M/V Wisconsin southbound in the snow.
So about this time in years past Pam & I have been getting ready to return to Tourist for the winter months. This year we’re preparing Tourist for a long winters nap instead of getting her ready for another season. WAIT! D…
I’ll bet that heading got your attention! Well it’s true…..but not in the way you may have hoped. Not wanting to dive into the winterization of Tourist too quickly we jumped at the suggestion from Nancy to go topless touring for a day to check o…
One of the events that kept us from getting one more week-end on Tourist was my 45th year class reunion. I haven’t been to a reunion since my 25th so I wasn’t sure I’d recognize any of my classmates. In most cases it took me only a few second…
For some reason as we progress in years it becomes harder to schedule times when there isn’t something else already on the calendar. It was for this reason that we enjoyed our last weekend on the hook in early October. The river was still high but rece…
For the past couple of weeks the Mississippi has been swelling as a result of the heavy rains in our area and upstream as far as the Twin Cities. Flash flooding along the streams feeding into the river brought trees, tires, barrels, and plenty of topsoil into the main channel of the river to start it’s journey to the Gulf of Mexico. For boaters venturing onto the river it can be like playing dodge ball. There’s room to move but you better keep a keen eye or you’ll end up with a bruise. Or worse.
Earlier in the summer we had made plans with Kim & Lu and Mike & Nancy to travel north by boat during this time. Kim and Mike had taken time off work never dreaming that our plans could be thwarted by an autumn flood.
As the time approached we weighed our options and decided to give it a try. The current in the river really wasn’t any worse than we’ve experienced before on our travels. The challenge would be the amount of junk that we’d be facing. Let’s go!
Our first stop wasn’t far from home. We anchored below Lock & Dam 11 behind some islands that are normally inaccessible with our boats. The current was minimal and the water relatively free from debris thanks to the filtering effect the islands around us created.
Following are some photos from our flood time.
Anchored where we normally can’t go with Mike & Nancy and Kim & Lu.
Mike & Nancy looking for treasures.
Our view looking south.
Kim & Lu disturbing the seagulls at Dubuque Marina.
Just a tree making it’s way down river.
After couple of days at our first anchorage Kim & I decided to give it a try and head upriver. If it was too bad we’d turn around. Mike and Nancy stuck to their original plans to return to their marina. So off we went.
Locking thru 11 was just a formality. Pull in. Grab the lock lines. Lower gate closes and within a couple of minutes the upper gates open and out we go. And that’s how it was except for the lock attendant who moved at the speed of a snail when he made the 600′ walk from one end of the chamber to the other.
Debris in the water a few miles above Lock 11.