Enjoyed coffee with all our friends before leaving the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club around 10:30 headed back to the boat in Florence. In the afternoon, we visited the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama. Completed in 1940, we enjoyed our tour of this unusual property that was considered to be quite controversial in this very conservative neighborhood. After that, we dropped by W.C. Handy’s birthplace (he is considered to be the “Father of Blues”). Toured the beautiful campus of University of North Alabama. Back to the marina in time to have cocktails in the restaurant with other Loopers. Served dinner on board. We stayed awake almost long enough to watch a whole movie DVD!
I swear we have seen more rain in the last 2 weeks than we have seen in a year! Slow, steady shower this morning, even though the temps remain warm. We left to explore as the rain was letting up around 11am. The sun never came out, but no more showers! Ivy Green was an inspiration & we loved touring Helen Keller’s birthplace & home. Two heroes here, the brilliant mind of a child that managed to excel through terrific handicaps & a teacher that devoted herself to her teaching & her student. They were equally blessed by each other. Then on to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. The Muscle Shoals area attracted many famous recording artist, but we were impressed to remember how many were Alabama home grown!Amazing! A late lunch at a BBQ joint (not as good as yours, Ted!), then we return the rental car. Back at the boat, we have a visit from one of our favorite boat Captains who happens to live here, Jay Martin! Breakfast tonight for dinner, with veggie fritata & a specialty sausage we found up river! Life is good on the tour. Oh my gosh, the official tour is almost over!! I think we will hold on to the general theme!
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”-Forrest Gump. Before lunch this morning we got a call that my mom in the Gulf Shores, AL area had been admitted into the hospital with chest pains. She had 5 bypasses in 1986 & has not had any problems since. I had a problem finding a one-way drop off rental car to get me to Birmingham to pick up a car so our son Brad came & picked me up in one of ours. By 3pm I was making the 7 hour drive to arrive at my brother’s house in Fairhope, AL by 10:30pm. (Fairhope is on the Eastern shore of Mobile Bay and a must-see if you are headed down the Tenn-Tom. Probably Alabama’s most charming little town with great restaurants, art galleries, streets filled with flowers, etc.) For pictures check Nov 2008 when last we visited. Brad stayed with the boat. The Florence area is rich with Loopers right now because many are gathering for the Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler. Luckily, Jimmy (“Riff Raff”) happened to call & when he heard our situation, offered to catch a ride to Florence and crew for Brad to get the boat to Joe Wheeler State Park the next day!
Yeah, Loopers are like that! Thanks Jimmy.
Hospital 6am. Procedure (arteriogram)early afternoon & the news is good. The doctor wants to do one or two stints (a pretty routine procedure these days, Thank you God!) however the hospital she is at is mostly diagnostic & she will have to go to another hospital on the 20th to have that done. They release her to return home at 10pm. Brad’s day did not go as planned either. Jimmy comes down to help Brad move the 20 miles & 2 locks and the starboard engine refuses to crank when he is ready to leave the lock. He limps into Joe Wheeler, checks everything he can think of & comes up empty. Diesel Don is out of state but we are on his list for his return at the end of the week. I think I know what the problem is. Coming to the end of the trip, we have bragged on her performance way too much without knocking on wood! It’s hard to go nearly 7,000 miles without having a few issues. How ironic to get within a hundred miles of home & have trouble with her. Oh well, it IS a boat! Hope it’s minor.
Me thinks “Salvage Crew” did not want to finish the journey without Capt Patti on board & so she is staging a little protest! After one year of catching most the breaks, this trip is not ending exactly as planned. But you know what? Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, It’s about learning how to dance in the rain!
A fantastic voyage, we can’t believe it has come to an end. We have felt blessed every single day that we’ve been able to take this trip & we thank God for this incredible world that he gave us to enjoy. We really can’t imagine a more wonderful experience than the one we have had. It has been amazing in every way.
We have met so many good, interesting, fun people and made friends that we know in our hearts are the forever kind.
And to all of you who have traveled with us on this journey (via internet), Thank you for coming along. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. You don’t know what a thrill it has been for us to hear from you (and in some cases meet you)! If we have inspired at all, we hope it has been to chase your dreams.
AS SOON AS WE GET MY SWEET MOM ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY AND “SALVAGE CREW” BACK IN HER SLIP AT LAKE GUNTERSVILLE YACHT CLUB, WE WILL BE BACK HERE ON THIS SITE WITH SOME STATISTICS OF OUR TRIP!
“And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Eliot
Who knows where we may go from here!!!!!!
But for now, this is Brad & Patti wishing you Fair skies, Calm seas & Safe Travels!
“Salvage Crew” arrived back at Lake Guntersville Yacht Club on 10/19 officially ending the one year & one day cruise. Brad left me the message “Babys back in bed”! I was with my mom in Fairhope & she had her heart procedure on 10/20 and did just great! Thanks for all the prayers!
Salvage Crew Trip Statistics
796 Hours Underway
149 Ports of Call
10 Nights at Anchor
6003 Gallons of Fuel
$2.72 Avg price of fuel per Gallon
Avg 43 miles traveled each day on the days we traveled
Lowest Bridge 19’1” on the Illinois River below Chicago
Most expensive Marina-Liberty Landing (NYC) $4.25 per ft. (Ouch!)
Best Cheeseburger-Pete’s Pub – Little Harbour, Abacos (Get the Blue Cheese Burger)!
The most fantastic part of the trip--the people we met along the way!
Traveled 175 Days & 2900 miles with Buddy Boat “Good News” Mary & Andy Sarver
(Love & miss you guys!)
Our memories…….they are absolutely Priceless!!