Saturday, October 27, 2012

What Happened to Fall???

Days on cruise:  217

Distance traveled:  43.8 miles

Travel time:  4 hrs, 41 mins

Total trip odometer:  4,590 statute miles

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Three weeks ago we arrived in Chattanooga to pick up Bob’s sister Lynn and her husband David from Seattle to join us for a week on the boat. Coinciding exactly with their arrival, Summer weather ended and Fall arrived, bringing rain, gray skies, high temps in the 60s and lows in the low 50s.  Today:  Winter arrived! Why was Fall so short? After spending 8 1/2 months following Summer around North America, we’re in shock to find ourselves unable to wear shorts and sleeveless shirts with flip flops. We don’t expect any sympathy, but still.


We spent this morning seeing the sights of Florence, AL, a surprisingly delightful little town. First we stopped at Ivy Green, the home (above) where Helen Keller grew up and was taught by Annie Sullivan to understand sign language which opened up her world.


This is the water spout where she had her first “Ah ha!” moment, connecting the letters W-A-T-E-R spelled into her hand with the idea of the water flowing over her palm.



Next we stopped by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed  Rosenbaum House built in 1939 in the Usonian style. The original family occupied this home until 1999 when the City of Florence bought it and turned it into a museum. Over the years we’ve seen and toured several Frank Lloyd Wright homes, and found this to be our favorite so far.

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No photos inside, so this is a “found” picture of the living room.

At noon we slipped our lines and headed west to travel the last bit of the Tennessee River. On departure the weather was sunny and mild, but it soon became gray, rainy and cold. Nonetheless conditions were fine until the last couple of hours when the temperature plummeted, wind began howling and the waves grew to 2-3 feet consistently; not enough to be scary, but unusual conditions on a RIVER!


This was the end of the stretch that involved re-tracing our steps for the 500-mile round trip Chattanooga side-trip. Tomorrow we’ll begin new territory again.


We stopped at Grand Harbor Marina for fuel ($3.89/gallon) then moved two miles down Yellow Creek to Aqua Yacht Harbor for the night. Right after tying up the boat, Boyd (an Aussie) and LynnAnne arrived for a visit. We met Boyd in Norfolk 17 months ago at our first Rendezvous, but only met LynnAnne at the Rendezvous this past week. They’re great folks who are re-building much of the Loop boat they bought and hope to begin their Loop next year. Ten minutes later John and Carol, also owners of a 42’ Jefferson who recently finished their Loop, arrived at our door and came aboard to join the visit.

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Later we went to “Freddy T’s” for dinner with John and Carol and swapped Looper and 42’ Jefferson stories over pork chops and catfish. They’re nice folks, and we’re glad we finally got to meet them after first connecting with them online in Canada, but continuously leap-frogging each other along the way.

If the weather’s ok, we’ll begin our 450-mile journey down the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway tomorrow. This area is often described as the most remote of the entire Loop. Marinas are infrequent on this leg (the last one is 119 miles before Mobile, AL), and we’re told cell signals and internet are sporadic. So we may not post as regularly in this stretch, or call family and friends other than in Demopolis, the only real city along the way. More on the Tenn-Tom later.

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