“OH NO — I GOT THE ‘U’ ” — HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

Sorry Jeannie, I couldn’t resist!!   One of many MEMORABLE Thanksgiving dinners around the big table at 46!!!!    The one and only one thing I miss regarding the decision to downsize — not having the space to invite many feet to be under my table.

BUT hey — what a wonderful life it is and how blessed my heart feels this Thanksgiving when reflecting on family and friends.

AND speaking of which, the past 2 days have brought encounters with childhood friends from home town Rockville, IN.

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LUNCH AT FELIX’S, MOBILE, AL.  11/20/16                                                                                                            L-R     HANK, JANET,SUSIE WELCH, BUTCH OVERPECK
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11/21/16  SURPRISE —    DUANE SAPPENFIELD   (FROM NEW MEXICO)  AS HE WAS TRAVELING THRU MOBILE AND ME !!!   CLASS OF ’64

Thanks Duane for making the effort to connect.   Safe journey home.

 

We leave tomorrow for Houston to share Thanksgiving with Hank’s oldest daughter, Katey and Robert at Robert’s parent’s home.  Thank you ,Joe and Marie, for the invite.   Hank will be working in Texas the week following while I fly back to this area and meet up with childhood gal pals!!   Didn’t I just say,,,,LIFE IS GOOD?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE.  STAY SAFE AND WELL.

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MOBILE, ALABAMA

As mentioned before, the adventure has brought us to Mobile, AL.   FIRST thing once docked and secured – we grabbed another couple, hopped into the courtesy vehicle ( truck), and off we went to WINTZELL’S OYSTER HOUSE!!      We enjoyed raw oysters as well as charbroiled/roasted oysters.   This is one of Hank’s favorite places that he frequents every time he is in the area.   THEN, yesterday, we headed to the DEW DROP INN for their famous hamburgers and hotdogs.   The place was updated in the 1960’2 and has NOT been touched sine then.   AND on purpose!!!    A very local place out on the edges of Mobile.

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CHECK OUT THE VARIOUS HOT DOG OFFERINGS!!!!!!!!!

While cruising take a look at our offices:

 

 

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JANET’S WORK STATION / DESK
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HANK’S PRIVATE “YELLOW” PHONE BOOTH!

 

BOAT UPDATE    — not that y’all really care about this, ha — but since we are inconvenienced, will do the same to you.   🙂   🙂

We are awaiting the electrician’s “diagnosis” of our charging system for Salt Lick.  The haul out date for bottom painting has not been set, and we are a bit frustrated.   Today we are going to explore Mobile.  Foodie – man  has already scouted out 6 or so restaurants that he feels we need to try.   Bring on the Prilosec.   🙂

Salt Lick will be here for 3 weeks.  We have business off the boat as well as the boat maintenance and repair work that needs to be done.  While docked we have been chatting with other “boat people” that come and go from this marina.   Always fun to hear their stories and find out what makes them tick!!

Two slips away is a couple from Indianapolis, IN.   They are independent contractors and just decided on a whim to take off on their sailboat from Michigan City, IN and “do ” this Great Loop trip.   Then, Kelly (the female), was offered a permanent position with a firm in Raleigh, NC SO — now they are leaving their boat here, flying back to Indy, packing up their “stuff” and will head to NC to find housing.   Later on in the year, the husband will come and get the boat and take it to NC somewhere.   Great Loop adventure, short lived!!!!

BLOG WILL TAKE A BREAK   —   WILL RETURN WHEN THERE IS EXCITEMENT AND INTEREST TO SHARE.

LOVE TO ALL

ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWENTY!!!!!

From Chicago, Illinois to Mobile, Alabama along the River route  of the Chicago Sanitary and Industrial Canal, Illinois, Mississippi,  Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, Black Warrior and Mobile Rivers we have cruised 1,320 miles!!!    We made it to Mobile this past Sunday, Nov. 13th.

The 40 days it took us to get here was interrupted by Hurricane Matthew by about 10 days, BUT – on a good note, our weather has been most co-operative for our cruising.

****NOTE*****    The previous blog post ,” Changes” , has been updated with a short video that you might enjoy viewing.   ***************

 

River houses come in all shapes , sizes and “STYLES”.

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MOST HOUSES ARE RAISED HIGH ON STILTS DUE TO  FLOODS!
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HAVE SHIPPING CONTAINERS – WILL BUILD!!!!
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MULTI-PURPOSE RIVER CABIN  —   FISHING AND HUNTING.     NOTE DEER ANTLERS ON RIGHT SIDE!!!!          NEW STEPS THO’.
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YEP —- THIS IS A TOTEM POLE!!!!       BEATS THE GUY FURTHER UP RIVER WHO PLOPPED A RED PHONE BOOTH OUT IN HIS YEARD!!!
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WHILE NOT ALONG THE RIVER BANK, ANTEBELLUM HOME IN COLUMBUS, MS!!!

The wife of this plantation owner only stayed in Mississippi for less than a year, as she felt the “VAPORS” in the region were very unhealthy!!!   So she took her little self back to New York State.   Bless her heart!

CHANGES……………..

Since my last posting, we have gained a new President Elect, Salt Lick has progressed along the Tenn-Tom waterway towards Mobile, AL, Spanish Moss  and Palmetto bushes have been sighted   (a sign of being in “home” territory), we have observed shrimp jumping in a creek, and altho’ the days are shorter, the sun is warmer.

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SPANSIH MOSS — A SIGN OF BEING IN THE SOUTH ONCE AGAIN

We have cruised thru the TENN-TOM, onto the Black Warrior River, which was joined by the TOMBIGBEE River and the Alabama  River to form the MOBILE River, which we are presently traveling on this date, Sat., Nov. 12 2016.

The journey thru these rivers has been in very isolated areas of Mississippi and Alabama.  Way back last Spring, some talk about meeting up with friends along the Alabama rivers would be a GREAT idea.   Suddenly we found ourselves here, but really NO where to make this happen………..UNLESS one would be inclined to park along a deserted road, hike several miles, crawl down a bank and then swim out to the boat.!!!!   (Bobby and Sally, this is for you!)     There has been limited civilization — i.e. industry, home, communities, etc..    The most we have encountered have been the tug boat captains and other travelers along the “loop”.!!!

THE WHITE CLIFFS OF EPES   OR ON SOME MAPS AND CHARTS EPPS!!    An unusual sight we saw.

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WHITE CLIFFS OF EPES
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WHITE CLIFFS OF EPES

 

 

 

 

 

BOBBY’S FISH CAMP  — a unique stop where about 8 boats all rafted up alongside a short dock one evening.   GREAT stop —- the restaurant on site served some of the best fried catfish we have eaten along this adventure.  YUM  YUM

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BOBBY’S FISH CAMP —RESTAURANT UP THE HILL            A FUNKY ALABAMA JOINT!!!

EARLY the next morning,,,,0615,,,Sam, on Tennessee Waltz, knocked on our hull saying that the Coffeeville Lock he had spoken with said for all of us “pleasure craft” to get to the lock ASAP.   He was having problems with his lower doors not working properly and that a couple of tugs/barges were headed upstream.   CHINESE fire drill immediately took place where by  we 8 pleasure boats untangles ourselves from each other and headed South to the lock IN THE FOG!!

COFFEEVILE LOCK AND DAM SANS OUR MORNING COFFEE!!!!!!!

( look for update of this blog with a video of this last lock )    out in the boonies and not a strong enough signal to make the video load.

UPDATE ;;;;;;;;

LOCKS —– WE HAVE LOCKED THRU     60 LOCKS AND 3 WICKETS!       COFFEEVILLE LOCK AND DAM IS OUR LAST ONE!!!   WOO HOO

The river system has been very interesting.   Many times all looking the same, and yet around every bend, something more to see.

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ACTUAL PICTURE OR OUR CHART PLOTTER!!!    TALK ABOUT A SNAKE LIKE RIVER!!!!

 

 

 

WILD THING…………

WILD “THANG” – I THINK I LOVE YOU…… 

OH — just had that song pop up into my head.  BUT, yes, wild “things” , we do love you and here are a few of the wild things we have observed.

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WHITE PELICANS —– WE HAVE SEEN HUNDREDS OF THEM!!!
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BLUE HERON
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COYOTE —–   THESE GUYS ARE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!!
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WILD CATTLE —–    JUST CHECKING TO SEE IF Y’ALL ARE ALERT
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MAJESTIC BALD  EAGLE —- OUR NATION’S SYMBOL

Bald Eagles — we have seen a Bald Eagle almost every day while on the rivers system.  Today, Nov. 7, 2016, we saw 11 of them.   Our largest Bald Eagle count per day, so far!!!   Reading information about the Eagle, it takes them 5 years to mature and develop their total white heads.  We watched a “mom and dad” teach their youngster how to grab a fish out of the river.

YOU BET — WILD THINGS — WE LOVE YA’

We have been cruising the Tenn-Tom the past several days.   We have anchored out a couple of nights along with a coupe of marina stays.  The barge traffic has decreased, we have gone thru about 8 or 10 locks, and meandered thru interesting landscapes.

CORRECTION::::::   I mentioned in a previous blog that we would be cruising thru a small part of Mississippi and ALL of Alabama.   WELL —-  we cruised approximately 200 miles thru Mississippi and only today have entered into Alabama about mid-way down the State. This was about due West of Tuscaloosa, AL, a little South West of Birmingham.   My apologies for that geographical error!!!

This evening we are docked in Demopolis, AL.   Will be here two nights then move on to Mobile.

WE FOUND HUCK!!!!!    Well, we found Huck’s Restaurant in Columbus, MS.  A delightfully delicious find for celebration of the birth of Henry D. Barrett on Nov. 4th.  The birthday boy enjoyed crawfish étouffée with a piece of fried catfish over the top.!!!!   He’s  a foodie, ya’ know.    🙂

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HANK – @ HUCK’S, COLUMBUS, MS

 

 

 

1X1 ***4X5*******6X7 3-3

BARGES    They come in all configurations and combos being pushed by these tug boats that are equipped with some mighty powerful engines with props about 8 ft. in diameter.  The largest configuration observed has been 6 x7.  42 barges!!!!     Each barge is 35 ft. wide and 100 ft. long.   That is 90 ft. wide and 700 ft. long.   WOW —–

Tug boat captains have been friendly and helpful with information and which “side” they wish for us to pass.

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A 5X3 CONFIGURATION

MILES TRAVELED         –      As of October 31, 2016  we have cruised 3,500 miles!!!!

DAYS ON TRIP              –        187

DAYS CRUISING         –          67

DIESEL  FUEL              –         730.6 GALLONS

KENTUCKY LAKE        –         Created in 1944 by the TVA consists of 160,309 acres and is the largest man made lake in the USA!      Kentucky Lake was made by damming of the Tennessee River.

TENNESSEE RIVER    –        SO —- were you aware that the Tennessee River flows North, that its headwaters begin near Franklin, NC , where a stream/ creek connects in Knoxville with a couple of other rivers ( and I think there are a few other “feeder” creeks contributing to this body of water), AND that this river flows into the Ohio River, then joins in with the Mississippi River???    Just imagine heading out in your kayak or canoe from NC and ending up in New Orleans for Gumbo and Bourbon Street Action!!!!    🙂

YELLOW CREEK TO MOBILE –  Today, 11/2/16, we are docked on Yellow Creek which is just off the Tennessee River and is the beginning of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.   Since leaving the Mississippi, we have been cruising against the current.   Tomorrow when we depart from here we will be going with the current all the way to Mobile, AL.

MILES TO MOBILE     –      PLEASE NOTE   FROM NOW ON, I WILL REFER TO THE TENNESSEE-TOMBIGBEE WATERWAY AS THE TENN-TOM  (its common name)!   This also saves my typing fingers.          From the beginning of the Tenn-Tom waterway to Mobile, AL our next phase of travel will consist of 451 miles thru a small part of Mississippi,  and the entire state of Alabama!!!!      WINTZELL’S OYSTER HOUSE   –   HERE WE COME.

55 FEET         –     THE RISE OF THE LARGEST LOCK SO FAR!!    Floating bollards are what one secures the boat to when going thru these Federal Locks.

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A FLOATING BOLLARD
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PICKWICK LOCK AND DAM  –  WE WERE HERE!!!!!!!!!                                                                                            OLD FOLKS “TAG” TOO         

 

23,746         –       CASUALTIES OF THE BATTLE OF SHILOH , APRIL, 1862.     Visited the Shiloh Battlefields and Park today.   Hank requested the ending to the movie to show the winner to be the South, but alas, that was not the case.   The Civil War raged on for 4 more years.  The Union arrived on ships via the Tennessee River.

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VIEW OF TENNESSEE RIVER ABOVE PITTSBURG LANDING WHERE UNION SOLDIERS ARRIVED VIA BOATS
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NATIONAL CEMETERY AT SHILOH

 

300-500 YEARS    —     ALSO, at a the SHILOH BATTLEFIELD, a Mississippi Indian “town” was discovered with last known inhabitants in the 1700’s.   We hiked a small trail thru this area noting mounds of earth where the Indian Chief and other prominent people of this community would build their homes and have the community “cultural” center.  It is believed that this village just disappeared like many of the early Inca, Aztec, Mayan communities did.  It reminded us of other Indian ruins we have seen in Central America.

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ONE OF SEVERAL  MISSISSIPPI INDIAN EARTH MOUNDS UPON WHICH “HOMES” WERE BUILT.  

AFTER THE BATTLE OF SHILOH, SOME OF THE SOLDIERS WERE BURIED IN ONE OF THESE MOUNDS.   THEIR REMAINS HAVE SINCE BEEN EXUMED AND INTERRED IN THE CEMETERY.

6 HICKORY NUTS     –      Only one had any meat, my first taste!

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HANK CHECKING OUT THE HICKORY TREES 

5-1       –      CUBS SCORE BOTTOM OF 5TH!!!!   FINAL GAME #7 OF WORLD SERIES…..GO CUBBIES!!!