Monday, October 19, 2015

A fun week learning more about the loop!

We are winding up a 6 night stay at Joe Wheeler State Park.  We have had all sunny days and cool Fall temps.  We woke today to frost on our windows and the interior of the boat was in the 50's.  We do have heat but it is slow to warm up our chairs so we donned winter clothing and took our walk.  This park has allowed us to have very pleasant daily walks and my ankle is holding up but still sore.

There were about 260 people at this rendezvous, some came by car and the total number of boats was 60.  About 48% of the folks were loopers in progress, another 48% were mainly couples planning to start the loop sometime in the future and the rest were gold loopers, the ones who have finished at least one round trip on the loop.  We met so many people and had a wonderful time swapping stories. We attended seminars presented by gold loopers reviewing the route we will be taking from the Ten-Tom, around the Florida coast and all the way up to Norfolk, VA.  It made us excited to get moving again and thinking we may take more than 2-3 years because there are so many places to stop and visit.  We gathered lots of pearls of wisdom passed along by the gold loopers and then passed our knowlege on to others.  It was truly a community of like minded people!

Such variety of boats, all home to each couple for a year or more! Most boats are carrying just 2 people but a few have other companions.  Many have been traveling with pets and it made us miss Domino but also count our blessings that we did  not have potty stops to worry about and dog health issues.

A highlight of the event was a private concert by "Fathers and Sons" a rock n'rhythm and blues band (that is how they described themselves) from Muscle Shoals that entertained us with wonderful dancing music.  Even Captain Al was up there dancing with all of the other "seniors" on the loop.  It was a real taste of local music from a place where many songs were recorded over the years.  
Yesterday was clean up and laundry day and I have begun looking forward to doing the laundry.  Typically at least one other woman is also doing laundry so it is a fun time to meet someone new and share information.  Yesterday was a particularly fun time because I had a new friend offer to treat my ankle with acupuncture!  So there she was with her kit of needles sticking them into key points around my ankle, foot and lower leg! They stayed in place for 30 minutes and it was a tingly experience but didn't seem to make the ankle any less sore.  Where else would you find a licensed acupuncture therapist other than the marina laundry?

Took these pictures today of all the space made by boats that left in droves yesterday!  We chose to avoid the rush into the lock and will be leaving after noon today to meander back into Wilson Lake to head back to the beginning of the Ten-Tom waterway.  Onward we go!


  1. Jane and Al, we miss you - Sweetgrass is slowly saying goodbye to most of the looper boats. See you in Charleston.
    Jerry Reves

  2. Hi Jane and Al- I have enjoyed all your posts and photos, but I think this is the best "edition" so far! Great stories- dancing, acupuncture, gold loopers, wow! Beautiful photos, too! So, 2-3 years for your loop, will you go home at all during that time? Godspeed!