Fall in Minnesota. We stopped at the grocery store yesterday and found a wagon full of pumpkins outside. They were huge and shiny clean and $4.99 each. I almost bought one just because I could turn around and put it in our Hyundai. I almost bought one because I wouldn't have to drag it in a cart to the dinghy, hoist it over a side rail and then find somewhere to put it. I almost bought one because we wouldn't have to use it as extra seating. I almost bought one just because they were pretty.


On The Road Again

The view going through WV, no water in sight.

Our Daughter, Amanda and Steve cleaning shrimp in the milk house.

Some of the barn cats, enjoying the sun.

It was 30 degrees or so, this morning in Arlington, MN. About 40 degrees below my comfort zone. There's snow on the ground from yesterday, which is actually very pretty with the green leaves still on the trees. We've left Celebration in Oriental, NC and are road tripping for a month or so. The leaves are changing all across the country and it was a beautiful drive. Say what you will about West Virginia (you know: you can't see the players, but you can hear the banjo's) but it's spectacular in the fall. There were huge billboards there saying "Carbon Neutral: Coal", that left us a little confused. I understand coal IS carbon, not to mention the fuel used to mine and then transport it.... I suppose if you say it out loud often enough, someone might believe it. Heck, there may be some government grant to follow.
Steve's dad, Mike, has had prostate cancer for the last 14 years and has been doing chemo for the last 2 or so. It hasn't been working for the past few months and we went with Mike and Jean (Mom) to the Mayo Clinic on Monday to see what options are still available. Not many, as it turns out. So, a lot of discussion on pain management and staying comfortable. So, we will see.
One of Mike's enjoyments has always been good food. With his appetite waning lately, we took the opportunity to find some shrimp right off the boat in North Carolina, brought them here on ice and had a small feast for lunch Sunday. A hit I might say as one after the other was dipped in garlic butter and disappeared.
Next week: off to North Dakota, where it was a balmy 19 this morning, to see my parents. I'm hoping for an Indian Summer.


Good Friends, Great Times

Jason, John, Steve, Lynn, Roberta, Anne, Laura, Chris

The canal, just after sunrise.

There were 10 of us at dinner last night. Doing the ICW going south, we have ended up going as a pack. We are all aiming for the same anchorages and end up bunching up at the bridges. Last night we were at the free docks at the Great Bridge bridge, just past the lock. We all made trips to the grocery, some to the laundromat, some to the package store, the fabric store, the dollar store. We hosted a bread making session and Anne demo'd tortilla rolling. We ate the fresh bread and tortillas, had some wine and all went out for Mexican. We ate some more, some more than others (John), and had great margaritas. We raided the rosemary plant on the way back to the boats, had a dramatic reading by the one and only Chris A Jackson, had some more wine and of course, a lot of lively talk.

This morning we left for another day of motoring down the ditch, although at the moment, we do have the genoa out. We are all in a row: Jason and Laura on Blue Blaze, John and Roberta on Freedom, Celebration, Anne and Chris on Mr Mac, and Sam and Carolyn on Malaka II. It's a nice looking row of boats: a Panda, a CSY, an HR, a Bruce Roberts, and an Island Packet. We're keeping some very good company these days!



It was exactly 3 months ago today that we first came into Norfolk. As we were sitting sipping a small glass of wine last night, it felt like we never left (except for the 30 degree temp difference). The tugs are still going through constantly, pushing barges, pulling barges, tooting to each other. I love watching them. We are making our way south pretty quickly, a dock awaits and a land cruise to MN and ND. Time to go see the families, it's been too long.

N 36 deg 50.743
W 76 deg 17.929