Tuesday, June 5, 2012
A week ago I gave my dad a big, teary hug and kiss and said goodbye...and then cried all the way home. He would be leaving two days later for his adventure-of-a-lifetime.
earliest post explains what he's up to, where he's going, and why on earth he's doing such a thing. But in a nutshell, he's traveling in a 20’ open welded-aluminum fishing boat from eastern Montana approximately 1,846 miles down the Missouri River, then to the Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, Tombigbee, Warrior, and Mobile Rivers, and through Mobile Bay to the Gulf Coast and on to the Florida Keys. By the time he gets to Key West, and loops around the southern half of Florida, through Lake Okeechobee and the intracoastal canal back to the west coast and to take-out at Tampa, the trip will traverse something over 4,000 miles.
Pretty cool, right??
So Dad left home last Friday morning, mostly on schedule, and headed to Montana. According to reports from Mom, they are en route, and doing well. Throughout the trip, Dad will always have one other person with him, and his companions will be his kids (me included), his brother, some in-laws, several old buddies, and a nephew or two. I'm thrilled and reassured that his brother George will be joining him for the first part of the trip, which is surely the leg to have the steepest learning curve (and the leg with probably the most "unknowns"). George is a good guy to have around when adventuring....
I of course am missing Dad terribly. Since I was in college (when I wasn't nearly as attached to my parents as I am these days), I've never not seen my dad for such a long stretch of time. He'll be on the water until late August.
Luckily, I WILL be seeing him about halfway through his trip. I'll be flying into Paducah, KY in mid-July and joining my dad for 7-8 river days. We'll finish near Tupelo, Mississippi and head to Memphis, TN for a Saturday night rendezvous with my brother, Adam, who will be joining Dad for the next leg of the trip. Surely the three of us will raise a ruckus during our night out on Beale Street together.
So, needless to say, all of us on this end are thinking of him and his companions constantly. I'm stalking Facebook for updates/pictures from his friend John who is driving the car and trailer alongside their river route for the first part of the trip (until they're out of the shallows, just in case...). I'm hoping Dad updates his blog once he's settled into his routine (I tried to give him easy-to-follow directions for blogging from his iPad). And I'm waiting anxiously for my turn to join him.