The Final Push

We’re on the road in Western Montana. Headed east. To the boat. Pulling a U-Haul trailer.

My view in the passenger mirror

It was not easy, the sorting, packing, selling, discarding and donating all our stuff.

For the previous months, since retirement, we had with increasing velocity gone through everything we owned to make a decision as to whether it would go to storage, the dump, donation, or the boat.

Fortunately, a connection of ours needed a place to rent semi-furnished for a spell while they get settled into the area and look around for where they want to buy. This meant we didn’t have to deal with some of the furniture right now.

But the process was still hard. We breathed a sigh of relief when we finally drove off after our new tenant, the new pastor of the church Lance retired from, prayed over our trip.

The irises bloomed in time to say “goodbye”

We had hoped to get everything into our Toyota Highlander. We did a trial run loading things a couple days before we left. But, once the two outboard motors, three large fenders, and a guitar were loaded, we could see that there was not going to be room for the black tubs containing our stuff.

Off to U-Haul we went to get a trailer hitch installed and to reserve the smallest trailer they have.

Loading in process.

We didn’t come close to filling the U-Haul, but I have a feeling we are still bringing too much to comfortably fit on the boat.

Fortunately we have two things going for us. One, we’ll still have our car to offload what won’t fit in the boat…and Two, there are still donation, sell and discard opportunities where the boat is!

I want to mention that Facebook Marketplace and the local buy-sell groups were a big help in selling and giving away things. We were not trying for top dollar, so we walked away from every transaction feeling like it was a win-win.

We were able to trade this way-too-big outboard that came with our boat for one that fits our dinghy

Spring Rendezvous 2023…Finally!

There are mermaids all over Norfolk.

We just returned from the AGLCA Spring Rendezvous in Norfolk, VA. What a good time! Here’s the group picture. In case you can’t pick us out, our friend has made it easier for you.

Lots of Loopers. And it was quite cooooold…notice the jackets

We had been trying to get there since 2020, when the pandemic caused it to be cancelled. You can read some of our old posts about what we did instead and about the really outstanding virtual rendezvous that AGLCA produced. (What is plural of rendezvous?)

To get an idea of how much we were looking forward to this, take a look at the award we won: First Registrant! We didn’t even know such a thing existed, but apparently they give an award for the first person to register. Registration opened at 12 noon and our registration posted at 12:04:02. We certainly had it on our calendar, and it was 9am Pacific. Part of the urgency is that we already had our plane tickets and didn’t want to miss out because of it selling out too soon!

One of Brenda’s favorite parts of the week was getting to actually meet people she has seen on the forums or YouTube…some for years. We came home with a handful of boat cards from people we met.

Malcolm and Rachel, YouTubers from Canada
Herb Seaton in plaid and Captain Chris in yellow.

The route briefings covered from Norfolk, through Canada, the Great Lakes, and down to where the fall rendezvous will be held on the inland rivers.

While we were in the area and had a rental car, we did some road tripping. We flew into Raleigh, NC and on the way to Norfolk we stopped by Elizabeth City and the Dismal Swamp. We met a Looper there who had purchased his boat about the same time and place we bought ours. By same place, I mean, he bought the boat on Lake Superior in Washburn, the same place our boat is now. He even had a map of Chequamegon Bay on the table in his flybridge. In Elizabeth City we stopped by Lamb’s Marina and met Linda on Faith.

On the way back to Raleigh, we swung down to New Bern, NC to check out opportunities for moorage there next winter.

On the way to New Bern, we stopped by Coinjock to see the dock there and had a nice lunch out on the patio. I felt I needed to see the marina that is used as a verb when describing docking; “We Coinjock you in on the wall”…meaning they walk the boats close together on the wall so there is no wasted room.

Coinjock Marina and Restaurant

We did a little loop from New Bern down to take a ferry across the Neuse River and stopped by Oriental. We saw the free dock and talked to a man who looped a few years ago. On the way back to Raleigh, still near New Bern, we followed a small sign for “Fairfield Harbour”. Turns out it is just a resort/subdivision, but includes a marina, Northwest Creek Marina. We were very excited about what we saw there and have penciled in our names at that marina for the winter.

Ferry across the Neuse River, North Carolina
Oasis Marinas at Northwest Creek, New Bern, NC
We hope to stay here this winter