We traveled on to complete the journey to Joe Wheeler State Park. To get here requires passing through two very large locks: the Wilson and the Joe Wheeler. The Wilson Lock is the second largest in the US which raises the boat over 94’. While inside the lock, it feels like being inside a tomb with the sky VERY high above. Think of the telephone poles you see along the highway, they average about 40’. It would take 2 ½ times that height to equal the lift of the Wilson Lock. The largest is out west and measures 110’ of lift which from the bottom will not look much different.
Bob and Vicki, our good friends from home, planned to stop at the camp ground with their motor home and meet us here at Joe Wheeler State Park. We enjoyed seeing them again and touring some of the area with them by car. What we did not expect was to see my sister, niece and nephew. In the distance, I saw a young boy wearing a Michigan State sweat shirt, and was going to say hello. As he got closer, suddenly I realized it was my sister Rachel and kids. That was a giant shock! We planned to see them later next week after the rendezvous, but she came early to surprise us. Bob and Vicki graciously hosted a cook out at the camp ground with my sister Chel and Kianna (niece) and Jace (nephew).
We have been attending classes and getting information on the next segments of the loop. The seminars are filled with speakers with many possible choices of great places to dock and anchor—it will be difficult to choose from the enormous suggestions. Between a harbor full of Looper boats, seminars, and Looper chats: this is proving to be quite a rewarding experience.
Soon we will complete the AGLCA Rendezvous, retrace our steps back to the Tennessee River and then start heading south toward the Gulf. We will follow the Tenn-Tom Waterway south and find our way to the Gulf at Mobile Alabama.