Thursday, November 14, 2013

October 14~17 AGLCA Fall Rendezvous

After dropping off the rocking chair at Josh’s & Jessica’s new home, we headed for Rogersville Alabama & Joe Wheeler State Park.  Along the way we had to leave Duke at a kennel outside of Rogersville as pets were not permitted at the State Park Lodge.

If you’ve never been to an AGLCA Rendezvous, you should attend.  If you are in the loop planning stages the Rendezvous is where you can get most of your questions answered; what kind of boat, how to prepare, what kind of equipment, what about pets, etc…    I think you get the picture.  But the Rendezvous is also a great place to catch up with friends you may have met on the loop recently or years ago.  We had a lot of fun going out to eat at a Mexican restaurant with Blue Moon, Charis, and Sun Gypsy.  The same crew had last eaten together (also Mexican) in Kingston NY, almost 4 months ago.  We really missed seeing Spritus again; they were already headed down the Tombigbee for home.  You can attend the Rendezvous with or without your boat as accommodations are on site.  On the last evening of the Rendezvous is a musical get together....this year we had a hammered dulcimer, a guitar, a mountain dulcimer, an autoharp and a keyboard.  The musicians are pictured below:

Jan Matuska
Eva Stob
Ron Stob



Monday, November 11, 2013

October - Blue Ridge Parkway

One of the trips we always wanted to do was drive the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We came close several times before but it was always winter, when the Blue Ridge was closed.

We left early and headed for Sweetwater, TN where we took the Cherohala Skyway over the mountain.  We had the company of dozens of motorcyclists enjoying the twisting mountain road.

After following the Cherohala Skyway to the end, we went to Cherokee, on the east side of Great Smoky National Park.  There we picked up mile 0 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  All of the visitors centers were closed due to the government budget shutdown. The only consolation was very light traffic on the Parkway.  Jan was really disappointed that the Blue Ridge Music Center was closed. We plan to stop there when we head back to Brewerton in the spring. 
 The high point, literally, was Mount Mitchell.  It's the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest peak in the eastern United States.  The fall colors were just starting to come out.

When we reached the end of the Parkway, we headed for Nashville.  Jan's son, Josh just bought a house there, and we delivered an antique rocking chair to the still empty house.  They hadn't arrived yet from California.

Late August / early September, Brewerton to Home

One of the reasons we stopped at Brewerton was to take advantage of a nearby Cummins MerCruiser dealer.    The engine developed an exhaust leak and it took some time to diagnose the source.  We learned that the factory left off the copper gasket seal at the base of the Cyl. #4 Fuel Injector.  Luckily this was warranty work or it would have been a $2,000 expense.

We wanted to wait for the Cummins engine tech to deliver Fuel Injector and finish repairing the engine.  But since our cruising for the season was finished, we wanted to return home to Dunedin as soon as possible.  We finished up winterizing the tug over two days.  We then loaded the truck with the kayaks, bikes, and an amazing amount of stuff we had squirreled away on the tug.  An easy two-day drive, with one fuel stop (I love the auxiliary tank) on the pickup, and we were able to fill up with the cheapest diesel on the east coast in South Carolina.  We were back home the first week of September.  Shortly after we arrived home, Brewerton Boatyard staff called to confirm that the engine work was done and the tug was getting pulled from the water for inside winter storage.