It was time to make our way down the next portion of the river trip. We were not nearly as apprehensive about this section. We had fond memories of this part of the trip and despite the cold temperatures we hoped it wouldn’t be too bad. We said “see you later” to the Wilsons and they headed to Nashville while we headed south. Halloween was only a few days away and Ben was going to be out of town. This was the first Halloween he’s missed, and while the kids are older and it’s not as big of a deal, I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere alone trying to find something to do with them! So my request before he left was that we land somewhere with other people to play with. I begged the Herbons and Zeeffs to try to meet up with us by Halloween. They both agreed they’d be there! There was fabulous Iuka, MS. They were both still in Nashville when Ben and I left Green Turtle so that meant they were a day or two behind us.
Our first travel day was a beautiful and easy trip to Pebble Isle marina. We knew it would be very shallow going in. The water back there isn’t deep to begin with and had already been lowered to winter pool. But we made it in and to the fuel dock and then to our spot for the night. We took a quick run around the parking lot and then had docktails with the other boaters there. It was a docktails that stands out in my mind because I remember discussing how rotten the weather has been and having a couple of the other women tell me they wanted to throw in the towel and go home. I begged them not to and promised it would all be better the first time they saw a dolphin! We all just needed a little warmth.
We enjoyed some beautiful fall colors the next day after waiting for the morning fog to burn off. We had a short day to our anchorage near Clifton, TN so we weren’t in a rush to get moving. We anchored in a perfect spot with lots of depth and plenty of room. The wind was howling and we questioned our decision but, as forecast, the wind settled down as it got later in the day and we had a peaceful and calm night. After a good night’s sleep we got up ready to tackle the rest of the trip to Iuka, MS and our first lock on this section of the rivers.
We came upstairs and found a wall of fog. Sunrise through the fog was spectacular. But we had to wait awhile before we could move. After an hour Ben pulled up the anchor and off we went. We could see out to the channel, see boat traffic going past, and could see around the bend. As we made our way around that bend we hit another wall of fog. This time we had no choice but to keep moving. We were in the channel with nowhere to go. Thank goodness for radar! Still, even with radar it’s a horrible feeling to not be able to see. Fog is one of the things that scares us most on the water. It just gives us a feeling of helplessness. Soon enough the fog lifted a bit and we breathed a sigh of relief. We met up with other boats coming out of the Clifton marina and we all lumped up together to head for the lock. We got through the first lock and made our way to our marina.
We got all settled in our slip WAY far away from all the other Loopers. They put us in a slip right by the office where we wouldn’t be asked to move at all because Ben was leaving town. But we were so far away from almost everyone else. We played a lot of car jenga as soon as we got settled. We got the courtesy car from the marina, drove it from Iuka to Corinth to pick up a rental car at Enterprise. The girls and I drove the courtesy car back to the marina. It was this HUGE pickup truck and I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least. It was not a good choice for me to be driving! Ben drove the rental back. We made dinner and then Ben had to pack. Ben left the next day to drive two hours to Huntsville, AL to catch two flights to get to Ft. Lauderdale. The girls and I hung out and watched the horizon to see our friends coming around the bend! We had to wait until almost dark as they got hung up in the lock. But alas the Zeeffs arrived and the Herbons anchored close by. We were so happy to see them! We let the kids run off some energy at the little playground and the parents were able to visit.
The Herbons came in the next day and we all got ready for Halloween! The kids were so excited. This was our third Halloween out of town but the first time trick or treating in the marina! Iuka is so remote and we kept trying to figure out where to go. It was rainy yet again and the festival I had scoped out for us was held a day early because of the weather. But we didn’t find that out until Halloween. Darn. The kids were thrilled to have each other. We got dressed up and headed out early, right after lunch. Madelyn was Rapunzel from Tangled and Molly was an 80s girl. She couldn’t believe the hair and makeup of the 80s. I had fun with her!
They were happy to just play in their costumes and trick or treat on the docks. The Loopers and other boaters in the marina were fabulous. Candy, snacks, fun tricks, it was a great time followed by a lot of candy sorting for the kids and docktails for the adults. All in all a great day, although we missed Ben!
The Zeeffs played tourist with us the next day. We got the courtesy van and headed to Abe’s for lunch and then the Corinth Interpretive Center. Abe’s was a gem we found two years ago. This amazing family run diner in this tiny town. And they remembered us! It was so fun to have lunch and chat with Abe and his son again.
We really enjoyed the Interpretive Center two years ago. Much more so than Shiloh. I felt it was a much better fit for the kids and so educational so we headed there next. It’s harder to get the kids to concentrate while they have friends around. Maddy and Allison spent a lot of time with their dolls, etc. But all in all it was a good stop and we hope they all learned or re-learned a little bit!
We had another quiet day of killing time at the marina. Kelly and the Herbon kids came over and did some school work on our boat while their boat was having work done. Then we all hit the playground. George and Mike played a mean game of basketball while all the kids were on the jungle gym. Ben was due back that night. We had a fine week but were all ready to get moving. Our friends were nice enough to hang around and wait for us to travel south together.
Ben flew in Friday night. Melissa and George kept the girls for me while I took the courtesy car and did car jenga again. I drove to Corinth in yet more rain to meet Ben at Enterprise after he flew to Huntsville and drove back the two hours. Phew. So much driving! We got back and picked the kids up and Ben got to hang out and visit a bit. We had plans to leave the next morning and make our way south!