-E.B. White

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just a quick recap of 2008. January thru April 1st we spent in Marathon, Fl on Broulee. Deb flew to Phoenix in January for her Aunts' 85th Birthday and to spend time with her parents. March we were joined by our good friends the Stiefels', and after that we flew home to Minnesota for a family ski trip to Big Sky. Then it was back to Broulee and by the 1st of April we were heading north out of Florida, leaving the boat in Columbus, Ms and driving the rest of the way home to Bald Eagle Lake, Mn.

Deb's Birthday In Marathon, FL

Doug, Rick and their buddy "Ernie" Hemingway in Key West

Skiing withBrad, Katie and grandkids in Big Sky, Mt (March)

May was an exciting month, grandchildren needed hugs, gardens needed cleaning out and planting, boats and docks where put in and major projects were started.

Cooper & Pops singing in the rain.
Spring Garden - everything is starting to sprout!

Ahhh the master gardeners at work.

It seems window replacement is never ending in this 114 year old house! The greenhouse windows are our focus this year.

June whizzed by - the kids where out of school, we drove down to Columbus, Ms to visit Broulee and do some maintenance and Scott & Kristin where married on the island of St. Croix.

Fun in a puddle after a warm summer shower.

Now the serious weeding begins!

Cooper tried soccer - turned out not to be his thing right now (maybe in a few years) but he looks sooooo cute.

Scott & Kristin were married on the island of St. Croix June 21st, with a wedding reception July 19th back in Minnesota.

July seemed like a non stop party - starting off with the big 4th of July neighborhood events on Bald Eagle Lake. Rick's sister Sandra came from New York for Scott & Kristin's reception and we spent lots of time just having fun with grandkids.

Three generations of Smith men celebrating the 4th of July Bald Eagle Lake style.

Rick & his sister Sandra - always manage to have fun!

Pops & Georgia having fun on the Frog Hopper (He's the one in the big kids seat)

August was that busy month where we knew the kids would be back in school soon and fall would be coming so we were trying to cram in everything we could. The annual Wilson Family reunion was held on August 22nd at Bald Eagle Lake.

September was memorable for the Casserly's - Erin & Loren were both home from Iraq and we all met in Grand Marais for a fun filled weekend.

October, what can we say - we know it's coming to an end, but yet we try to hang on (we just put on more clothes). We hauled in all the plants we needed to save for next year, then we headed back to Broulee for a vacation up the Tennessee River to Chattanooga. Back to Minnesota for Halloween and made plans to get the house ready for winter.

Trick or Treat

Packing up the porches - time to start thinking about warmer climates.

November is a reminder of why we do what we do. Snow starts to fall and so does the temperature (although the first snow brings out the kid in you). We also had a week moment and finally got that black lab puppy we have been talking about for years - it's all good.

First Snow - ohhh it's sooo pretty.

Our new puppy Izzy- what more can we say.

December makes us ask the question "Are you crazy - why are you still here?" It proved to be an incredible experience. Christmas concerts, Christmas parties, lots of snow, and special moments with our family. Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a super fine 2009!

Fred, Our Crusing Cat (1989-2008)

Katie, Georgia, Cooper & Brad

Jordan, Kristin, Scott, Jake, Meg & Josh

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We are back to the boat! 1st plan was to return to Broulee right after Thanksgiving, but, I convinced the Captain to stay in Minnesota until Christmas. Minnesota was great (lots of snow) and fun activities with grandkids, kids and neighbors. To top it off we got a new puppy ( I know, we are crazy). After an 18 hour drive down from Minnesota with Isabella (Izzy), we are back on the boat; organizing, cleaning, provisioning and enjoying boating life. On a sadder note, our Cruising Cat Fred did not make the trip back with us - he earned his wings on December 23rd, 2008 and we feel really blessed to have had him with us the last 18 years. Happy New Year 2009 to everyone and more adventures to follow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Well we are back at Columbus Marina and are planning on leaving to drive back to Minnesota on Saturday the 18th of October. It's been a great trip. We pretty much did the reverse trip with the exception of instead of staying at Short Creek on the Tennessee River we found a cute little anchorage called Fred's Hollow. We also did not make Midway Marina due to lots of traffic at the locks and ended up staying in an anchorage just above Rankin Lock.

Picked this hitchhiker up somewhere along the way - there were actually two of them and they traveled with us for quite awhile. Not sure where they finally hopped off.

Anchorage at Fred's Hollow

Fred loves lapping morning dew off the cap rail and deck.

I think your just asking for trouble with this boat name

Friday, October 10, 2008

As we were leaving Chattanooga alot of race boats (about 25-30) were heading into town. As usual we figured some big event was happening in town - now what where we missing - oh well. Later in the day they came back our direction so I guess it wasn't an event. Anyway one of the boats hit a boat wake and flipped. Rick watched it happen - we turned Broulee around to help but where waved off by other race boats that had arrived on the scene. We watched his buddies try to rescue his boat before it almost sank 40 feet to the bottom of the river.

They are trying to hook a line to the boat that is totally submerged.

Got it hooked up and bow out of the water

Oops it's going down again!

I think there might be too many brains working on this.

Oh, good, here comes more help

This is as good as it got - they finally dragged it to shore.

Ran a few errands before leaving the town wall and again weather was perfect. We hiked downtown to pick up a few groceries before leaving - wow - quite and extraordinary experience. It kind of felt like we were back in the islands. Shopping carts should not have been allowed in this tiny market. Buried beneath collard greens and turnip greens I finally found a couple of bags of Dole lettuce salad. We came up with a plan - Rick stay put with the cart and I would peruse the aisles for items on our list. After 20 minutes in a checkout line that wound around in the aisles I finally asked "are you always this busy?" "No, just first two weeks of the month". Hmmm, timing.

Very Interesting?

Starting to see color change in the leaves

Tennessee Aquarium and water cannons - town wall, Chattanooga

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chattanooga was alot of fun and the weather was perfect. We spent 2 nights, but only had one day of sightseeing so we really packed it in. We got up early and walked the pedestrian only Walnut Street Bridge, a 
centruy old , where we were able to get a great pic of Broulee.

We found out where to catch the electric trolley to visit the Chattanooga Choo-Choo that has been turned into a restaurant and hotel rooms as part of the Holiday Inn downtown Chattanooga.

Sleeping Cars converted into private rooms and the dinning car into a restaurant.

We then hopped a bus to the Incline Railway (I wish I would have read about this before we did it). Hailed as "The World's Steepest Passenger Railway" you travel up the side of Lookout Mountain and near the top you are traveling at a 72.7% grade. Rick had to put blinders on me to get me off. We visited the National Park at the top of the mountain called Point Park. This is where the famous "Battle of the Clouds" was fought in 1863. Rick managed to persuade (drag) me back to the Incline for the return trip to St. Elmo Station at the base.

View from top of Lookout Mountain

View of Chattanooga from Point Park

This sign really needs to be at the base of mountain at St. Elmo Station!

I got smarter going down the mountain we sat in the back of the car instead of the front seats. Look at all the people that can break my fall.
We got back on the bus and headed back to Broulee for a little R & R before heading to the IMAX Theater for a 3-D showing of Dolpins and Whales. Then another break for the cook - dinner at Sticky Fingers - Bon Appetit calls their ribs "fall of the bone delicious". They where pretty good. Whew what a day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 8th (Cont.)

Some of the most spectacular scenery on the Tennessee River is along the 46 miles of Nickajack Lake. It is widely regarded as the most scenic stretch of the river (even in the rain it was gorgeous). It cuts thru the Cumberland plateau known as the Tennessee River Gorge and sections of the gorge were 100 feet deep. We passed thru a section of the river called the Narrows. Early boatmen named the various bends on the river the Frying Pan, Skillet and Boiling Pot because they thought the splattering, flying and frothing waters resembled cooking utensils at work. The next bend was called The Suck. The river thru here today is MUCH calmer. We reached Chattanooga around 5:00 PM; docked on the town wall and hiked into town. The Galley Wench got the night off!!!!

At mile 444 is the discharge tunnel of the Racoon Mountain Pumped storage plant. High atop the mountain, one of the largest rockfill dams ever built by the TVA impounds 528 acre Racoon Mountain Resevoir. Water released from the resevoir during the periods of heaviest electrical usage falls 1,160 feet to the powerhouse inside the mountain. At night and on weekends when the demand is lower, the generators drive the turbines in reverse and pump the water from the river back up to the top of the mountain.