It’s hard to take in, that moment when you cross your wake and complete the 6,000-mile waterway tour-of-the-U.S. called The Great Loop. Such mixed feelings! Behind you (well, behind me anyway), months of diverse experiences and emotions. So much delight and even thrill but also, sometimes, discouragement. Such determination but also, sometimes, doubt. Dozens of arrivals and departures…a new place almost every day for weeks on end. New friends who became very special friends. Learning (and re-learning!) something new almost daily, which is part of the fun, but also feeling exhausted at times by the need to keep doing that. The constant decision-making, with often-incomplete information, when safety and comfort are at stake. The total reliance on a partner in a close space and sometimes under duress, which works well most of the time but, being humans, not always! 😉 And, in my case, the uncertainty of how long I would stick with it (because I began “just to get you started”), leaving the boat a few times and coming back to start again. No regrets, though! Challenges? For sure. But regrets? Nope.
And now…done! So it’s a mix of celebration and sadness. Because it’s been a lifestyle for almost a year. The boat has become home. The new friends were often hard to leave behind. I’ve learned so much, not just about parts of this country I didn’t know but also about myself. And that learning will continue.
In some ways, it’s a survival story. In other ways, it’s a celebration of dreams realized. Below, the story in photos and captions of Many Moons crossing her wake yesterday. (I”m still doing this by phone because of a weak signal. Please excuse any typos.) PS: More posts to follow on the completion of our journey – Lake Superior still to come – and my continuing reflections about it.