We spent several long travel days on the Mississippi River. Fortunately we were traveling with the current so we had an extra push in our favor. First day was 84 miles to a free lock wall where we reconnected with Parker & Leslie (Scaliwag).
We pulled into the newer city transient docks in Paducah, KY after an easy 35 mile day. Our original plan was to stay just a night but it turned out that John & Gina (Alysana) were able to meet us a few days later in Paducah via car from St Louis, we of course waited for them. They had started their Loop from Green Turtle Bay a few weeks after we had started and were now able to travel with us the last leg to cross their wake. Parker & Leslie had also traveled with John & Gina in the past few months so they also waited to leave Paducah with us and celebrate the four of us crossing our wake.
Truth be told the last leg of The Great Loop was a little anticlimactic. We traveled 28 miles for the day with a 5.5 hour delay at Kentucky Lock. Ironically of the 105 locks we have transited we never had to wait close to that long. Fortunately the lock master called in the 3 of us that were waiting before dark, allowing us to get through the lock and into Green Turtle Bay Marina during the daylight.
Video – The last lock before we cross our wake going into Green Turtle Bay Marina.
We have met so many wonderful people, seen some amazing places and learned a ton about our country's history in this past year. Life is short and unpredictable, we know that first hand and are constantly reminded of it through other people's stories. We will never regret our choice to travel now while we can.
What is next for us and Heartbeat? We plan to keep moving down the rivers to Mobile Bay, AL work our way to Florida and then over to the Bahamas for the winter. When we left on this adventure we had allotted ourselves around 2 years of travelling and we are just over one year in. There is still so much more out there for us to do, see, learn and explore.
For those out there who have a dream or passion do not hesitate or overthink it, just do it while you can.
Stay tuned, we will continue to share our adventure as it unfolds.
Heartbeat's complete Great Loop details –
Miles traveled: 8,122 (we enjoyed a lot of side trips)
Engine hours: 1,025
Generator hours: 454
US states visited: 17
Number of locks: 105
Countries visited outside of the US: 2 – Bahamas and Canada
Where we spent our nights – see our 365 day blog update for marina vs anchorage etc. as total trip % was basically the same as that update.