Do you have Shiner Bock? How about an Oktoberfest?

Today’s post should be titled with a cry-face emoji.  Not because it rained yesterday.  Not because the current still is strong.  Not because it took Doug 8 hours to fix a problem that would’ve taken a monkey about 15 minutes.  Not even because of Pickwick Lock, even though we were stuck in the auxiliary chamber for 3 hours.

Nope.

While in Clifton we took a car to the Dollar General Store, which always is a treat.  We had a great dockside meal last evening with a bunch of Loopers.  The trip down to Grand Harbor in Counce, Tennessee was smooth and slow like the last few days.   The lock delay gave us time to launch the drone AND process the video.  We left at sunrise and docked just as the sunset hit Tennessee Orange.

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All in all, pretty good stuff there.

But profound sadness still is the emotion of the day.  For 4 months, we’ve had a cute little Mainship within about 1000 yards of us at virtually all times.  Brent and Karen have become family.  And we don’t mean the creepy-cousin-who-just-got-out-of-prison-after-serving-time-for-the-“incident”-nobody-talks-about kind of family.  We mean the kind of family with whom we’re already planning a Lake Powell houseboat trip.

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We’re headed to the AGLCA Fall Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park, because we still have half a Loop to go and need all the advice and help we can get.  Brent and Karen have 8 more stops down the Tenn-Tom Waterway and then they’re done.  (They may or may not share the same degree of giddiness over that fact, but it’s a fact nonetheless.  Remember Karen, nobody dies on the Loop.)   We’re all staying here until Friday morning, but then we continue up the Tennessee and Second Wave turns south.

In the past 4 months, we’ve battled big waves together, dodged a flying cleat together, worked through blinding fog together, and shared roughly a bazillion meals, and laughs, and worries together.  Today was our last day of cruising with them.  The rest of our Loop will be awesome we’re sure, but it won’t be the same.  We’re sure of that as well.

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Mr.  Moseley once wisely advised Mrs. Hughes—long before they got married and had all that awkwardness over “wifely duties” and the reception location—that “The business of life is making memories.”  We always will treasure our memories of traveling on America’s Great Loop with Brent and Karen Bazar.

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