Our original plan for this year was to finish the loop and bring Idyll Time back home to Chattanooga, TN. After spending the summer on the Great Lakes, we realized that there is still much more cruising to do on these Lakes. In our two years of traveling on these waters, we have only begun to explore everything the Great Lakes have to offer. Plus we enjoy being in the fresh clear water. We have decided to winter IT once again in Grand Haven, MI so that we could return again next year to this wonderful area.
We have been traveling on the Great Loop now for four years and really want to finish the loop. We don’t like loose ends. The possible closure of the Chicago Locks due to the Asian Carp problem also concerns us. At some point in time this section of the waterway may be permanently closed and would prevent us from finishing the loop. We really want to get our Gold Burgee. For these reasons, we have developed a new plan for completing the loop. After safely storing IT for the winter, we have returned home to Chattanooga to retrieve our 18 foot Wellcraft, “Idyll Out”.
We plan on trailering “Idyll Out” to Grand Haven, MI. From here we will continue the loop traveling the 1100 miles to Chattanooga on her. This will finish the loop for us. Unfortunately, we have decided to leave the dogs and birds at home with the pet sitter. This trip would be too hard on them.
Cruising on “Idyll Out” will be completely different than what we are used to with “Idyll Time”. We will be going from a five star resort to tent camping. We are trading in two staterooms for two sleeping bags. We do have a tent and mosquito netting and plan on camping along the way. Hopefully we will be able to find a motel every few days for showers. Idyll Out does have a porta-pottie onboard. No microwave or dishwasher, only our backpacking stove for cooking. We figure that if we can backpack through Nepal, we can survive for a few weeks on the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, and TN Rivers. How bad can it be? We are now waiting on a good weather window to travel the remaining 100 miles on Lake Michigan to Chicago. Here we will enter the Illinois River which will then connect to the Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Rivers bringing us home to Chattanooga.