I was wrong. (There’s a first time for everything.) The worst part is, for 2 years everyone told me I was wrong. But I stood strongly by my opinion. Vocally. And now, while it pains me, I’ll publicly admit that I understand now what everyone has been talking about.
So here’s the deal: I might have been a little too negative about the inland rivers.
If you followed our Great Loop journey at all you probably realized that I had very few positive things to say about the rivers. I’m a salty hair, palm-tree loving beach girl and the rivers stood between me and my happy place. Go read The One Where We Make A Run For The Dolphins. I’m cringing at my own words. Here are a few excerpts:
- “I realized how uninteresting our surroundings became as we headed south.”
- “One person’s highlights are another person’s dullest days. I just happen to fall into the latter category.”
- “The best part of the whole river system is finishing it.”
You get the idea.
By now you might be wondering, what changed?
Well, for starters, I was crazy enough to agree to try the rivers again. Why? Mostly because I love my husband and he really wanted to do this trip. But also because I really love Tennessee football and I’m excited to tailgate on our boat as part of the Vol Navy. Yep, you read that right, we’re traveling hundreds of miles for a tailgate.
The decision was made easier by hurricane season. Our boat was in Florida and it had to go somewhere else. We strongly considered doing a repeat of last summer. Hilton Head was dreamy, and will always be our favorite spot. But this summer we chose to have an adventure and cross off a major bucket list item.
And now it’s only taken me a week on the rivers to admit that I was wrong.
Here are a few specific things that are making a big difference this time around:
Battle Born Batteries: When we came down the rivers on our Loop we did not have the Battle Born Batteries and Victron inverter installed yet. Because of this we needed to run our generator almost 100% of the time when we weren’t connected to dock power (which, on the rivers is often.) It felt like one giant rush to get from marina to marina.
Anchoring (Semi) Pros: Since we didn’t have the lithium batteries and an inverter, we hadn’t done much anchoring on our Loop. Unfortunately, the nights we did have to anchor on the rivers we spent all night nervous that we weren’t holding well. A year and a half later, we have a ton more experience and feel confident with our anchoring skills. We’re also much better at selecting anchorage locations.
Starlink: One of the biggest drawbacks to the rivers is how remote they are in some areas. We really struggled not having any connectivity- specifically overnight. It was tough to relax and it was also impossible to work. Our new Starlink Portability has worked almost flawlessly.
Weather: There’s no denying that our family thrives in warm weather. We love being outside and in the water. When we came down the rivers on our Loop, the leaves were changing and it was gorgeous. But it was mostly too cold to swim (except my crazy daughter got in a few times!) On the other hand, now that it’s summer our boat is barely stopped before we’re all jumping in.
I was clearly wrong.
For the next couple of months we’re going to enjoy the beautiful Tennessee River. We love new adventures and making new memories. The only major downside to the rivers this time around is missing all the sweet friends we were with on the Loop. But, on the bright side, we are making new friends. And looking forward to meeting up with some Loop friends soon.
As always, thanks for keeping up with our adventures. You may also enjoy reading:
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