Eclipse Trip Finale, Downsizing, and the Boat

Life has been going by so horribly fast than blogging has taken a back seat.  I’m a little embarrassed that I’m now posting part of a trip report from August, and we’re approaching Halloween.  So much has been going on–I’ll talk a little more about that later.

The Finale of the Eclipse Trip (Our Cargo Carrier Almost Falls Off)

After we left the Ozarks, we continued south for a drive through Arkansas’ Ouachita Mountains.  After the spectacular cliffiness of the Ozarks, the rolling forests of the Ouachita seemed rather tame.  We found a Forest Service campground at Fourche Mountain near Rover, AR.  Just a place in the woods, but it was free.  For the last several days we noticed that our cargo carrier had been riding lower and lower, and now it was dragging the ground.  A weld had opened up in the hitch where the carrier attaches to the car.   We had to make a decision–would we try to make it home, or dump the carrier?  We decided to sleep on it.

The next morning we decided to remove the bike carrier from the cargo carrier.    We ditched it and one of our older bikes, and put one bike and everything that was on the carrier inside of the car.  We tilted the carrier platform up and decided to deal with it when we got home.  The carrier and hitch did make it all the way back home, where we had several unpleasant phone calls trying to get a warranty replacement (finally successful.)

Our last campsite was right on the Mississippi River at Warfield Point Park in Greenfield MS.  This is a well-maintained county park and was only $10/night.  We camped in the grass and I swear I got redbugs there although B says I got them hiking in the Ozarks.  I am a magnet for all biting insects.  The picture below is from the observation tower in the park.  It was fun hearing the tugs go up and down the river while we tried to decipher the meanings of their navigational lights.

Warfield Park Campground, Greenville, MS
Warfield Park Campground, Greenville, MS

Downsizing Begins

When we got home, we found ourselves in the midst of some heavy life decisions by our roommates.  Our daughter and her husband were trying to decide if and when they should move into their own place, and where the two kids should go to school.  They decided to move into their own rental house nearer their work and put both kids in private school.  We understand that they do need to be in their own place, but we will miss the kids terribly.

So now B and I are alone in a 3200 sq. foot antebellum home on 8 acres.  With 30+ years of accumulated belongings from raising 1 1/2 families (our own kids plus 5 years of grand kids.)–antiques, tools from a construction business, and an attic full of everything from the last 35 years.  What should we do?  We will probably downsize to something–perhaps the boat?  While we decide we should pare down our belongings for an eventual move.  Right now I’m going through all the books.  They are almost like mementos–giving up each one brings back memories and evokes feelings.

Book Downsizing
Book Downsizing

Getting the Boat Ready for Springtime Cruising

And in the midst of all this we are dealing with boat repairs.  B has spent the last three weeks going through our laundry list of boat repairs.  Most of it is deferred maintenance from the past owners.  Some of the major projects have included resetting all the after windows, refinishing the swim platform, and installing a third bilge pump.

Our New Boat
Our New Boat

We have some big decisions to make soon.  Will we start the Loop in the spring?  Will we put the house on the market at the same time?  Will we downsize to the boat, a smaller house, an apartment, or maybe an RV?

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