Two months to go…..

Counting down seems kind of silly, but I guess its a ‘benchmark’ that forces me to write something.

Mentally I’m pretty much as ready as I can be, I continue to work alot of extra hours while understanding that the end of a career is in sight – even though this has left me with alot less time to be home or to drive down and review any needs of the ‘bird’ (drink a beverage or two as I walk the deck ‘speculating’), but I believe all the bases are covered for the trip and its just a matter of creating a simple order of reassembly for water’s edge.

I am definitely looking forward to the adventure and excited about the time on the river (minimum 57 days/57 nights).


“Ok, see if there is anything to hide, these ‘coasties might be coming over to do a “Mom and Pop’s” (recreational boarding) …..”  horn, PFD, extinguisher ? – “check.”

Carl will join me for the first @ month and 700 miles of The ‘Upper Mississippi,’ that will be a big boost, the perfect start for what remains.  Kim’s cousin Mike will join up somewhere around St Louis for a few days or maybe even a week – from there I may be ‘solo’ for a distance down the ‘big chute.’  A week or so out of New Orleans I’m hoping that my cousin Lee will join me , that would be nice – but the constant remains – the ‘bird’ and I are headed South to New Orleans.  It would be nice to cover the distance with enough time left to make it across to Mobile – but we’ll just have to see – mother nature has her schedule too.

For now, the benchmark of one month to-go will be when the’ bird’ will leave the nest and return to the mountains (It is now at the Lake in SC 60 miles away).  Having the bird at home will be an opportunity to cover some final maintenance points with the motor – in the meantime, I like that its free from the rain inside the boathouse (nest).

S0 everything is fine and on track here – the truck and trailer are prepared for the trip to Minnesota – just needs to be loaded.  Two co-workers Jason W. and Brian L. will drop me off in La Crosse and return with the trailer – its all coming together, just a matter of a couple of months when we will find ourselves riding that massive current of Southbound water as it meanders through the heart of this nation – kinda like ‘hanging-ten’ on a dinosaur slug….

Just maybe the trip will provide me enough time to fully comprehend the correct words to relay ‘our take’ of the character, ambiance, and mystic that we find while riding this Great River…..

I appreciate all the support, interest, and enthusiasm that everyone has shown as this adventure has developed, it’s been a real help – its all been awesome….  thank you…..

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cousin Melissa
    Apr 03, 2009 @ 18:11:21

    Let me know if you need JP and I to do anything!

    How will you charge your phone?

  2. Jessica "Haynie" Carr
    Apr 03, 2009 @ 20:10:56

    Its fun to countdown!

    Myron and I were just talking the other day about your trip and wondering how you were going to get the truck home. Good thinking. Is your plan for mom to haul it south and pick it up?

  3. Tom Haynie
    Apr 04, 2009 @ 00:40:06

    The normal ways to charge our ‘gadgets’ are available – Hopefully the last week of July(if Mom answers the phone (and it is charged)) she will take the long ride to Nawleans or Mobile with the trailer and we can return her and the ‘plucked’ bird back to the lake for-good.

  4. 11 Visions
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 16:38:59

    Count that mofo down. Hey, we’ve moved our trip to May 15 so we’ll probably definitely run into one another. Just email us and we’ll exchange numbers and interview you guys for our site. Hope you aren’t camera shy.


  5. charley quinlivan
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 18:57:07

    In response to your “why” section…I often get the same question. I have found that there are two types of people…the “whys?” and the “wows!” Sometimes you tell people that you are taking a homemade boat on a 1000 mile trip down the 3rd largest river in the world and they say why? Some people say Wow! For the ones that say wow no explanation is needed. For the ones that say why? no explanation is sufficient. So I just say why not?

  6. Tom Haynie
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 20:51:17

    I’m ready right now 11v, I like your site alot, and look forward to a ‘meeting of the river rats’……. and Charley, have an awesome trek, cool raft – we’ll figure it all out as we go……………. I will make sure my cell number is available on departure – who knows, we could a ‘support system’ if needed.

  7. charley quinlivan
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 10:22:24

    2 more things…I too get asked about personal hygiene seems to be about the most fascinating subject for a lot of people. You talked about a “bird bath”…in my experience the best way to supplement that is with baby wipes. Use one daily…face, arm pits, crotch, butt…(in that order!) makes a world of difference.
    As far as drifting with the current to save fuel…I have found that a “sea anchor” made from a 5 gallon bucket really helps. Drop it from a line off the bow and run a 2nd line off the first with a block to the stern. Experiment with the angle and you will find that you can hang in the current with the bow to the wind. Works well for fishing, should work for you. Keep it short and you can trip it easy.
    Thanks for putting a link to my web page. Not much there now but come the first week of June I will be posting.
    See you on the river!!

  8. Tom Haynie
    Apr 11, 2009 @ 10:34:49

    Thanks Charley, good ideas, info – I’m absorbing all that folks have to say.

  9. Greg Broyles
    Apr 13, 2009 @ 10:17:31


    How in the world did you find Keethas blog? Blogging is her life and hobby, alot less expensive than my hobbies!

    I am going to follow your Miss journey. You have always had interest in adventures. Remember our all night drive to Miami?

    I love to Ford! We need to head to the beach on a rainy day hitting puddles and showering the snowbirds.

    What a great family you have. Grandkids Rule!!

  10. Tom Haynie
    Apr 13, 2009 @ 13:43:00

    Hey Greg, Yes I remember your Dodge going 100 miles an hour through the Everglades (I think I made a life decision that night that if a opossum ran out in front of us – well, it was just too bad for the opossum (one didn’t)), 120 miles to Miami, a trip around the block – and then 120 miles home -from the blog looks like you are still traveling.
    Alls fine here, Keetha’s doing a great job with the blog.

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