Wednesday, May 28, 2008

OK Boat Trip, Days 33 & 34, 05/27-28, 2008

Sorry to be so long getting these last 2 days accounted for but we have been busy since our arrival at Three Forks. The short version is that we are here and what a welcome we received. The Port Authority had TV and newspaper folks on site, including a news helicopter in the air covering our arrival. It's exciting to have a Port Authority with so much enthusiasm for a harbor facility.

I'm thinking we'll keep the last 2 days' report short and sweet with mostly pictures since the two days of travel were "uneventful" in the sense that we didn't have any unusual events, just nice cruising, enjoying the trip, with beautiful scenery for our viewing pleasure.

We had thunderstorms and rain on Monday night at Emerald Cove in Van Buren but got back underway around 9:30 after the weather cleared. Here's the city's River Park leaving Ft. Smith and the skies clearing from the storms.

Also, a few hills/mountains among the stretches of farmland.

The run from Fort Smith (Van Buren) had a little bit of a surprise though. We noticed a very strong current that we were not expecting, the strongest of our trip thus far. When we checked in at Lock 14, I asked the lockmaster what was up. He said, "Well, it might have something to do with the 4 inches of rain we got last night." Oh, we had no idea, must have slept through it. Anyhow, Lock 14 transitions you from a very narrow river stream to the wide open waters of Kerr Lake.

Just before leaving the Kerr Lock, we had a good view over the gate behind us to the water we just left. If you look closely, you can see the difference in water levels before and after the lock.

Applegate Marina is about 3 miles on the starboard side after you leave the lock. Here are some shots from there. Very nice marina run by Alon and Rhoda Carpenter. Rhoda loaned us her vehicle and we went to the Catfish Hole for dinner.

The ships's store at Applegate.

And HMR's final night out before arriving at Three Forks tomorrow.

More docks at Applegate. As you can see, this is a large marina.

Today was the last day of our trip and I must say the last 25 miles was the prettiest. Here we are approaching the last lock of our trip, #16!

As we entered the Webbers Falls Lock, note the trip mileage on the GPS - 1100 miles since we left Bay Hill on the TN River!

And leaving the lock, we had quite a logjam. With all the high water from the previous night's rain, some of the debris came off the banks, floated down the river, and stopped at the lock. We were apparently the first boat through the lock for the day and none of the debris had a chance to clear out yet.

While we had to pick our way through the mess, the barges don't bother. If you look closely, this barge runs right over an entire tree and never misses a beat.

From Webbers Falls (the town and the last last lock for our trip) the river is surrounded by a combination of usually hills (maybe small mountains) and deep sections of farmland. You also see more houses embedded in these areas than we've seen on other parts of the river.

And a train running right along the river at the foot of the hills.

I had given the Port Authority an ETA of 4 PM and we were early so we drifted around downstream for a while so all the media could be in place when we arrived, including the helicopter. If you look closely you can see it in backdrop of the clouds above.

Here are the camera crews on the banks of the entry to the harbor.

And some of their shots of us.

Finally after all the hoopla, HMR at the fuel dock and ship's store.

And finally at rest in her new slip.

A shot of our dock - notice the wide concourse down the center.

And some updated shots of the River Center.

In closing, we want to thank so many folks - our friends we left behind who have stayed in touch during the trip with emails and calls, our families, new friends, and acquaintances we made along the way, the Port Authority and Arrowhead folks who supported us in so many ways, folks we met at the marinas, those who helped us on our emergency day when the engine quit, the lockmasters (I know I had a little fun at their expense one day but they were great), and all of you who prayed for our safe travel.

We hit the ground running on Thursday after arriving on Wednesday and I'm sure we'll be busy for days to come. It was a great run, thanks for riding along with us through the blog, come visit when you can.

Wayne and Rhonda McManus

"Help Me Rhonda"

'41 Roughwater Trawler

Three Forks Harbor

mm 392, Arkansas River at Muskogee OK

Oh yeah, our new cell phone number is 918-348-1727.

And our new addres is 5311 Three Forks Road, Fort Gibson, OK 74434 (yes, we know, you thought we were in Muskogee. Well we are, but the Fort Gibson post office delivers the mail to this area).

Some parting shots looking west and back out to the river from our new home at Three Forks.

1 comment:

Tara said...

So very glad that ya'll made it safely to your destination. Sounds like all is well. It was such a pleasure to meet both of you (and kitties) and I am glad that you left Memphis with some fond memories of us at The Memphis Yacht Club.