Sunday, September 18, 2011

Days  384 – 386     Grafton Harbor
Grafton, IL
Tuesday, September 13 – Thursday, September 15, 2011

Loopers following Dream Catcher to Grafton
 Dream Catcher crosses her wake at Grafton, Illinois

            Our gold flag signifies completion of America's Great Loop

 A toast to our completion

Flying the gold flag
 Grafton Harbor Marina

Entrance to Grafton Harbor Marina
Lunch with Joe, Linda, Larry, Carrie at the Big Kahuna
 Bill drives away after dropping us off at Aerie's

 Enjoying the view at Aerie's

Beautiful view from the top

Mississippi Half Step Restaurant

Lunch at Mississippi Half Step

Saying goodbye to Carlton and Becky

 On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, at 12:12 p.m. in Grafton, Illinois, we “crossed our wake” on Dream Catcher.   We had started “America’s Great Loop” in Grafton on August 29, 2010.  The circle was complete.  We had been traveling for a total of 1 year and 19 days. 
Grafton was a good place to celebrate our completion since it is famous for its shops, restaurants, and wineries!   We went exploring with Jeff and Linda and stopped for lunch at The Big Kahuna.  We were joined by Joe, Linda, Larry, and Carrie whom we met in Hardin.  They live nearby and travel the rivers in their runabout boats. 
After lunch we decided to walk to the Aerie’s Riverview Winery which is located at the top of the bluff.  Oops.  No way.  The road was extremely steep and far too long for a walk.  So Jim flagged down a friendly motorist who actually turned his car around and gave us a ride up to the restaurant.  Thanks, Bill!   What a guy! 
As we were enjoying the amazing view from Aerie’s, we were joined by Carlton.  He and Becky had arrived in Grafton on the previous Friday, rented a car and driven home to Decatur, Alabama for a few days.  They had just returned to Grafton.  While Becky remained on the boat, Carlton went with us, Jeff, and Linda to the Ruebel Hotel for dinner.   The hotel was built in 1879 and features a solid oak bar shipped from Bavaria in 1904. 
On Wednesday we said goodbye to Becky and Carlton who moved Seamoore to Port Charles Marina for some minor repairs.   It was hard to say goodbye since we met them in Rogersville, Alabama and had traveled with them since Marathon, Florida.  We’ll stay in touch and hope to see them in our future travels. 
We worked around the boat during most of the day.  We had appetizers for dinner onboard Dream Catcher with Linda and Jeff.
On Thursday we enjoyed lunch with Jeff and Linda at Mississippi Half Step, a home that was built by Charles Brainerd in 1885 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  But the real treat for the day was dinner on Jeremiah.  Jeff fixed an Italian specialty dish which is a blend of tuna, anchovies, garlic, butter, and olive oil.   It was served as a dip with vegetables and French bread.  It was absolutely “the best we’ve ever had”!                
Total miles:  21      Total bridges:  0       Total locks:  0

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