America’s Great Loop: Leg 2

We are excited to resume our journey around America’s Great Loop (May 22, 2020). This time, I will be traveling with my good friend Andre Santos. We’ll start in Cortez, Florida and work our way through Lake Okeechobee and up the east coast.

Thank you for following and we look forward to your comments and advice along the way. Check us out on Facebook at Pontoon Loopers. Cheers all!

Hello! A little introduction

Welcome to my travel blog.  For the past few years, I’ve wanted to travel around America’s Great Loop while being careful about the budget.  The ‘loop’ is a series of connected water ways around the eastern U.S. and has many wonders (lock & damns, beautiful scenery and places only seen by a few lucky people).

It may be a surprise to some, but a person can actually boat the “loop” from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The McClellan-Kerr Navigation system connects Northeast Oklahoma to the Mississippi River.  This channel  was opened in 1971 and made it possible to ship commercial goods cheaply over long distances.  Since then, people have used it as a starting point for recreational trips to the Gulf of Mexico or to the AGL.

I completed about 1,400 miles of the trip in May/June, 2017.  This first leg began in Paducah, Kentucky and ended in Cortez, Florida.  In eight days, I was able to see 16 lock & dams, interesting bridges, a variety of wildlife, varied bodies of water, forces of nature from glass-like seas to rough chop/waves in a small craft advisory.  I even got to see a sea turtle floating on the water on the Gulf of Mexico!

As with any trip this long, there are bound to be setbacks (weather, mechanical issues, getting lost,  etc).   On the first leg of the trip I experienced all of these things.  I needed help from people and it seemed like someone was always there; able and willing to help.  Universal kindness of others was something I appreciated and was most struck by on this journey.

In April, I’m planning to start the journey again.  From the same dock in Cortez, Florida where I ended the first leg, I will begin to head south in Florida.

Below is a picture of Carol, my wife of 26 years, who has been by my side and supportive of me as I look to new journeys on a small boat.