It Has Begun!

5 Nov

rain on the tenn-tom

Neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of…

…wait a minute! We’re not mailmen! We’re loopers! …and, YES WE ARE, ‘cause we are underway!

…although, you would have thought that the weather gods would have supplied a nicer day for the official mission commencement – it’s raining out there….

…but that’s okay, because we are snug and dry at the lower helm, sipping our coffee and commenting on all the poor souls out there getting wet.

boyd at the helm on the tenn-tom

Our friends Gregg and Carol in Summer Wind are escorting us to our first stop at Bay Springs (that’s so nice!….we have such lovely friends…).

That's Summer Wind going under (believe it or not) the Robinson Bridge (HA!)...

That’s Summer Wind going under (believe it or not) the Robinson Bridge (HA!)…

We are currently chugging down what is affectionately referred to as The Ditch. The Tennessee is this nifty man-made avenue of water that connects the Tennessee River to the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River (is that a cool name or what!!).


So, it’s down the Tenn-Tom we go…the adventure has begun…

Look out Great American Loop, ’cause here we come!

20 Responses to “It Has Begun!”

  1. Cathy Taylor November 5, 2014 at 10:45 #

    So excited and happy for you to begin the joy of travel. Looking forward to seeing you and maybe meeting you when you get to Ft Walton Beach/Okaloosa Island, FL. Have safe and fun journey..Will be following your blog…

    • Mrs Bushranger November 5, 2014 at 10:48 #

      Thanks Cathy…we’re Florida bound (eventually) so it would be great to meet up!

  2. Dan November 5, 2014 at 11:15 #

    Wahoo!! Very excited for you guys! Hope to see you at some point in the next few months. Good luck 🙂

  3. Chris November 5, 2014 at 12:32 #

    I trust we’re still on your list to visit! When you’re heading past Georgia, remember us! And let me know if I need to float a big sign saying, “Daufuskie Island, SC this way” with a big arrow!

  4. Chris November 5, 2014 at 12:39 #

    I got curious about how good ole’ Tom Bigbe might have been. What did we do before Google?

    Thomas B. Bailey, Columbus, 1852

    I recently spoke to the Rotary Club in Columbus about steamboats on the Tombigbee River. That presentation resulted in my being questioned about the origin of the name Tombigbee. “Where did that name come from and what does it mean?”

    I remember studying Mississippi history in school. We were told that Tombigbee was a Choctaw word meaning “coffin maker.” That’s close but not quite right.

    What is now known as the Tombigbee River was first encountered by Europeans in December of 1540. That was when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto arrived on its banks. Rodrigo Rangel private secretary to de Soto recorded an account of the expedition’s arrival at the Tombigbee, probably in the Columbus area. He called it the “River of the “Chicaca” (Chickasaw).

    Though Tombigbee actually was taken from a Choctaw phrase, it was the Chickasaws who first gave the river a recorded name. The Chickasaw called it the “Ming-oo aye-u-py Ok”Hin-nah” or King’s Bath River. Edward Fontaine a draughtsman in the Pontotoc Land Office in 1848 explained that the Chickasaw’s believed that the flooding of the Tombigbee was caused by the Great Spirit taking a bath. Fontaine also said that the Choctaw called the river “Itte-ombee-eye ika-abee” or wooden box making river. That was to commemorate learning how to construct boxes in which pelts could be shipped during the French fur trade of the 1700s.

    In 1805, Mississippi Territorial Judge Harry Toulmin wrote that the Choctaw called the river “Elome-gabee” or “Box Maker’s River” after a box maker who formerly lived on some of its headwaters. Other accounts related that the river was named after a creek near Epes, Alabama, on which a Choctaw box maker or coffin maker lived. It was there that in 1736 the French built a fort they called Fort Tombecbe.

    Whatever the real story, the French apparently named the river after a Choctaw word for box maker that they interpreted as Tombecbe. That evolved under the English into Tombeckby and then Tombigby and finally the present day Tombigbee.

    So now I know! And so do you!

  5. Heather Rutherford November 5, 2014 at 14:29 #

    The adventure (sailing part) has begun. How wonderful! Take notes!

    • Mrs Bushranger November 6, 2014 at 14:42 #

      Yep, lots of notes and I’ll even let you see them in our blog!

  6. Robyn Furness November 5, 2014 at 15:07 #

    Good luck guys – hope you have the wonderful adventure you so richly deserve! Looking forward to following you route with you. xxx

  7. Rod Robinson November 5, 2014 at 16:37 #

    Congratulations guys! Well done getting to this point. A significant moment. You can finally call yourselves “Loopers”!

  8. lifeat6mph November 5, 2014 at 16:56 #

    Great to hear that you are underway! although our communication has been limited, I am certainly anxious to follow your trip, and, if at all possible, to meet as you pass by NJ.. best of luck.. be safe and enjoy!

  9. Kathy & Garth November 5, 2014 at 21:21 #

    Finally!! Looking forward to reliving the loop through your blog. Hopefully we can connect, if not in Florida then once you cross the border into the Great White North we will find you!
    Remember, sometimes you are the show and sometimes you are the audience!

    ENJOY as it is truly the trip of a lifetime.

    • Mrs Bushranger November 6, 2014 at 14:40 #

      We WILL find you! …and have lots to talk about!

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