We leave tomorrow for Paducah, KY. It’s a three day trip; the first two on the Upper Mississippi and the last heading upriver on the Ohio. Unfortunately, there is no way to get Banjo to shore for potty stops. Let me rephrase. With the flooding, there is no way to be sure we can get Banjo to shore while anchoring and there are no marinas until Paducah. He has his grass on the foredeck, but as we all know, that’s reserved for playing and lounging. *Sigh.*
Because of this, a dog-loving friend we met when we first put the boat in is driving seven hours from Oklahoma to us in Alton, IL. He and his friend will travel with Rick on the boat. Banjo and I will take our friend’s truck and drive to Paducah. We will hang out in a hotel and meet the boat on Friday. Banjo is oblivious to the lengths we go for his comfort. In fact, I expect he will be quite annoyed Rick isn’t there.
My nights will be filled with a ten pound pup clucking out stranger danger messages at every sound.
The boys will leave in the early morning as soon as the lock master permits their entry. We will start our 3-hour drive when they leave. That’s right. Three days by boat or three hours by car.
We can’t check in to the hotel until 3:00. I’m not sure what we’ll do until then. Likewise, on Friday we will have to check out by 11:00, but won’t see the boys until late afternoon. Luckily, the high temps have dropped. I also think Banjo is the perfect size to sneak into a movie or something, but he doesn’t have the temperament. It’s difficult to explain why your purse is flapping around on your arm without assistance. So we will search for a dog-friendly lunch spot and then find shade at the marina.
It’s an odd feeling, this idea of leaving without Rick. We’ve been connected at the hip pretty much since we met. In the three years since we’ve started this journey, we’ve been together 24-7. Still, there is an upside. He gets to eat whatever he wants rather than sticking to my dietary needs and I admit to the thought of luxuriating in a king size bed all on my own. Nonetheless, Friday will be a welcome sight. In the interim, stay safe, my dear, and don’t get used to life without me!