Great Loop: Sidetracked to Iowa

Days 10-16: January 27-February 2, 2023

Sometimes trips don’t always go as planned. We started out with news that Tonia’s dad Alan was having health issues and needed to go to Mayo (Rochester) for tests. That was followed up with news that Tonia’s Uncle Gary was losing his fight with cancer. We decided we needed to travel back to be with family.

This led to the decision to put the boat in a marina for a few days and fly back to Iowa. We found a spot at the New Port Cove Marina and a flight up to Des Moines on Sunday, Jan 29. It was an early morning flight and we had to Uber it to the airport at 4am. We arrived in Iowa to the aftermath of a snowstorm and low single-digit temperatures. I had to wear two long-sleeve shirts and a sweatshirt since all our cold weather gear is nicely packed away in Seattle.

The positive side is we were able to spend a good deal of time with Tonia’s Uncle Gary on Sunday. We arrived at his place around two and spent the afternoon into the evening telling stories with Gary, Alan, and the family. Unfortunately, Gary passed away early the next day. We are very happy that we got to spend a few last hours with him and his family.

I first met Gary when Tonia brought me to a Bouska family get-together when we were still dating. Of course, I was a little worried meeting the family. However, there was a hayride to which Gary had provisioned a case a beer. It was all history from there.

We spent the remainder of the trip back traveling to Rochester to accompany Alan at his appointments for tests and a biopsy. It was a low-key trip, but we did get to stop by and see Tonia’s cousin Mark and his wife Irissa and five kids. I don’t know how they do it will all the kids running around!

The final day on the side trip was a lot of driving. We swung by New Hampton again to check in on Aunt Sue and family as we were going to miss the funeral.

The trip summary is Gary will be very missed and it is darn cold in Iowa/Minnesota. Yes, that’s where we’re from but spending time in Seattle and now Florida has made us cold adverse!

Above, snow, snow and more snow, must-have taco pizza when in Iowa, buckets of hickory nuts for Alan, and Al and John Deere.

And we’ll be back to the regularly scheduled program ‘aft’er these messages…

Day 11 Trip Details:
North Palm Beach, US to Riviera Beach, US
Time: 1 h 1 m (12:08 to 13:09)
Distance: 3.96 nm

Day 12-15 Trip Details:
Fort Lauderdale to Des Moines to Fort Lauderdale

Day 16 Trip Details:
Riviera Beach, US to Palm Beach Shores, US
Time: 0 h 22 m (10:54 to 11:17)
Distance: 1.45 nm

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