The trip down the Tennessee has been much quicker than the trip up. First of all, the river current is flowing with us, so we are are traveling 1.5 - 2.0 knots per hour faster at the same engine speeds. Another reason for the speed down is the weather. The weather has been very changeable (I guess that is pretty much the definition of Fall, isn't it?) It seems that for every pleasant, sunny day we've had, there have been two overcast, cold days. One morning it was 25 degrees on the back deck when we woke up. Since I am the one who catches the bollard and rides on the deck as we go through the locks, I found these chilly days somewhat of a chore, especially since we always try to go through the locks in the morning if we can (to allow time to deal with unexpected delays if needed). The first shivering through a locking down resulted in a new hat and glove set for me. Actually, I had already made the fingerless gloves as a way to learn a new crochet technique, so I was able to whip up the hat using the left over yarn while we traveled between locks.
|Warm wool boating accessories|
|Lock floating bollard|
We did make a couple of stops on the trip down river to see things we hadn't seen on the way up. Jim's sister Melanie joined us for a few days of cruising, including a return to Florence, Alabama. Florence has the only Frank Lloyd Wright house built in the state of Alabama. When we first visited Florence, the house was closed, so we made it a point to schedule our return on a day the house would be open for touring.
|Front of the house|
The house was owned by one family for nearly 60 years. The money to build it was given to the couple as a wedding present by her parents in the early 1940s. They were newlyweds when they built it, but over time they had four sons, so it became the only Frank Lloyd Wright house for which Wright designed and built an addition. As is typical of an FLW house, he designed the furniture and even the lighting fixtures, much of which has been preserved. Every built in light in the house had this design. Apparently, each house he built had it's own light design.
|Living room furniture designed by Wright|
I would have coveted it if it had been gas, not electric.
The most amazing part of the Wright house story is how it came to be a tourist attraction in Florence, Alabama. By the time Mrs. Rosenbaum left the house, it was falling down around her. The city of Florence put a tax initiative on the ballot to increase the local sales tax to raise $600,000 to buy and re-hab the house. And the voters of Florence voted "yes". Can you imagine that happening today?
The other attraction we missed heading up river was the Apron Museum in Iuka, Mississippi. There are over 2,000 aprons in the collection, some dating from the civil war. There are men's aprons as well as women's aprons, although most of the collection is hand decorated "hostess aprons" from the 1950s.
|Iuka, MS Apron Museum|
|Samples of 1950s hostess aprons|