When the Water Calls
Reflections while traveling on America's Great Loop Adventure Twenty-seven Different Perspectives by a Seasoned "Looper"
by Jim and Lisa Favors
The idea for this book first came to us during the initial stages of our own Great Loop Adventure, somewhere around Tennessee. When we left our homeport of Charlevoix, Michigan, we only knew of one other couple who were soon to embark on the “Loop.” So, while we had researched the route, got our boat “shipshape” and put our affairs in order, we had no real preconceived notions of what or whom we would encounter. We really didn’t know what type of adventure, on the intangible side, we would actually end up experiencing.
What we found quite soon into our journey was that the American Great Loop travelers, more fondly known as “Loopers,” were as varied as the members of any large family. As we met these fellow boaters, who, it became apparent, shared the same interests as us (boating and adventure), we realized that we had all left behind the self-importance of our home and working life. It didn’t matter where we came from, where we worked or what our social, economic, or educational background was. We found that the camaraderie of this family was akin to belonging to a benevolent civic organization; all willing to help each other out without expecting anything in return.
With the revelation that there was more going on here than just a trip, route, or destination, and that maybe for many, like us, it was a life-changing experience; we got the idea for the book. We thought people would be interested in learning about the trials and tribulations such a trip affords its participants.
Our thoughts were to ask other boaters we met to share their varied and insightful experiences with us, while keeping their responses more philosophical in nature with little stories that were still fresh in their minds, ones that had made their trip valuable to them. As much as possible, we wanted to stay away from the cost of fuel, itineraries, and journal entries. We did this so you, the reader, could get a sense of what the Loopers experienced, how they overcame obstacles, what they enjoyed, how they got along with their “crew” for such a long time in a small space and, in a number of cases, how some Loopers accomplished the 6,000-mile trip mostly, or completely, by themselves. Even more importantly, we wanted to show why people left the comforts of home to tackle a trip like this, and what they ultimately gained.
We hoped to create a vehicle for people either considering this trip, or just curious about it, to have a better sense of what a journey like this can entail in an untouchable sense. In our opinion, the American Great Loop Adventure is more about the day-to-day journey, relationships, communing with nature, and most definitely not about the final destination or even the itinerary. If embarked upon, this trip would enhance and enrich the lives of anyone who has a taste for adventure, and a heart ripe for surprises, both large and small.
– Jim & Lisa Favors
Softcover. 202 pgs. Pub 2008.