Newfound Gap: The Great Smoky Mountains

One of our favorite rides on our trip south is the trip over Newfound Gap across the Smoky Mountains. It is different each time we do it.  This trip the ride was punctuated by the damage left by the November fire. It was above freezing when we left Riveredge Campground in Pigeon Forge, but the temperature dropped quickly as we climbed towards the peaks and it started to snow.



Continue reading Newfound Gap: The Great Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains On Fire

This past November, right after Thanksgiving,  I was watching the morning news and a quick alert flashed across the screen about fires in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee. It caught my attention because we love the Smokies, we love Gatlinburg, and we even have a certain affection for the craziness of Pigeon Forge (ever heard of Dollyville?)
A day later, the wildfires in the National Park had exploded into a full-blown emergency and flames were licking at the mountain village Gatlinburg itself. The town was evacuated.  Vacation housing and resorts in the area were at risk or, in several cases, consumed by fire. Continue reading The Smoky Mountains On Fire

Trying to See The Big Picture

A lot has happened in the growth of the boat in the last month, but so much of it is still in bits-and-pieces, and it’s all so far away across the country, that it is quite difficult for us to appreciate the Big Picture.

The biggest accomplishment is the arrival and installation of the engine, a Cummins 480 HP QSB 6.7. Bruce is very pleased with this  and has spent hours carefully inspecting the photographs in minute detail, and calling Kurt at American Tug with great frequency to get answers to his many questions.  I keep telling him that if he doesn’t get off the phone the boat will never get finished.   Continue reading Trying to See The Big Picture

The Tug Takes Shape

The engine, a Cummins 480 HP QSB-6.7, is en-route by truck from Cummins to American Tug at Tomco Marine in the Pacific Northwest.  While the project waits for the engine’s arrival, build progress is slow, but there’s still good stuff happening.

Over the last month, interior components have been constructed on the shop floor, the deck (which is still independent from the hull) is being worked on, electrical systems are being assembled, and some components have been installed in the hull. Continue reading The Tug Takes Shape

All things fun (and tasty) in the life of the Beards