Having completed a 6,000-mile voyage in a 15-foot open boat, many guys old enough to collect Social Security would have had enough and hung up their oars. But not John Guider, the Tennessee photographer, author, and adventurer.
Guider, you'll recall, built a specially modified version of the CLC Skerry and sailed and rowed from Nashville to Nashville via "The Great Loop," an intracoastal trail that took him down the Mississippi, across the Gulf, around Florida, up the East Coast, through the canals of New York to Canada and the Great Lakes, and finally home via the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
Guider set out in spring 2016 to retrace the historic 1779 voyage of frontiersman and explorer John Donelson. Donelson traveled by water from Fort Patrick Henry at the northeastern corner of Tennessee and founded the settlement that would eventually become Nashville.
“John Donelson's journey and the subsequent settling of Fort Nashboro is a major milestone in American history,” Guider says. “It marked the beginning of the westward expansion. Without Nashville becoming a secure outpost, the face of America might have been quite different. Some historians equate Nashville's founding and the years that followed as important as the Battle at Gettysburg or George Washington's crossing the Delaware.”
Here's a map of his route:
To commemorate Donelson’s contribution to Tennessee and American history, Guider started his voyage at the Fort Patrick Henry Dam in Kingsport, TN, over the Labor Day Weekend. He arrived at Nashville on October 29, having traveled another 1000 miles in the modified CLC Skerry he built for his Great Loop Adventure.
As with his previous voyages, Guider has chronicled his adventures on his Facebook page, and his historic quest drew extensive attention from the regional media, including an in-depth article in the Nashville Tennessean. That's a great article for all armchair adventurers.
Modifications made to adapt the original Skerry design to Guider’s purposes have served as the basis for the Skerry Raid, an “expedition” version of CLC's versatile and popular 15-footer.
Locking through Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Florence Harbor, Alabama.
More of John's magnificent photography at http://johnguider.com/