July 8

Up and at em. Fresh brewed coffee, donuts, bacon, fruit, and a made to order omelette and we were out the door heading back to the river. Kind of a weird feeling, like it was just a dream getting off the river over night. When we got back to the river we met the guy who met me at the boat ramp with my boat. He was going to paddle with me down to Memphis. This is the first time I have paddled with anyone on this trip so it was defiantly different but I was happy to have someone to talk to. And on top of that, to say that this guy knows everything about the river and wild life is an understatement. He sees a bubble and will tell you what kind, color, and gender of fish made it. He decided to use the SUP (stand up paddleboard) that someone had let him tryout. He said he had only been on one for  about 5 minutes before and we were about to do 18 miles. Guess that's why they call it an adventure. It was a beautiful day, and with most of gear out of the boat it was a nice float down the river. As we were paddling down a back channel we heard a plane off in the distance. Then another and another. We looked up and it was three WWII style plans chasing each other. We thought how cool does that look. They passed us going downstream. All the sudden the lead one pulls straight up and banks around and comes back for us. He must have saw us and thought how cool does that look. They started coming right for us. My buddy said "he's coming back, grab the camera". The planes kept dropping and buzzed us about 50 ft off the water. I was staring at my camera, thinking don't you dare mess this up. The third plane tipped his wings at us letting us know he saw us. They circled back and flew off. We looked at each other with dropped jaws saying how that was one of the coolest things we had ever seen. As I continued on getting my local guided tour we could see the skyline of Memphis getting larger. I was talking about how it gets lonely out on the river. I said that I needed a friend like Tom Hank's Wilson in Castaway. But I didn't want a Wilson ball, it had to be a Spaulding. Sure enough not 5 minutes later we saw a ball floating and sure enough it was a Spaulding. It had to be a sign. Once we reached Memphis we stored my boat at the marina and headed out. I had told them that growing up in East Tennessee, I had never been a fan of Memphis. They were gonna change that. I got a personal tour from the locals and the insight you don't get on paid tours. We headed back for a shower then it was off to an off Beale Street bar for live music that carried into the night.