Sheboygan couple complete America’s ‘Great Loop’ boating trip

SHEBOYGAN – Sue and Rick Rosenwald left Sheboygan headed south on their boat, “Fire Escape,” in October 2018.

In July, nearly four years later, they cruised back into Sheboygan from the opposite direction to a dock full of cheering friends and family.

America’s Great Loop — a more than 6,000-mile loop that took the Rosenwalds down inland rivers including the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida’s coastline, up the East Coast, into New York State canals and into Canada, before returning to Lake Michigan — usually takes about one year.

Although “life and COVID” unexpectedly extended the Rosenwalds’ trip, the loop was still the trip of a lifetime, they said.

About 150 boats complete the Great Loop each year, meaning fewer people complete the trip than climb Mount Everest annually, according to the America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association.

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A map of America's Great Loop.

Sue and Rick, both Sheboygan South High School graduates, grew up boating with their families.

Rick bought his first boat at 18 years old, and the boats just kept getting bigger from there, he said.

When the couple were researching bucket list things to do in retirement, Sue came across the Great Loop. As they learned more about it, they were hooked.

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