East on the Tennessee River

Ambler Isle
V and S
Fri 3 Jul 2009 14:30
June 30, 2009
We turned east, then south on the Tennessee river. This river is much wider, and the shores very lush and green. Tall cliffs line the banks and we even see mountains in the distance. The Tennessee "Grand Canyon" runs from Nickajack Lock to Chattanooga and is spectacular. The locks here are much bigger, lifting us as much as 91' at a time. We stopped at riverwalk Marina in Decatur, AL to eat at the nearby "Hard Dock Cafe". Sadly, they close on Monday. We met a number of folks who also did not know of their hour change. It only cost $25 to stay there, including electric and water, but we would not have stopped there. After Guntersville Lock we tucked into another favorite cove at Honeycomb Bay. Another hot day, we settled the boat and jumped into the 92 degree water. The water here is also clean.
Signal Pointe Marina is our next stop to see owners Don and Susan and friends. We usually spend a couple days here. This trip we would take off the anchor and 200' chain, load it into their courtesy van, and drive to Chattanooga TN to have it hot dip galvanized. While we wait, we could visit the Bluffs Art District there. It is a wonderful, manicured part of town. Brick pavers line the river and sidewalks. A sculpture garden runs along the river crest, inviting you to sit a spell. A young couple shared a sushi lunch under a tree. Old houses- turned museums are trimmed in fancy gingerbread designs. At Tony's we stopped for lunch. What a treat. The other patrons were well dressed and professional. The wait staff treated us like their best friends. The wine list and menu were great. We sat looking over the river; where were we? In Paris? London? No, Chattanooga TN!
Picking up our repaired chain, we joined Don and Susan and pals for their weekly dinner at Outlaws Steakhouse. The holiday approaching, all the boaters were arriving early for the festivities. A 4th of July boat parade, and of course, fireworks would highlight the weekend.