The Home Stretch
V and S
Mon 4 Jul 2011 11:29
July 4, 2011
Happy Birthday America!
Amber Isle is nearing the home stretch like a mare heading for the stable. The Tennessee River is spectacular. The wide expanses, the lush green, the mountain views. Breathtaking. Our son David and his wife Karen met us at Chattanooga, and because it was the holiday weekend, we had to leave soon after. No time to tour that beautiful city with them. The Chickamauga Lock was first, and everyone donned life jackets to help fend off the lock wall. Our usual first spot in the lock was taken by a small boat, and the lift was much more turbulent for us than usual. It was good to have the extra hands. The lake was swarming with boats of all sizes, skiers, tubers. We'd never seen so many people out enjoying the lake. We ran til about 5 pm, then stopped to anchor by a park 30 miles before Watts Bar Lake. It was a scorcher, and we jumped into the water for a swim. Ahhhhhhhhh!. The evening temps dropped to the 60s. making a good nights sleep.
The next morning, we relaxed over coffee and breakfast, a rare treat on the river trips. Usually we have many locks to clear, many miles to make. But today we had only 40 miles. The lake was again filled with boats. It was good to see so many people out on the water. We spotted two men towing a jet ski and offered to help. No, they were almost home. The Watts Bar Lock was our only lock for the day. But they asked us to tie up on the port side, and we had to switch all our fenders, poles, and lines to that side. We would stop either across from Euchee Marina at Sand Island, or go the 5 miles extra and anchor near Terrace View Marina. Both offered a land break and maybe a shore lunch. Sand Island was packed with a hundred boats. All were beached and people waded in the waist deep water, visiting, partying, staying cool. We'd stopped there before, but opted to go on to Terrace View. Terrace View has a huge swimming pool as well as a restaurant. As we neared, Valt decided to tie up at the marina instead. We landed and raced to the pool. The water was a little cooler than the river water, but refreshing. Despite the hot day, few folks were in the pool. The staff was fun. Karen and I changed into sundresses for dinner. The place was full, and hungry diners kept coming at a steady stream. I think they were surprised by the number of customers, and had to call in extra wait staff. We postponed dessert to take our much needed walk. Just before closing, we returned to the restaurant. It was still busy. We took our old booth and ordered Funnel Cake Stix Sundaes to share. Funnel cakes, a standard at every state fair, brought back memories to all. The night was balmy, and we sat outside in the cockpit watching loads of boaters come and go. Fireworks boomed all along the lake.
Tomorrow would also be a short day, we planned to anchor just this side of the Ft. Loudon Lock. This would get us in to Ft. Loudon Marina on Tuesday morning.