Tennessee River

Valt & Sandy
Wed 3 Jul 2013 16:55
35:00:771N 085:60:488W
July 2, 2013
Cruising the Tennessee River is incredible. As we head farther easy the mountains rim the lakes formed by the locks and dams. We feel like we are floating in some mountain lake. Maybe in Peru? The early morning mists still cover the mountain tops. An occasional boat house lines the shore. Colorful names like " the skillet", " the pot ", and the " frying pan" still remain as reminders of the raging river that was here before the locks were built to aide navigation. We pass a house. Binoculars ready, we check to see that the mannequin perched in the screen porch we have seen here before is still here. It is! And they have added a second! Another yard sports a telephone booth, like we could jump ashore to make a call! Such little things always bring a smile. Time to move out to the bow, the sky is overcast, and here is a slight breeze.
We stopped past Guntersville Lock in Honeycomb Creek. The cove is very protected. One shore is an RV park, another houses a boat dry storage facility. Farther up the creek are beautiful homes and boat houses. There is a fair amount of small boat and jet traffic, but they stay away from us. After 3 days of swimming, dinghying, and walking, we raise the anchor and move into the marina. Time to visit old friends.
But, the gypsies we have become, we long to move on. Leaving early we gape at the wide waterway. Small fishing boats abound already.
Another lock. Once through, we tie to a dock at Shell Mound Rec. Area. Fishermen are on the dock. We walked through the camp grounds just to move our legs. The folks are friendly. Next morning we start the trip through the Gorge, aka the Tennessee Grand Canyon. High cliffs line the shore, the river carved deeply through. In some places it is 70' deep. The docks in Chattanooga are full, everyone there for the July 4th events. Friends from our Ft. Loudon Marina are tied up there. We continue on to a dock described in a cruising guide: too small for us. So we have no choice but to go through the Chickamauga Lock. They have a broken bollard, so we wait 2 hours. Once through we go another hour to anchor outside the Chattanooga Yacht Club. Another friend will meet us for dinner.
The morning is overcast and brings rain. The forecast is for rain all week, canceling out all the holiday fireworks. It is a good day to travel. There are flood warnings for the neighboring towns. It is a good day to be on a boat.

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