Archive for » September, 2010 «

September 19th, 2010 | Author:

We are hanging. This is the longest we have stayed anywhere on this trip. But some of our days have been busy.

There is a courtesy car here and Kelley signed it out and off we went to Paducah. I have wanted to go to Paducah forever as it is the quilt capital of the world (universe?). Kelley dropped me off and I spent 2 hours looking at the quilts and talking to the docents that are there. Quilting is definitely an art form. I was so impressed with the workmanship. I wished that Liz had been with me; the two of us would have been so excited to share this time together.

Kelley read and drove around Paducah while I was at the museum. When he picked me up he drove me through the old part of town (charming) and then out to the river (Ohio). We had seen this part as we boated by. Paducah is a walled city (floods). On the river side there is a large park and many people were there picnicking. As there is a wide road there, some people were sitting in their cars eating their lunch or reading. We then drove by the walls as they face the city and there are murals painted on them telling the history of the area. There are beautiful.

We lunched at Backyard Barbecue and it was tasty. We bought 2 dinners to take home with us. A trip to town wouldn’t be complete without a stop at WalMart! Such a nice day.

During our stay we also rented a car and visited Nashville. We met Kacey (a friend’s daughter) and had lunch with her at the Bricktop. This was one of the best meals that we have had on this trip….We went into Nashville and did the trolley tour and then stopped at two honky tonks (one being Lengends) before returning to our hotel. We really enjoyed the music. It is amazing that these bars have entertainment from the time that they open until they close. There isn’t a cover charge and the beers are reasonable.

Kacey suggested Cantina Laredo, a Mexican restaurant, for dinner.  It was within walking distance of our hotel and Kacey was right. The food was delicious! The next day we woke to rain, not sprinkles, but pouring rain. To be continued

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September 19th, 2010 | Author:

After a quiet night at the towhead we were ready to pull anchor and head on down the Cumberland. This river has less commercial traffic than the Tennessee River and that thought appealed to us; also, we wanted to go to Green Turtle on Barkley Lake and this is the quickest route. As we turned into the head of the river, lo and behold, a barge. Why us?!? To make matters worse, the barge was going in our direction, was moving more slowly, and ahead was about 4 miles of narrow curves. The captain told us that when there was room he would call us on 13. So we slowly made our way down this part of the river.

The Cumberland is a narrower river. I think it is beautiful. The trees grow down to the water. But, as with all of the rivers here that we have been on, it is a mixture of industry and nature. Beautiful one moment and then a gravel company with trucks lined up to dump rocks into waiting barges. Amazing.

Once we passed the tow we meandered on the river. There were some fishermen and we passed a few pleasure boats. House boats are popular here and some look like paddle boats.

We reached the Barkley Lock (and Dam) and the gates were open for us. This lock is a 57′ lift; but we were not lifted that much. I am not sure if that is because this area has been flooded recently. Once out of the lock it was a quick trip to Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina. We are planning on staying here for about a week before we move on. bill, the Harbor Master was very helpful. We appreciated it as Kelley’s foot was now swollen….

We felt good about how the first part of the river system had gone. People I had spoken to kept saying that being on the Mississippi was the worst two days of their boating history. I don’t think that Kelley or I would say that. But, for the next few days it will be nice not to be looking debris and tows!

Ohio River: Mile 923.5  (Cumberland Towhead Island) to Mile 31.7 on Barkley Lake (Green Turtle Bay )

Miles covered: 32.2       Bridges: 4          Locks: 1

Left at 7 am      Arrived at  11 am

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September 19th, 2010 | Author:

There are two channels in this lake. Apparently water was flooded in this area to make the lake and help with the dam and lock system that was built. On the chart there are symbols showing where there are buildings and rail road tracks that are submerged. I sure would want to have our anchor fight a rail! The main channel is very wide. This is the one that the barges use as they head towards or from the Kentucky Lock (and Dam). We have been anchoring on that side of the lake as there are many coves. The anchorages that we have spent time in are as beautiful as those in the Gulf Islands and the Pacific Northwest. This marina is off of the secondary channel. We haven’t heard any barges going by; that tells you how wide the lake is.

We arrived here on Wednesday as we thought that there was a storm coming. We have waited out the storm – but,  no storm, no rain, just clouds. But, being at a dock we ran the air conditioner almost all day and also for a couple of nights. This marina is in a state park. There are hiking trails and roads to bike on. Kelley and I went on a bike ride and rode out to the highway, through a campground and back to the lodge and then the marina. We have not been out since. Poor Kel. He has hurt his ankle and really needs to stay off of it.

But, enough of this spot. There is a courtesy car but you only have permission to go about 4 miles in it to a small shop and go (milk, bread, eggs). We are in the need of fresh fruits and vegetables so it is time to move on. Because we have so much time on our hands we are planning on anchoring tonight. Then we will then head on to Pebble Isle Marina and Resort.

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September 14th, 2010 | Author:

Up at 6:30 and off the hook by 7. We only had .7 miles of the Mississippi left. The Mississippi gave us her current to help us go faster. The Ohio was not going to help us at all.  Once into the Ohio, we entered a busy area where the tows are tied to the shore, anchored in the middle of the river, or being repositioned for their upcoming journeys. There was less trash in the water but more tows to watch for.

We continued on pass the spot where the new Olmsted Lock is being constructed. My goodness. It is incredible how large this one is. It will replace 52 and 53.  We knew 52 was coming up next…no, the river was so high that the wickets were down and we went right by it. Score one for us! No wait.

We had heard that 53 was congested. Having checked the website we knew it could be a long wait unless there was an opening. But, as luck would have it, the lock master said to come to the waiting area…We passed barges waiting to lock up; in front of us were the Nina and the Pinta (no kidding, replicas but!). There are 2 locks here, a large one and a smaller one for smaller barge loads and, of course, we “recs” (recreational boats). There was not a small barge that could be locked down or up, so he opened the gates and in went the Nina, the Pinta and the …, Prime Time. Score two for us! We had heard from loppers that they had to wait until the next day to get through.

We passed the city of Metropolis. Of course this is where Superman was from…however, the mural on him on a water tower could not be found.

From here we could smell the anchorage. We had gone so far yesterday that a shorter day would be nice for us. We went by Paducah, Quilt Capital of the World. This is a walled city. There are huge walls with large openings so that cars can drive through and go down to the parks near the river. These walls protect the city from floods; there was one this year. Large metal gates are secured in the openings and the city is safe.

Here is where one must decide whether to do the Tennessee River and the Kentucky Lock which is more commercial, or the Cumberland to the Barley Lake Lock, less commercial. We had reservations at Green Turtle Bay on Barkely Lake and the Cumberland Towhead anchorage was but 14 miles away. The towhead won.

We have been traveling alone. Perhaps not a wise move, but we like thinking that when we want to anchor there are not 4 other boats with us all needing a spot. The Towhead was empty. Kelley picked the perfect spot. Down came the anchor. We locked in. And Kelley had his safe landing beer. Well deserved, I might add!

Mississippi River: Mile 7.7  (Boston Bar) to Mile 923.5 on the Ohio River (Cumberland Island Towhead )

Miles covered: 62       Bridges: 7          Locks: 2 (but one down)

Left at 7 am      Arrived at 2:30 pm

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