Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A *3-State* Day

Hello all:
Yesterday we went from Tennessee into Mississippi and then into Alabama in the space of a few miles. Not a surprise when we started out at a place called "State Line Island." This first photo is looking between the islands, almost directly west, out into the main body of lower Pickwick Lake.

As we headed up the river, the crew of the Winnie W. relaxed because we did not have a tight schedule. This meant that when we saw a little cove to explore, we pulled back the throttle and turned in.

And when we did, we saw a wonderful spot. Here is a photo of an anchorage like many cruisers dream about. Totally sheltered, easy entrance, deep, a beautiful waterfall pouring over the scenic rocks, a beach just as close... the only problem is that for us, it was a little tight for swinging room.

We mentioned that the Tennessee River has long been an important commercial route; in the 1840s and 1850s hundreds of steam boats carried cargo & passengers along here.

This photo shows the remains of an early canal; this is the old Riverton lock. Most of the old canal works are flooded by the lake, but here you can see the ruined lock houses and in the background, the tops of the dikes dividing the old canal from the former path of the unimproved river channel.

In the foreground you can see a red nun bouy marking the modern channel, which is quite deep & safe; the buoy steers traffic away from the unsafe area.

Back then, the river had many shallow spots & rapids that could be dangerous. One stretch of shallow water, swift rapids, and rocky islands, was named Muscle Shoals... there's a theory that it was originally named Mussel Shoals after the plentiful shellfish.

This photo shows the lower end of Seven-Mile Island, the beginning of the Muscle Shoals area. The channel narrows here, and there are still rocks & shallows awaiting the careless skipper.

Our anchorage last night was (link to Google Map) at Buck Island in the Muscle Shoals area. Here is a photo of the moon rising over the river bank.

We had a little bit of trouble getting the anchor to set solidly, but after 3 tries we got it to dig in. Spent a peaceful night under a lovely full moon.... wish we could have had the waterfall too.... nah, it really doesn't get any better than this!

Hope you all are well & happy-
Doug & Kathie

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