This past week has been pretty laid back in terms of activities. We have basically been travelling alone, and meeting a few Looper boats in the marinas where we have stayed. As we read about the 40 plus Looper boats coming out of Lake Michigan and heading down the river system being challenged by the the two locks that closed today (the ones we had such problems with earlier), we are so happy that we started early.
We said good bye to the turtles swimming around our boat slip and left Green Turtle Bay Resort on Sunday, 9/15, and headed to a small marina called Paris Landing, about 42 miles south on the Tennessee. We decided to keep our travel miles to under 50 a day as long as the temps were remaining in the mid-90s. Game plan is to hit the water shortly after dawn and try to be in a marina by 1:00 pm. The helm station heats up quickly when it's above 90 and no breeze. Conrad is drinking more water than he ever has just to stay hydrated. Paris Landing is a marina tied to Paris Landing State Park in Buchanan, TN. The scenery down the river is changing and much more enjoyable to look at. After getting settled into the slip, we walked down to Marker 66 restaurant to find the Packer game, but were subjected to the Tennessee Titans vs. the Colts...ho hum. Grabbed a cool drink and some food and went back to the boat to listen to the last quarter of the game. The following morning we left early for the next planned stop at Cuba Landing (these marina names make us sound like world travelers!), once again about 50 miles further downriver. We were there about noon and it was already 95 degrees. Took a look at the channel into the marina and decided to keep going. It had a sandbar in front of the entrance. The Tennessee River is low in this neck of the woods right now. It's hard to believe that 3 months ago the river was up over its banks. So much for our 50-mile a day game plan. Next stop is Clifton, TN...an agonizing 92 miles total. Pulled in and they had a nice, quiet easy-to-access slip for us. Linda always breathes easier once she actually sees the maneuvering needed to get this tank tied up safely. The people at Clifton were great, helped us in, and had the niceest little family restaurant right there at the marina. We saw a lot of different fish in this marina...still plenty of Asian carp flopping around (have seen a couple of recent pics from fellow Loopers who have had these Asian Carp jump in the back part of their boats...no thanks!), blue gills, catfish, a gar fish and turtles again. We both needed a break from the heat so decided to stay two nights here. On Tuesday we decided to walk the "few blocks" into Clifton just to get off the boat. Round trip the walk was just short of 3 miles. That's not bad, except it was 98 degrees. I couldn't figure out why Conrad agreed to do this, but was happy to get off the boat and stretch the legs. It became clear as we got closer to town and Conrad kept looking at the overhead wires where he was headed. He knew it, but I didn't, that this was a TDS service town. Once into the 4-corner of town intersection, Conrad continued a few more blocks, following the wires, to the TDS office. Go figure! This town was so sleepy that the Chamber of Commerce office didn't look like it had been open in weeks. Clifton was also the site of a major battle during the Civil War.
We left Clifton on Wednesday, 9/18, and continued downriver to Grand River Marina at Counce, TN, about 58 miles. The scenery on the Tennessee is so pretty and reminds us a lot of Wisconsin Dells. We passed by a memorial where the Battle of Shiloh was fought, one of the heaviest casualty losses of the CIvil War. We also have begun seeing some true southern homes/plantations in this stretch. Grand River Harbor is nestled in right where the Tennessee and TomBigbee meet. Only problem is that we're at least 15 miles from the closest town...we can go into Mississippi, or Alabama, or Tennessee. Marina has a courtesy vehicle, so we ventured into Savannah, TN yesterday and hit our 3 favorite places...the hardware store, the grocery store, and Wally World. Two Looper boats are here at the marina right now and we are awaiting a friend to arrive from our Yacht Club at home who is delivering a boat to Punta Gorda. He contacted Conrad yesterday and was wondering our whereabouts. It was just coincidence that we are at the marina where he planned to stay tonight. We will be here at Grand Harbor until Sunday and then we will be making our way toward Chattanooga (our 2nd side trip), which should take about 7 days.