Chattanooga , Tennessee - October 21, 2007

Since leaving Eddyville in Kentucky , we have been meandering along the Tennessee River. The mountains surround us with beautiful hardwood forest. The colors are just starting to change and, on our trip back down the river, we hope to see them in their full glory.

The River has many coves and creeks where you can tuck into a secure anchorage. The entire area is managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority and they seem to do a good job of it. Although we passed by major industrial centres in St. Louis , MO, Paducah, KY and Decatur, AL , the area is otherwise very quiet and scenic. Even the fishers in their bass boats are quiet (well, most of them, anyway) and concentrate their efforts on catching the big ones.

Florence, Alabama was interesting as it has a University of North Alabama campus with beautiful architecture and even a lion habitat enclosure with real big cats. The city also boasts the only Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in Alabama.

 

Our friends Dana and Mike on m/v TwoCan continue to buddy-boat with us and we've shared memorable anchorages and fine dining aboard each other's boat and on land. The only downer is that Mike hasn't had any luck catching any fish despite valiant efforts. A local fisherman came by his boat and gave him a bunch of lures "guaranteed for this part of the river" but even so, his luck hasn't changed. Unfortunately, when the fish get at the end of Mike's line they seem to lose all interest (perhaps they know he forgot to pick up a fishing licence?). At the end of the day, Olga and I sit on our aft deck and watch the fishes jump all around our boats. While we were cheering for the poor fishes at the beginning, we've now changed sides and are really rooting for Mike.

The Tennesseans are wonderful, welcoming folks even though they all seem to "pack a piece". That's a gun for our Canadian friends. So we are careful not to wake small fishing boats and we hide our Canadian flag at night in case the Canada geese are attracted to it. This is hunting grounds for them.

 

The scenery rivals Georgian Bay and the North Channel. In many ways it is like the Richelieu and Hudson River Valley with great views and lots of anchorages. Dana and Mike have been looking for properties that they would like to buy, so we keep poking our nose close to shore looking for the ideal lot and writing down real estate agents phone numbers. As we go, Mike phones to get more information but so far, the prices are outrageous. A small trailer in the back of a cove on an acreof land goes for up to $350K just because it is on the water.

 

Chattanooga has turned out to be a surprise and a real gem. They have revitalised the downtown and waterfront with lots of museums, art galleries and restaurants. The aquarium is one of the best in the U.S. as is the Hunter Museum of American Art. There are hundreds of sculptures and art displays in gardens and paths throughout the waterfront and historic area. We've captured only a few in our photo gallery. We also took time to play tourist and visited some of the natural wonders and historic sites in the area. To top it all off, we even managed to bat 3 out of 3 for terrific restaurants. This place is a definite "must see" for anyone visiting the south.

 

We will be on our way back down the Tennessee River in a few days to join the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway which will take us to the Gulf of Mexico.

Hope everyone up north is ready for winter. So far, our weather has been superb as we have managed to evade all major storm systems in middle-America. Let's hope our luck continues!

Olga and Andre on board m/v Mystic Bond

 

The Tennessee River and Chattanooga
October 2007
University of N. Alabama (UNA) courtyard in Florence
UNA lions den on campus
The biggest cat in the pack
UNA architecture and sun dial
Frank Lloyd Wright house design in Florence, AL
The biggest lock so far, rising at close to 100 feet - what a ride!
TwoCan entering the lock
We are very small in these monster locks
Looking straight up from our deck

Impressive cave system on Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, TN

Lots of stalactites and stalagmites
Very narrow passages with great geological formations
Dana and Mike underground
Racoon Mountain in the morning mist
Overlooking Chattanooga, TN from Lookout Mountain
The public gardens have hundreds of art displays
and amazing sculptures on the bluffs
This is not a John Little sculpture, but still beautiful
Entirely made of bronze but looks like driftwood - amazing !
How to bend trees to your will
Sculptures, sculptures...
sculptures everywhere
Foot bridge to the Hunter Museum
Hunter Museum's great architecture viewed from our dock
Traffic on the Tennessee R. (see us on the dock)
Mystic Bond and TwoCan with several others
At our dock we saw two lost beavers
and minks
The Chattanooga Aquarium courtyard
Chattanooga Aquarium and waterfront

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