Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back to the Harpeth River

  We woke this morning at 7 A.M. and I called the Old Hickory Lock and Dam, told them where I was, and was told to come on down and they'd lock us through. By 8 A.M. they had spit us through and we were headed toward the Cheatham Lock and Dam 66 miles downstream.

  A threatening sky prompted me to check the weather radar and a front was headed our way. The wind picked up and slacked off depending on which way we were headed on the twisty river and the temperatures were a relief from the ones we had over the sweltering weekend.

  As we made our way toward Nashville, two sights that we saw on our way upriver were worthy of pictures. The plane "crashing" into the side of a bluff below someones house is one. The people here have a banner advertising a website, Let me know what's on it if you check it out.

  There are a few docks along this section of the river and are in various states of disrepair, apparently due to recent flooding. Having lived on a river for many years, I'm fully aware of the work it takes to keep a dock on a wildly fluctuating river. The ingenuity of this fella is impressive. We've seen trams before, and we've seen BIG trams before, some even like this, but most people have a dock somewhere in the system, but this guy just carts the whole pontoon boat down the tram and away he goes. He must have worked for a barge repair facility at some point in his life.
  Right above Nashville we were treated to a brief shower and then the sun came out along with some oppressive heat. Neither one of us wanted much to do with the sun and we were glad to have the cover of the bimini to protect us.
  It was approaching mid afternoon and it's when I start formulating a plan for the evening if I don't already have one. I knew that Ashland, TN was  getting closer and we had heard about a restaurant and marina there called Riverview Restaurant and Marina. I slowed our engines down to 1000 R.P.M.s to stretch out the day but we still arrived in Ashland too early for dinner.

  Riverview sits below the bluff on the left, just upstream from the bridge. I had seen water outlets on the long dock out front and figured to see what there was to see, hang around for dinner, fill up our water tanks, and then head just a few miles down to the Harpeth River for the night.
  Two guys came down to help us tie up and we learned that they hadn't gotten the water back on the docks after rebuilding from the last flood. There was also no market or store, except "across the bridge", so provisioning was out too. Recent visits to restaurants on Old Hickory Lake had damaged our wallets some, but what's the use of traveling if you don't check out the local spots, especially one called "Riverview"? Early or not, we decided to eat anyway.

  We saw photos plastered on the walls inside of the last flood and I can tell you that a very nice job was done in rebuilding this place. It's airy inside and big. Outside is a great pavilion with plenty of seating. Too bad our early arrival meant not many people to meet but we had a great early dinner. Get the salad bar.
  We cast off in the heat and I was ready to cash in my chips and find an anchorage, but first the issue of a low water tank became priority one. Just down from the restaurant was a marina called Harpeth Shoals Marina. It had a giant high rise condominium complex sitting adjacent to it but when we pulled in, the slips were largely empty and no cars could be seen anywhere. I decided to avail myself of the water at the docks, seeing as there was no one to ask and all. Thank you Harpeth Shoal Marina.
  We passed an attractive anchorage behind an island and was going to try it out, but again the sky looked threatening so I decided that the protection of the Harpeth River would be a better choice.

  Again this picture is deceiving, but the sky behind Rosie was getting dark just after we set our anchor in about a half mile up the narrow ribbon of river where it opened up into a wider spot. A little sprinkle started and then down it came. Our anchor line was tight enough for the Flying Wallendas to do their act, the wind generators were singing, and the flags were beating at a  90 degree angle to the boat. Holly took up her regular spot behind the toilet like she does when the going gets tough. The only thing that can be seen when she does this is her two front paws and a little black nose. I hope it's clean back there.
  The storm didn't last but 20 minutes, so Rosie grabbed the iPad to catch up on some email and here I am, posting this blog and watching big drops of rain fall out the office porthole while we're snug as bugs inside, enjoying a much cooler evening after the front passed through.
  Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

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