Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Run to Carthage, TN and the Cordell Hull Lock and Dam
By the time we left our anchorage this morning, pictured here last night once we settled in, it was nearly 10:30 A.M. and our goal was the Cordell Hull Lock and Dam, estimated to be 45 miles away or so.
The Cordell Lock is controlled by a crew from the Old Hickory Lock and Dam and advance notice must be given before requesting a lockage, at least a day ahead of time. When we decided to cruise the Cumberland River, we figured to only see the lake part of Old Hickory and not travel up the river past the wider part of the lake, so even heading up to the tail waters of Cordell Hull Dam was beyond our plan.
Our trip today felt like an expedition, sort of like Lewis and Clark short of a couple of coonskin caps. That is, if you can imagine Lewis saying to Clark, "Hey Clark old buddy, fetch me a cold one from the fridge while you're down there and I'll crank up some tunes."
The river got very narrow the further we went upstream, but stayed pretty deep until we got to Carthage, TN where we were in a river not 50 yards wide and at times 10 feet deep. The current increased as we approached the dam and I hailed the lock but didn't expect a response and we didn't get one.
The downside of this dam is not very scenic but this shot proves we were here and we wanted to make it this far on the Cumberland just to say we did. I know we could have said it anyway, but the truth is expensive sometimes and is worth every penny.
Northbound Swing Set quickly became Southbound Swing Set at twice the speed as the current whipped us into the dizzying speed of 12 miles per hour. I had picked out an anchorage on the way upriver and we calculated it to be about 2 hours back downstream. On the way up we passed what appeared to be a house under construction but no one was around, but on the way back down a guy was out and apparently was impressed with our presence heading downriver and he offered a friendly salute in our honor.
It wasn't too long before the upper end of the island came into view that I wanted to stay behind for the night. We made the turn around the bottom end and sneaked our way along a rock wall before making another 90 degree turn to reach the backside of the island. A nice deep slough welcomed us and we went about half way up in 18 feet of water before dropping the hook and settling to a stop.
Here's Rosie checking the tension of the anchor line before we took our river baths and tucked into the dinner Rosie prepared while we were underway. This slough we are in is not much different in the way of its width than a lot of the river we traveled on today.
While I was writing this blog I looked out the porthole and noticed a view that was different from when I started writing, not a good sign. Mr. Anchor had decided to move, a plan that I was not in agreement with. We reset the anchor after two tries and finally got a bite. We'll monitor it for a while before going to bed and we'll also let the anchor watch on the iPad get some work. That rock wall at the bottom end of this slough won't be very forgiving.
I did take a picture of that wall, along with some others, but we are in a very remote part of the country and pictures are taking forever to load up and I want to get this post finished. I decided to post this tonight so we can get an early start in the morning if the fog is not too thick like it was this morning. We want to be in Lebanon, TN tomorrow night for steaks at Cherokee Marina if they have enough water for us to get in there.