Bible verses and political displayand a southern drawl. That’s what I’m noticing more of now. (And ruins in the river.) Maybe it’s because of where we are right now.
We are in Tennessee, more than 1,500 miles from our start in Keweenaw Bay on Lake Superior, and the southern accent is getting thicker … so thick at times that, when I call a tow captain or marina, I sometimes have to ask, “Say again?” (Military-speak for “repeat.”)
Even though we’re heading generally south, toward the Gulf of Mexico, we’re still going upstream, against the current. And we feel it, especially where the river narrows. It takes 1-3 mph away from our forward momentum. And the course is zig-zaggy at times! We are still on Kentucky Lake (which is almost 200 miles long) and also on the Tennessee River (which runs through it). The water is wide but the navigation channel often is not. Following the buoys, we cross from one side to the other. Our route in and out of last night’s marina was especially exciting, involving at least 12 turns within two miles.
Our last two marinas were pretty basic, which was fine with us. At Pebble Isle Marina, we were joined by three other Looper boats. Their home ports reminded us that Loopers come from all over – in this case, Arizona and Connecticut and Hawaii and Michigan. Now that’s geographic diversity! We used the marina’s courtesy car to make a grocery run to Walmart. (Some marinas offer free use of a car and ask only that you contribute to gas, which is one reason we chose that marina.) We left Pebble Isle in mid-morning intending to go 20 miles, but wind gusts up to 30 mph sent us instead into Birdsong Creek Marina, some 10 miles up-river and two miles off the main river. At Birdsong, we again borrowed a courtesy car, this time in search of haircuts — and ended up at the same Walmart we shopped at the day before! We chuckled at that. We did not chuckle at our haircuts, though. It was my first time in a Walmart salon. I doubt I’ll do it again. 😉
Birdsong was a quirky place, in more ways than one. It’s more than a marina; it’s also an RV park and a pearl farm and a brief immersion into conservative Christian theology. It was our cheapest slip so far, discounted because the marina had no electricity due to storm damage four months ago. A memorable place! I’m glad we stopped there.
Photos and captions tell it best.
Editor’s Note: I mention politics and religion in this post because it was brought to me, not because I sought it out. A journal about The Great Loop is about observing America, not just weather and water patterns. This is part of America, with all its passions. I don’t seek controversy, but I do seek to honestly report what I see — and sometimes what I feel. For the record, I’m a moderate who is not registered with either party.
2 thoughts on “Into Tennessee (Days 72-73)”
What a fascinating and powerful story! My favorite photo is “Terry in the rain.”
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