Clifton to Snake Creek (Days 74-75)


Many Moons leaves Clifton, Tenn.

We are putting some miles on now — nearly 60 miles yesterday (from Birdsong Creek to Clifton) and nearly 40 today (from Clifton to Snake Creek). In a boat that goes 8 mph comfortably on flat water, pushing against a 2-3 mph current, that counts as distance. That 60-mile day took us 8.5 hours.

As I write this, we are anchored in a pitch-dark and narrow creek just off the Tennessee River, about 10 miles from Pickwick Dam. Our fellow Loopers on 50-foot Varlabania are anchored just ahead of us. We are in this creek, which is not a designated anchorage, because our chosen and publicized anchorage a half-mile away had such a strong current that we knew we couldn’t sleep well there. Both boats set anchors there and pulled them back up again. We will go through a lock tomorrow morning and need to be fresh. Jeff saw this small creek nearby and offered to explore it. After Many Moons tested the depths and set anchor, the larger boat followed us in. (I’m at the helm during anchoring while Jeff lowers the heavy 2-anchor system, and it’s a fun challenge when we’re working well together.) I rowed the dingy up-creek to explore, but the isolation and darkening evening felt a bit weird. I turned around pretty quickly.

Already, it seems, the visits to Birdsong and Clifton are fading in memory. On The Great Loop, one adventure or impression follows another so quickly, it’s hard to keep track. So I keep trying to blog daily, even after a long day. It’s more for us and our memories than for you, but I hope the readers enjoy also. Photos and captions follow.

PS: Our thanks to Peter, Cheryl and Jeff on Varlabania for hosting us a 2nd time. (We went over by dinghy.) Our boat is too small to host more than two on the stern. but we hope to make it up to them some way — especially since they’re from Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. 🙂

Clifton Marina is run almost entirely by one woman, who brings in the boats and serves the meals at the tiny restaurant and offers laundry and restrooms. Eight Looper boats joined us here.
When we called Clifton Marina, she said “we’ll put you on the patio.” She wasn’t kidding! That table was filled with diners.
Lots of trucks on I-40 as it crosses the Tennessee River. We counted six at one glance.
Campers abound along the shore of the Tennessee, but we didn’t see many people.
We passed by Cherry Mansion, the former HQ for Union General Grant during the battle of Shiloh.
Almost all homes along this stretch of the Tennessee are built on stilts, similar to the Outer Banks. Flood protection.
After weeks of flatland, it’s nice to see rocky bluffs.
Most local recreational boating seems to be over, but the fishermen are out — and in a hurry.
Boo the Boating Cat sleeps most of the time, just like at home.
Many Moons in Snake Creek, just off the Tennessee River. Photo taken from dinghy.

2 thoughts on “Clifton to Snake Creek (Days 74-75)

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