October 10, 2012

Day 26, October 9, 2012: Guntersville to Little Cedar Creek

This was a great day of cruising, the kind you dream of when envisioning the Great Loop.

As we entered Guntersville Lake, I noticed that the shores are littered with boat houses! Every home has one and they run from simple boxy structures to elaborate buildings that are architecturally matched to the homes. The water level here must be stable or investing in these wouldn't make sense. No need here for elaborate boat lifts or cradles on rails up the hillside.

Hundreds of boat houses
Simple Structures

More elaborate
Very beautifully done!
Lake Guntersville on the Tennessee River is very wide and serves as an introduction to the Tennessee River Gorge and the Cumberland Plateau. In prehistoric times, the Tennessee didn't flow here. But a massive geological uplift forced the river to change course. This left high mountains and plateaus rich for farming. The Sequatchie Valley is one of the world's two rift valleys and was formed by the earth's surface literally splitting apart. The valley is more than 125 miles long but never more than five miles wide. We entered this area with anticipation.

Rising wooded hills
A 1200 foot plateau
The TVA's Widow's Creek power plant and the 1,000 foot stack is one of the tallest structures in the Tennessee Valley region. Sometimes a thing viewed by some as ugly can be quite beautiful.

                                                TVA Widow's Creek Power Plant

The South Pittsburg highway bridge is particularly interesting because it is suspended by an arch. The navigation span is 730 feet which is the largest of any bridge on the Tennessee. Engineers can be very creative.

South Pittsburg highway bridge
We passed through the Nickajack Dam and Lock and found a splendid anchorage tucked in at Cedar Creek. The views were wonderful and we had one of the best salmon dinners ever.  I give thanks and credit to Anne for our healthy meals. Fall colors are beginning to show and we hope to see them emerge in full over the next couple of weeks.

Cedar Creek anchorage on Nickajack Lake
Great end to a great day!

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