It was a new environment paddling upstream on the mighty Tennessee. Staying to the banks and eddies kept me near the coyotes and deer on shore, turtles slipping off logs and carp feeding in the pools. Overhanging rock outcrops along the river offer a nice break from mid-day sun when the feels like temperature tops 100.
Sometimes getting off the main channel is worth the break and pause from effort. I’m constantly rewarded with picturesque views.
Despite the south winds that usually blew me back downstream, I occasionally got lucky in a bend and could downstream umbrella sail for a few miles. What a relief from paddling if even for a few minutes.
On Labor Day I met a group of local river folk at a sand bar around mile 155. They gave me a beer and took a bunch of pics of the kayak and myself posing on the beach. Slightly uncomfortable with the celebrity, I accepted their hospitality and paddled over to Beech View for dinner. Angel was kind enough to let me take a shower AND gave me a soft and comfortable RV to myself for the night! Jeff and Rennae fixed up some dinner and along with everyone’s potluck we sat down to and feast. Afterward we played a game of corn hole in which Angel and I inexplicably won. What a shock. Great folks and what a warm welcome to this corner of Tennessee. My phone was dead so I don’t have any shots of the group of us (if any of you can, shoot me a pic).
Some days the pop up afternoon storms are wicked and pack serious winds that kick up blinding sand and make paddling a no-go. Hey, I could use the break anyway.
Spotted this Coyote? yesterday. It was so skinny and almost had no tail. Pointy ears and slinky. It almost reminded me more of a wild dog. I’m gonna say it was a chupacabra.
The river depth fluctuates feet each day depending on the generator demand from the TVA Pickwick Dam. Last night my boat was on the waterline but come morning I’ve got to drag it 15 ft back to the water’s edge.
The final few miles up to Pickwick were a serious challenge with heavy current in a bend and few eddies to take advantage of. It was with sweet relief I finally made it to Pickwick Landing Resort just as the sunset. Walked a mile to a nearby R&B BBQ for a huge platter well deserved. Sometimes I’m living high on the hog.