Saturday, December 10, 2016

Crow Creek Island

When we left you last we were in Grand Harbor Marina at the top of the Tenn Tom and poised to get on the Tennessee River.  We were talking about staying several nights there so's to be tied up to the dock during the cold weather coming over the next couple of days...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 -

So, Tuesday night we started plotting and planning and decided we really didn't need to stay tied up to a dock to see the cold weather out.  See, even if we were tied up to a marina slip/dock we'd need to run the generator during the night for warmth because the plug for our AC/Heat connection to shore power failed us several nights back.  We hadn't needed heat during the night until now.  If we plot our course so that we're "near" a marina in case the generator (THE generator that is practically brand new) were to fail us.  With that in mind, we decided to stay only until Thursday morning when we'd take off up the Tennessee.

We had no problem getting the courtesy van from the marina since we were the only fools  people there as transients.  We took off for some more groceries...don't need the laundry.  Groceries under control we struck out for Corinth, MS, and Abe's Grill which was highly recommended by Barry, the Harbormaster (super nice guy, as was Dale, his cohort). [When we walked into the marina office this morning to meet them for the first time it was, as Barry put it, "colder than my x-wife's heart!" ]

Abe's did not disappoint.  Little old building with advertising signs (authentic old ones) all over the outside.  Inside we found a long lunch counter with red covered stools that showed wear indicating they'd been here for a while.  The restroom (they are ahead of times here at Abe's) was unisex.  When Wayne took his turn to the restroom, Abe told me it might be a while 'cause he'd have to look a while at Angelina Jolie.  Funny, I didn't notice her.

Abe declared that everything on the menu was delicious and bought local.  (Wayne pointed out later to me that it could have been MADE in Egypt, just bought local. ;-)  We both had hamburgers and shared a pile of french fries.  Topped the meal off with two large freshly made chocolate chip cookies.  Good as lunch was...breakfast is the star meal at this place... White Lily biscuits, gravy, etc. Why, they even have chocolate gravy, something I thought our Mother had made up.  When we returned to the marina and told Barry about our lunch he said we really needed to do breakfast.  Even if we were leaving out tomorrow morning Barry would give us the car keys and Abe's opened at 5 AM.  Tempting though it was...we declined.

But, if you're ever in Corinth on a Mon-Friday, 5 AM - 3 PM...and IF it isn't a holiday week, cause they close a week for most holidays...and IF the family crew, Abe, wife, and son, haven't decided to go travel they seem to do pretty just might get to experience Abe's Grill for yourself.  It would be worth it!

Thursday, December 8, 2016 -

So on Thursday morning we took off up the Tennessee River as first light came.  The wind was blowing pretty good that morning and with Pickwick Lake being so wide in spots, it blew us around a bit.  We made it up to Wilson Lock above Florence, AL, knowing that the lock was busy handling "a big tow," as the lock master said.  We tied up on the auxiliary lock wall for the wait.  An hour and a half later, the biggest tow and load that we've seen since the Mississippi River finally lumbered down the river...The load was three barges across and at least four sets long.

Wilson Lock done, finally, we set our sights on getting above Joe Wheeler Lock before night fall.  It would be close.  We called Wheeler when we were about 10 miles out and they said they could take us through...and that it only took 15-20 minutes to transit.  We got to the lock at 4:30 PM and were in our anchorage, Second Creek right by the lock on the RDB (right descending bank), by the time it turned dark.  Whew!!

Friday, December 9, 2016 -

The Sunrise on this chilly morning (low 20's) was pretty as we left Second Creek.

The good thing about having the bridge enclosed with plastic is that it acts like a solarium and heats up nicely when the sun is out and shining, like it was that day.  We started out with all our winter clothes on (remember...we were supposed to be in Florida!) and peeled them off as the day progressed.  We spent the entire day on the Joe Wheeler Reservoir and finally anchored at the Flint River, m 339.1, knowing we couldn't make it up to and through the Guntersville Lock, next on our way.

Saturday, December 10, 2016 -

It wasn't foggy in the anchorage, but it sure was when we came out on the Tennessee...

Beautiful as it was, it took a while for the rising sun to suck up all that fog that had been settled in on the water.  We left about an hour later than we'd planned...but we don't mess around with fog.

Much as we wanted to get way up close to Nickajack Lock for the night, the anchorages just didn't fall right for us.  We ended up stopping at 3 PM and anchored at (a familiar one for us) Crow Creek Island, m 401.  Nickajack is at around 425 so we'll have a few hours to go before getting through there tomorrow...then up as far as we can go in one day.