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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday June 2, 2012, Chattanooga to Hales Bar Marina

Saturday June 2, 2012, Chattanooga to Hales Bar Marina

Last night was peaceful and COOL! We didn’t bring any warm bedding and didn’t expect temps in the 50’s, but we made it through OK. I think I’d rather be too cold than too hot to sleep. After several request for the granddaughters to wake up, I finally pulled the cover off them and folded it up. That seemed to wake them ;).

Once everyone got going, we walked up town to Panera Bread for breakfast, where I was unfaithful to my diet. I’m sure someone has reported their cinnamon rolls to the White House staff, and it won’t be long before they are declared illegal.

The girls were given their choice of one activity before they left Chattanooga, and they decided they wanted to ride the carousel at the park across the river. So we walked back up the 180 or so steps from the dock to the pedestrian bridge, then across the river to the carousel, where they enjoyed a 3 minute ride for $1. When we got back to our side of the river it was time for lunch so we got a quick bite to eat at the food court in front of the aquarium.

Abby and Dakota checked every animal before picking the one to ride on.

We left Chattanooga about 12:30, and turned downstream, passing kayakers, paddle-boarders, fishers, a tug and barge, amphibious “Duck”, the Southern Bell cruise boat, and numerous other pleasure craft. Chattanooga’s riverfront is a busy place on a cool, sunny Saturday morning!!
Saturday morning the riverfront was full of boaters, kayakers, and stand-up paddle boarders.

Just below downtown, where the interstate runs along the bend in the river, we turned into Chattanooga Creek and passed under the highway. It looked like a great place to explore with a canoe or kayak, but it quickly got too narrow for me to feel comfortable. Also the warning signs stating it was unsafe to swim or eat fish from the creek concerned me, so we turned around and got back on our route.

The rest of the trip back through the Gorge was great. There was a cool breeze – so cool that I actually closed the front windows – and the water was full of other boaters enjoying the great weather. We got grins and waves from almost everyone we passed. When we got close to the spot where we’d seen the eagles on Wednesday, we slowed and scanned the mountainside with binoculars, and spotted one of them flying.  As he got closer to the water, I noticed two other birds flying close behind him. These others did not have the adult eagle’s white head and tail, and I wondered if they were young eagles learning to fly (?). Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me can tell us if that behavior and the time of year would make my guess reasonable. Unfortunately they never got close enough for us to get a really good look at them.

Statue of Native American. We couldn't read the plaque in front of it.

The girls were running low on energy before we got to Hales Bar Marina.
We checked in at Hales Bar and got gas (7.02 gallons), which computed to 13.51 mpg. Everyone showered and we washed clothes, dumped the porta-pottie and took care of other housekeeping chores. We also ran into Ken, who we'd met last year when we rented a slip next to him and his wife Doris. Last year, the temperature was almost unbearable, and Ken and Doris loaned us a fan and extension cord so we could sleep. It was great to see Ken again. Everyone at Hales Bar was very helpful.
The girls started watching a movie in the v-berth, but quickly fell asleep. We were all pretty tired from the last 3 days of activity.

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