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Friday, June 1, 2012

Thursday May 31, 2012 - Chattanooga to Chickamauga Marina

We spent most of today in Chattanooga. We walked the downtown area and made stops at the Moon Pie Store and the Visitors Center, and ate some great BBQ at Sticky Fingers restaurant. The weather was overcast and a little humid, but pleasant. About 3:00 pm we pulled away from the dock and headed upstream toward Chickamauga Lock and Dam, but took a short break at Chickamauga River and the park there that is part of the Riverwalk Park system. This is a great, paved walking/biking trail that leads from downtown Chattanooga to Chickamauga Dam, and has several parks along the way. We turned into Chickamauga River, which looked more like a creek, and passed under the trail's bridge. There was a small floating dock there and we tied up and let the girls explore the park. The only glitch was that dogs aren't allowed, so Daisy had to stay in the boat.
Abby and Dakota could spend all day feeding the ducklings - they named the runt "Jimmy"
The Knot-So-Fast looks a little bit like a toy next to the Delta Queen.

From there we continued upstream, and when we were about a mile from the Dam I radioed the lock-keeper and asked to lock through upstream. He told me that he would empty the chamber and be ready for us in about 10 minutes. We arrived at the gate and within a couple of minutes the gates opened and he blew the hornp, signalling us to enter the lock. Once we were secured to the bollard, it only took about 25 minutes to rise th 50' from Nickajack Lake to Chickamauga Lake. The lock-keeper wished us well from the lock wall as we exited and turned to starboard toward Chickamauga Marina. The clouds were decreasing now and the sun was beginning to heat up.

Entering Chickamauga Lock which will take us up 50'.

We checked in with Melany at the marina, and since our boat was so small and we didn't need a power hookup, she offered to let us stay on the back side of the fuel dock - for free! Then she gave us a key to the bath-house and laundry room. Talk about Southern hospitality!!
A Dragonboat team at Chickamauga Marina.

It was getting hot by then, so we took the boat about 200 yards over to a public pier at the TVA park that is directly across the inlet from the marina. Glenda and the girls walked over the hill to the swimming area and cooled off in the water. I took care of the porta-potty (not fun) and then joined them for a few minutes before heading back to the boat, and making sandwiches for supper. Glenda and the girls finished eating while I talked with a couple of guys who wanted to know about the boat. One gentleman named George talked about wanting to do the Great Loop in a pontoon boat. He bought a book from Abby before he left.
From the pedestrian bridge. Can you spot the Knot-So-Fast? (No it's not a toy boat)

We then took a ride for an hour or so until the sun got a little lower, and then tied up at the fuel dock for the night.

Glenda Say:

We had a leisurely morning in Chattanooga this morning.  We went up the street a few blocks and of course we had to make a stop at the Moon-pie store.  My favorite is banana so we got a box of a dozen.  We decided to eat at Sticky Fingers BBQ for lunch before we loaded up to head off to Chickamauga Marina.  The trip through the lock was uneventful, thank goodness.  We took the girls down to the “beach” area and let them play in the water for a little bit.  Of course Tom loved answering questions about the boat and Abby sold one of her books as we sat at the public dock.  We waited till close to dark before we went up to shower and get ready for bed.  It really is relaxing not to have an agenda, no reason to be in a hurry.  I have really enjoyed watching Abby and Dakota enjoy each other. 
A favorite spot for the girls!

Dakota says:

Last night me and Abby slept on the bench.  It was comfortable but Abby kept kicking me.  Papa fixed hot chocolate for us for breakfast.  Then we sat on the dock and fed 6 baby ducks, one was a runt.  Later we all went across the bridge to the park where there are giant stone animals that usually spray water but today water was only coming out of the fountain.  I was disappointed because I wanted to see the animals squirting but it was lots of fun anyway.  As we crossed the bridge we could see our boat down on the dock it looked really little.  On our way to Chickamauga, Papa took us on an adventure when he saw a creek.  We were able to stop and play at a park.  My favorite area was the butterfly area.  We were able to spin like we were spinning a cocoon.  At Chickamauga we played in the water and I beat Abby in a swimming race. 

Abby says:

This morning we woke up to Daisy’s barking.  We were supposed to be able to sleep in but Daisy was loud.  Papa fixed us hot chocolate this morning it was really good.  When Papa stepped out with his granola bar he saw a mother duck and her 6 babies.  We grabbed a tortilla and fed them it was fun.  The little babies were so cute to feed.  We walked across the bridge to the park that has water spouts, it was fun to play.  After that we came back across the bridge and went to the Moon-pie store where they sell moon-pies and souvenirs .  We waited until we finished eating before we went back to get what we wanted.  We wanted BBQ at Sugars but it was closed so G.G. went back and asked the lady in the moon pies store where another BBQ restaurant was.  She told us about a place called Sticky Fingers, right across the street.  After lunch we left the dock at Chattanooga and headed to Chickamauga Marina.  On the way we stopped at a small park and played for a little bit.  At Chickamauga there were ducks everywhere!!!!  There was a little area for swimming, we put on our lifejackets and walked over.  We played there for a little bit and me and Dakota tried to share the towel.  We ended up compromising and wrapped it around the two of us.  We fed the ducks while Papa was talking to a guy about the boat and I sold a book to him!  After that we got ready to take a shower and ready for bed. 

1 comment:

  1. Tom, this is George Madden, the guy you mentioned above. Just wanted to say how nice it was to meet you and your family and thanks for taking alittle time to talk about your boat. I really loved what you have created.
    Oh, and tell Abby that I have already read her book and I enjoyed it very much. She is truly gifted.