We are anchored in Lake Guntersville, on the Tennessee River, near the community of Scottsboro, Alabama (map). We're now at an elevation of just 594', and we've moved into the Central Time Zone. We've also moved more squarely into fall.
A little fall color in a beautiful gorge view yesterday.
Yesterday we woke to a cold, blustery day, the first in recent memory, just as hordes of paddlers were getting set up and practicing for the Chattajack-31. Seeing stand-up paddleboarders covered from neck to ankles and working hard against the wind and the chop was quite a sight. It was challenging enough just getting the tender alongside and onto the crane.
These paddlers from Florida arrived in a serious off-road rig, complete with enduro bike.
After decking the tender we made our way to the city quay underneath the Market Street Bridge. I took the last of the recycling and trash off the boat and went over to get the scooter, which was on deck and secure by noon. Our friends Chris and Alyse arrived around 1:15 and we met them at Tony's Pasta Shop at Bluff View, more or less directly overhead of the boat by about 80' or so.
Vector under the bridge. The wall says "Ross's Landing" in Cherokee.
We had a nice visit with them over a very long lunch. We returned to the boat around 3pm and immediately got under way. We wanted to put as many miles as we could between us and the start of the paddle race before we ran out of daylight.
Some much warmer paddlers on their way to Audubon Island Wednesday afternoon for a weekly beer meetup. They stopped to invite us along,
We managed to get about 20 miles downriver, dropping the hook in a wide spot just downstream of the Raccoon Mountain storage facility (map). As the crow flies, we were just six miles from where we started, and we could still see the Chattanooga tour boats on our AIS. We figured that even the fastest paddlers would take three to four hours to cover that same 20 miles. With an 8am start, that gave us plenty of time for a leisurely start in the morning after a relaxing cup of coffee.
We woke to this view this morning at our anchorage.
As it turns out, we were up early anyway, and under way by 9am this morning. We passed the Hales Bar takeout area a little before 11am, and folks there were just getting set up for the festivities. The parking lot, just as the ones at the starting line, was packed with vehicles sporting roof racks.
My chart plotter has ears.
We locked down through Nickajack Dam before lunch, and shortly afterward we set the ship's clocks back an hour. We're now making such good time, with over a knot of current behind us, that we'll probably make Florence by Tuesday afternoon. Louise will try to get Wednesday and Friday PT appointments there, and we'll meet up with some RVing friends there as well. Tomorrow we'll lock down through Guntersville Dam and anchor somewhere in Wheeler Lake.