Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

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curtgard
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Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Fri May 18, 2018 6:25 pm

I wanted to start out the 2018 boating season by going South as Iowa was having a late cold spring. So on May 5th, I hooked onto "Curt's Dream" and headed to Kentucky to boat on the Cumberland River. I met up with Ray Macke with his True Grit design at the Kentucky Dam Marina which is actually on the Tennessee River after a last minute launching change due to a bass fishing tournament.
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Ray and Curt
Launching was delayed as a golf cart came racing across the parking lot to where I was parked on the ready lane. Thinking that I had done something wrong, I stopped with the prep work for launching until the guys in the golf cart arrived. They had seen me driving through the parking lot and only wanted a closer look and to ask questions. As we were talking, Ray arrived and joined in on the discussion. The golf cart guys told us that there was another real cool looking yellow boat at the marina that I should check out. Ray only chuckled as they were talking about his boat. The "True Grit" boats draw lookers everywhere they go.

The next morning Ray and I headed out of the marina early and through the canal that connects Kentucky Lake to Barkley Lake. We met or passed several barges on our way to Lake Barkley State Park Lodge where we had lunch
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Passing a heavy tow with barges full of coal
We were delayed in the afternoon by a short thunderstorm with wind and rain but we were safe in a small cove off the main lake. After a half hour delay, we continued on to a planned anchorage in the Dover area. It was a very peaceful and quiet evening.
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Anchored for the night


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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Fri May 18, 2018 6:54 pm

The next morning we continued up the Cumberland River to Clarksville TN, where we tied to the downtown city dock. During the day we passed a ferry boat taking cars across the river.
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Vehicle ferry
Also, we came to a civil war site along the river where the South used cannons to stop the North armies. Since I was from the North, I watched the cannons closely for any loading activity as we passed by.
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cannons overlooking the river
There were several places where barges were being loaded or unloaded along the river. Our AIS receivers gave us advance warning of tow boats that we would be meeting.
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unloading a barge with a large track backhoe


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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby Bill Edmundson » Fri May 18, 2018 7:05 pm

Hope you're coming back to the Gathering!

Bill
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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Fri May 18, 2018 7:30 pm

The next morning we left the Clarksville city docks at 7 AM as we had a long day to make our planned destination of Nashville plus we had to go through the Cheatham Lock. This would be the first time I had ever been through a lock so I was somewhat nervous. We did not have to wait for any barges so got in and out of the lock in less than an hour
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lock gates closing
The lock had floating bollards that you tied your boat onto so my first locking experience was uneventful and really pretty easy.
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tied to the lock floating bollard
On the river, small boats and large boats share the same waterway.
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tow boat and kayak


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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Fri May 18, 2018 8:01 pm

We reached the downtown Nashville city dock on Tuesday evening, May 8th. Shortly after tying up to the docks, a police boat arrived and docked in front of us. It joined another police boat that was already docked when we arrived. Six to eight officers hung around the boats as we watched the activity going on just in front of our boats. Finally they lifted something off the second boat that I realized was a body bag. That's enough excitement for one evening.
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East dock in downtown Nashville
In order to get to downtown Nashville from the dock on the East side of the river, you must walk up the bank and across a pedestrian bridge.
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pedestrian bridge across the Cumberland River
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parked at the dock under pedestrian bridge

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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Fri May 18, 2018 8:32 pm

All day Wednesday was spent touring downtown Nashville and checking out some of the Honky Tonk restaurant/bars. There were lots of people even in the middle of the day.
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downtown Nashville
Located along the river in the downtown area,there is a replica of an early fort.
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Fort Nashborough
While hanging around the downtown riverfront, the tour boat General Jackson showed up and turned around in the middle of the river near the downtown area.
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General Jackson


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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Fri May 18, 2018 9:32 pm

Downtown Nashville had another rather unique attraction, the " Pedal Tavern".
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Pedal Tavern
Customers sit on the bar stools on each side of the bar and drink their beer while pedaling around downtown Nashville. The bartender steers the cart while making sure his customers never run out of beer.
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pedal,pedal your cart on down the street
As Nashville was as far upriver as we planned on traveling, after spending two nights at the downtown dock, we headed back downstream on Thursday morning. Our AIS receivers showed three towboats with barges waiting to go through the Cheatham Lock so Ray called the lockmaster on the cell phone for an update. He was told our delay could be three hours as all three towboats needed to lock through before he could lock us through. So we stopped for an early lunch at the Riverview Restaurant before the lock. The food at the restaurant was excellent and reasonably priced along with a friendly cute waitress. After eating slowly, we headed for the lock a few miles away. The last towboat and barges were being locked through when we arrived so the wait was only about a half hour.
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Riverview restaurant dock at mm158


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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Sat May 19, 2018 5:50 am

We once again stopped in Clarksville heading downstream but this time docked at the Clarksville city marina. This is a newer facility off the river with covered docks.
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secured for the night at Clarksville
We were watched closely by the locals when we pulled into our slips.
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turkey vultures
When traveling on the rivers, you must be on the lookout for floating debris. Some of the logs are easy to spot and some of the smaller sticks you just hear tapping the boat bottom after you hit them.
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river guardians


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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Sat May 19, 2018 6:24 am

We again crossed over from the Cumberland River to the Tennessee River thru the canal and arrived back at the Kentucky Dam Marina where we rested overnight before heading out the next morning up the Tennessee River. Kentucky Lake is a much larger lake than Barkley Lake and we never did reach the actual river after traveling for two days upstream. When the Tennessee River was dammed up, it flooded a rock quarry that we explored.
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rock quarry walls
Further up the lake, a grain elevator sits in the middle of the lake after being flooded from the dammed river.
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This railroad bridge lifts for barges to go under but with a 24' down clearance, we slipped under it with plenty of room.
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hyrail pickup on railroad bridge


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curtgard
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby curtgard » Sat May 19, 2018 6:47 am

The final night on the river was spent at Kenlake Marina which has a very good restaurant onsite.
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The last couple of days on the river got hot with highs in the low 90's so I ran the generator and air conditioner as we cruised. After being on the rivers for 11 days and traveling 535 miles we arrived back at our vehicles and trailers. Another very enjoyable trip with Ray ended way too soon but we talked about getting together again this summer so stay tuned for my next adventure with "Curt's Dream ".
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goodbyes


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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby JimmY » Sat May 19, 2018 7:05 am

Sounds like a great adventure. Looking forward to more tales.
-Jim
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Re: Travels and Adventures of "Curt's Dream", a True Grit design-Cumberland River

Postby mrintense » Sat May 19, 2018 10:07 am

These are the kind of trips we all dream of. Nice report Curt. Yours and Ray's boat both look great. Thanks for sharing this with us. I long (and look forward too) the point in the future when I can start using my own boat. Cumberland is a nice area for this sort of thing.
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