Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chattanooga to Ditto Landing

11/7/11 Chattanooga to Goose Pond Marina (80 miles)
  We left at first light because we knew it would be a very long day (one lock).  There were no other boats on the river except small local fishing boats.

 Since we had lots of time, I came up with a list of things I've learned on this trip.
1.  I miss my mother, who passed away in February.  She would have loved hearing about our daily adventures.
2.  Since August (Traverse City), we've lost weight.  No snacks on board, healthier choices and smaller portions--plus lots of walking when we're ashore--- Ron has lost 15 pounds and I've lost 13.
3.  We miss the Illinois law which prevents people from smoking in restaurants.  KY, TN, AL --smoking is allowed.
4.  If you are affluent, you send your children to private or boarding school.  The public schools are considered substandard in the south.
5.  VHF radios are like party lines---be careful what you say.
6.  Marina descriptions are not always accurate
7.  Peoria could learn a lesson from cities like Chattanooga
8.  Take enough clothes for several weeks if doing the loop.  You may not find laundry facilities.
9.  Dogs who have learned to potty on the boat make life much easier.  (Duke prefers being on shore)
10.  Conversations between spouses should be banned when locking and docking--this can be a very stressful time:)

We saw evidence of the horrible tornadoes that went through this area last spring.  Many trees were twisted and homes were destroyed.

We arrrived at Nickajack Lock and were told it would be 30 minutes because a barge was locking upbound.  We anchored and had lunch and then got into the lock right away.  This was our second stay at Goose Pond Marina.  We used the courtesy car and went to WalMart for groceries....what a treat to have a car for errands.  Sorry we didn't use their laundry facilities...they were very nice.  Since storms are predicted on Wed, we will do boat cleanup and laundry then. 
11/8/11  Goose Pond to Ditto Landing
It was an easy travel fog so an early start.  There was one lock (Guntersville) and we locked right into the small chamber (there are two chambers at this lock).  They were working on the lock and we sat for a few extra minutes after the chamber emptied before they opened the lock gates.  We were hoping it wasn't broken as we sat 40 feet below the top of the lock.

  See spider in one of the bollard chambers.

 Time zones here are very confusing.  We went from Tennessee (Eastern time) to Alabama (Central time) and have gone from daylight savings time to standard time.  This is Painted Bluff.

11/9/11  Huntsville (day off)
Raining today so we took the day off , rented a car, did laundry and had my hair cut.  (Huntsville charges a fortune for haircuts compared to home)  Base price...$40.00.  
We spent several hours at the Space and Rocket Center which was very interesting.  The rockets for the US space program were built in Huntsville.  We had lunch at Rosie's Cantina-- a must go to place if you visit Huntsville.  The food was excellent.

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