Land Between The Lakes, Tennessee River and Pickwick Lake, TN

We depart Green Turtle Bay Marina on Lake Barkley and head through the canal to Kentucky Lake, so it makes sense that this area is called ‘The Land Between the Lakes’ (or The LBL). The lakes were created in 1959 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River (and later constructed the Kentucky Dam). These lakes are one of the world’s largest man-made bodies of water, thus creating the largest inland peninsula in the U.S., the LBL. We head south on Kentucky Lake to Paris Landing Marina, Buchanan, TN (42NM). It is such a nice day that we immediately put the tender in the water and run across the lake to check out a few of the local watering holes…it being a Saturday and the last day of summer. We get a ‘like home’ kind of feeling as the water is the same color as the San Francisco Bay and the hills look very similar to our Bay hills as well. We move on downriver to Pebble Isle Marina, New Johnsonville, TN (25NM) which has a shallow and narrow entrance of 16 to 9 feet and an even more shallow dockside depth of 5 and change (at least the bottom is mud). We move on toward Clifton Marina, Clifton, TN (62NM) officially leaving Kentucky Lake and now cruising on the Tennessee River. This is truly the prettiest scenery we have seen in a few weeks. It is still green and clean along the river banks with beautiful limestone cliffs and sandy beaches. The river is wide with just a little current, a few gentle turns and little to no traffic. The entrance to Clifton Marina is not for the faint of heart, however, as it is very narrow and Larry has to work the current and wind as he moves the boat through the skinny and shallow (7 ft.) entrance. We have a nice walk around this little town and then meet four other looper-couples for dinner at the marina. We get moving early the next day and get to Pickwick Lock and Dam in about six hours. We have a 40 minute wait to up-lock the 57 feet and then enter Pickwick Lake. Right before the marina there is a location on the lake where, geographically, you are in three states at once; Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. We spend three nights at the Grand Harbor Marina, Counce, TN (58NM) as the Jamie Whitten Lock and Dam (downstream) is just clearing the backlog of commercial traffic due to an oil spill inside the lock 3 weeks ago. We take advantage of the time and the marina’s loaner car (thank you Neeley, you’re the best Harbor Master!) to visit the Shiloh National Military Park. If you are in the area and have the time it is well worth the visit. Start at the visitor’s center and watch the re-enactment film then drive the battlefield tour. The land is so beautiful and peaceful now that it is difficult to imagine the carnage of the two day battle resulting in 24,000 casualties. Tomorrow we hope to begin our travels on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Tenn-Tom). The Tenn-Tom is a 234 mile man-made waterway that will take us from Pickwick Lake/Tennessee River to the junction of the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River system near Demopolis, Alabama and through a series of 10 locks.

Eggners Ferry Highway Fixed Bridge on Kentucky Lake, TN - The Land Between The Lakes

Eggners Ferry Highway Fixed Bridge on Kentucky Lake, TN - The Land Between The Lakes

Skipper the African Grey Parrot at Green Turtle Bay Marina, Yes, a real parrot and no, the owners are not pirates.

Skipper the African Grey Parrot at Green Turtle Bay Marina, Yes, a real parrot and no, the owners are not pirates.

They don’t call it Green Turtle Bay for nothin’…

They don’t call it Green Turtle Bay for nothin’…

The Green Turtles are used to being fed

The Green Turtles are used to being fed

Fat Daddy’s Tiki Bar on Kentucky Lake, Dover, TN

Fat Daddy’s Tiki Bar on Kentucky Lake, Dover, TN

A nice jog through Paris Landing State Park on this last day of summer & the leaves are already falling

A nice jog through Paris Landing State Park on this last day of summer & the leaves are already falling

A Paris Landing State Park Beach

A Paris Landing State Park Beach

On my jog around the Paris Landing State Park I came across Bradford Cemetery with only a handful of old gravesites

On my jog around the Paris Landing State Park I came across Bradford Cemetery with only a handful of old gravesites

The Breakers Bar and Grill has great live music just up the lake from Paris Landing Marina

The Breakers Bar and Grill has great live music just up the lake from Paris Landing Marina

Leaving The Breakers in the tender on Kentucky Lake

Leaving The Breakers in the tender on Kentucky Lake

A decommissioned railroad bridge on Kentucky Lake

A decommissioned railroad bridge on Kentucky Lake

The shallow and narrow entry to Pebble Isle Marina off Kentucky Lake

The shallow and narrow entry to Pebble Isle Marina off Kentucky Lake

My first wild armadillo…a baby just roaming the marina looking for a snack

My first wild armadillo…a baby just roaming the marina looking for a snack

Sunset from Pebble Isle Marina, New Johnsonville, TN

Sunset from Pebble Isle Marina, New Johnsonville, TN

Not much traffic on this section of the pretty Tennessee River

Not much traffic on this section of the pretty Tennessee River

Pretty limestone cliffs along the Tennessee River

Pretty limestone cliffs along the Tennessee River

The narrow and shallow entrance to Clifton Marina in Clifton, TN

The narrow and shallow entrance to Clifton Marina in Clifton, TN

The town of Clifton is rich with Civil War history. This site on the Tennessee River is where General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry crossed the river to raid and sever General Ulysses S. Grant’s supply lines. Clifton is also the birth place of the first Pulitzer Prize winner T.S. Stribling for his novel ‘The Store’ published in 1933.

The town of Clifton is rich with Civil War history. This site on the Tennessee River is where General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry crossed the river to raid and sever General Ulysses S. Grant’s supply lines. Clifton is also the birth place of the first Pulitzer Prize winner T.S. Stribling for his novel ‘The Store’ published in 1933.

Main Street, Clifton, TN

Main Street, Clifton, TN

Independence tucked snuggly into her slip at Clifton Marina

Independence tucked snuggly into her slip at Clifton Marina

Dinner at the Clifton Marina with Loopers from boats; Paddy Wagon, The Answer, Bahama Voyager and Sea Cups

Dinner at the Clifton Marina with Loopers from boats; Paddy Wagon, The Answer, Bahama Voyager and Sea Cups

Leaving Clifton heading south on the Tennessee River toward Grand Harbor, TN

Leaving Clifton heading south on the Tennessee River toward Grand Harbor, TN

The Pickwick Lock and Dam is quite large with a 57 foot up-lock to Pickwick Lake

The Pickwick Lock and Dam is quite large with a 57 foot up-lock to Pickwick Lake

The gates are open and some loopers are at their bollards…Owen prepares to snag ours

The gates are open and some loopers are at their bollards…Owen prepares to snag ours

The Shiloh National Cemetery at Shiloh National Military Park. Twenty four thousand people were lost or wounded during this two day battle in 1862.

The Shiloh National Cemetery at Shiloh National Military Park. Twenty four thousand people were lost or wounded during this two day battle in 1862.

The site of the Shiloh Civil War battle took place right on the Tennessee River - you pass it if you are a Looper and hardly know it’s there.

The site of the Shiloh Civil War battle took place right on the Tennessee River - you pass it if you are a Looper and hardly know it’s there.

Iowa’s memorial to their fallen soldiers of Shiloh

Iowa’s memorial to their fallen soldiers of Shiloh

The Confederate Memorial honors the South’s ‘Lost Cause’ on Shiloh battlefield. The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the memorial in 1917

The Confederate Memorial honors the South’s ‘Lost Cause’ on Shiloh battlefield. The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the memorial in 1917

A replica (1999) of the Shiloh Meeting House, the log Methodist church were the battle started and thus gave the name.

A replica (1999) of the Shiloh Meeting House, the log Methodist church were the battle started and thus gave the name.

The Corinth, Mississippi courthouse built in 1880

The Corinth, Mississippi courthouse built in 1880

Somethings you only see in the south….Pickle-pops and…

Somethings you only see in the south….Pickle-pops and…

…an axe throwing gym.

…an axe throwing gym.