Although the skies looked to be cloudy all day—so obviously where no buffalo roam—a bunch of Loopers took off from Paducah towards the next stop. That would be the famous Green Turtle Bay. We were two of those Loopers.
After Paducah there are two options. The short route is to take the Tennessee River through the Kentucky lock and cut over to the marina. But the commercial traffic gets priority and you may wait at the lock for multiple hours. Waiting at locks is horrible. So we skipped that one.
The second route stays on the Ohio for a stretch, then turns off on the Cumberland River through Barkley lock. 20 miles longer but often faster. At the junction we plainly could see the point where the brown crap water flowing from the north mixed with the clearer southern water. Not shocking at all, is it?
Lest anyone think all we do is complain about rivers, we found the Cumberland to be awesome. Although there were stretches with erector-set industry along the shore, the river was narrow, the trees were green, and the current was modest. A great day of traveling, even upstream.
We know, we know. All the river pictures are starting to look the same. Trust us though. Some rivers—like the Hudson and the Cumberland—are way better than others even if the photos don’t show it.
As an aside, Old Crow Medicine Show has a catchy song about rocking like a wagon wheel, which sort of makes no sense. What really makes no sense is the line about heading west from the Cumberland Gap to Johnson City. Anyone from Tennessee knows full well you can’t do that.
Anyway, a few miles up the Cumberland, Dana discovered another stowaway. The little feller was sticking to a bow rail in a most precarious manner. We watched him carefully until we tied up, at which time Dana relocated him to an appropriate spot on shore. (Under other circumstances she might have kissed it, but what would she do with TWO princes?)
There’s a boating app called Nebo that many Loopers use to keep track of friends’ progress. It’s kind of a cross between VesselFinder and Find My Friends. We were able to confirm electronically that our little pack was intact through the day. Which we could have done by just looking behind us, of course, but we also could see the progress of people who weren’t at Paducah last night.
As we neared the Barkley lock, the clouds left and it turned into a gorgeous fall day. Know what doesn’t fit in with gorgeous fall days? Flying Asian carp. We finally saw them, bouncing around in the lock chamber. They’re known to jump onto boats, smack into people on said boats, and bleed all over. That’s a true story. There are YouTube videos to prove it. Dana may or may not have wet herself a little when the first one jumped towards her head. But because she’s a professional, she hung in there long enough to take a couple of pictures. We wished we had some of those bows and arrows the Peoria Carp Hunters use.
Just past the lock we pulled in to Green Turtle. We plan to stay here a few days before heading up the Tennessee for Chattanooga.