Day 4 - Hales Marina (gas), Nickajack lock, Crow Creek TN-401

This morning we awoke to 20 Sea-Doos tied up next to us.  Note that they are on the protected side of the dock.

Some were well prepared for the long haul.  This was a fundraiser event taking them quite a long way.  They stayed in first class hotels each night.

We set out from Chattanooga, passing the mountain where Rock City is and the overlook (see arrow) you saw earlier.  This is typical of the beauty you see along the way.

OK, I'm getting repetitive, but it's so beautiful.

This is the pumping station to the Raccoon Mountain pumped storage.

The entire project.  Our perspective is from the river at the top left.

Here's someone who REALLY wanted a boat ramp.

An active quarry at Bennett Lake TN-433

What's left of old Hales bar lock and dam.  The rest has been removed after they built Nickajack dam just a few miles down.  Just on the other side of this structure is...

TN-431 - Hales marina - gas stop.  We wait behind 6 of the Sea Doo group for gas and organize the line as they arrive.  The blue building is the store.

Hales has several floating cabins with a great view.

One of many power plants found on the river.  Some of the intakes (for cooling water) and outflows create significant currents.

There go the SeaDoos that just gassed up with us.

TN-425 - pass through Nickajack lock.  When I ask the lock tender (via radio) what their status is, he replies "waiting for you!".  Those are words of delight and relief to a pleasure boater, who might wait several hours for higher-priority barges to lock through ahead of them.

TN-401 Crow Creek

Here's the overall view from entrance to our overnight spot.

Just inside the mouth it opens up into a huge lake area.  The actual creek, hidden by the water (flooded by the dam), is outlined by channel markers and weed patches.

It's getting late so we tie up at this boat ramp dock.  Note the water level;  it was about 1' lower the next morning.  Don't be scared by the weeds - the channels were all clear.

We're equipped with lots of food, microwave, gas grill, refrigerator and dry goods for self-sufficiency.  Oh... wait... how conveeeeenient!  BBQ next to the boat ramp!  We didn't choose this spot in advance - that's part of the adventure - new BBQ!  Don't forget, Crow Creek, Mile TN-401, about 3 miles off the river, well marked channel and believed to be at least 4 feet the whole way.

Looking back towards the boat ramp (left side of bridge) shows the mini-channel markers.  Later we discover that there was a nice park just past the bridge on the right.  Oh well, wouldn't you rather have BBQ?

Next: Day 5 - Mill Hollow/Guntersville Dam TN-349.5

All photos and text Copyright 2007 Paul Kempter, except for the charts which are Army Corps and Google Earth pictures.  They contain watermarks.  Please give credit if you copy to your personal non-profit web site.  High resolution copies of the photos are available for licensing (usually free to non-profit organizations).