After leaving Joe Wheeler State Park I commented that the river reminded us of certain parts of the Mississippi River very wide and boring and also very industrial. Just past Decatur, Alabama the river (which is actually Wheeler Lake) narrows and starts to become more hilly. Just before Decatur is the TVA's Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant with its thin, tall tower. This is one of the world's largest nuclear/electric plants. Sunday, Oct. 5th we made it as far as Mile 310.6 at Limestone Creek - a little intimedating at first because the entrace was so narrow, but, it opened up further in and proved to be a nice quiet anchorage.
Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant
October 6th, we traveled from our anchorage at Limestone Creek at mile 311 to Short Creek at mile 361 in Guntersville Lake. At mile 344 the river narrows and on the northern bank is Painted Bluff, a famous riverboat landing and one of Tennessee River's more spectacular cliffs, towering more than 550 feet above the water.
Beyond the bluff is Guntersville Dam at mile 349. Like all other TVA dams they were built for flood control and power production. There are four turbine generators at the powerhouse, they can produce more than 700 million kilowatt hours every year. Guntersville, Wheeler and Wilson power plants produce much of the electricity used in northern Alabama. When you enter Guntersville Lake you can't help but notice the size of the hills. The Appalachians to the southeast and the Cumberlands to the northwest rise 1,000 feet above the lake.
October 7th we finally got rain. Guntersville Lake reminds us of Trempealeau, Wisconsin area of the Mississippi River. Made it to mile 420 just before Nickajack Dam to anchorage at Burns Island.