October 8th (Cont.)
Some of the most spectacular scenery on the Tennessee River is along the 46 miles of Nickajack Lake. It is widely regarded as the most scenic stretch of the river (even in the rain it was gorgeous). It cuts thru the Cumberland plateau known as the Tennessee River Gorge and sections of the gorge were 100 feet deep. We passed thru a section of the river called the Narrows. Early boatmen named the various bends on the river the Frying Pan, Skillet and Boiling Pot because they thought the splattering, flying and frothing waters resembled cooking utensils at work. The next bend was called The Suck. The river thru here today is MUCH calmer. We reached Chattanooga around 5:00 PM; docked on the town wall and hiked into town. The Galley Wench got the night off!!!!
At mile 444 is the discharge tunnel of the Racoon Mountain Pumped storage plant. High atop the mountain, one of the largest rockfill dams ever built by the TVA impounds 528 acre Racoon Mountain Resevoir. Water released from the resevoir during the periods of heaviest electrical usage falls 1,160 feet to the powerhouse inside the mountain. At night and on weekends when the demand is lower, the generators drive the turbines in reverse and pump the water from the river back up to the top of the mountain.