Wednesday, August 3, 2011

THE HOLSTEN RIVER - PRETTY SCENES

Cherokee Resevoir was formed when the Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, dammed up the Holsten River.  There are numerous other streams and rivers that flow into Cherokee Dam but the Holsten is the primary river artery. 
It's interesting to observe the river channel below the boat on the sonar and GPS unit.  I can float "over" the actual, original river that lays at the bottom of the dam.
A lot of people don't realize what's under the surface of these waters.  There are bridges, homes, roadways and mountains.  Yes, mountains.  If one looks around at the surrounding mountains that border the reservoir, he needs to understand that mountains like those are under the surface.  No one leveled them off before the flooding began.  The water simply rose until it enveloped all the mountainous terrain.  The tops of many of these mountains lie just under the surface making boating precarious, especially in the Winter when the lake level is lowered.  Those islands, as I call them, are in reality the tip top peaks of submerged mountains.  That's why the pines and hardwoods proliferate them.   Cherokee Lake takes on an entirely different character in the Winter.  It is a dangerous place to be in a boat.  That's why my boat is equipped with a super navigation system that shows me all the pit falls before I'm in trouble.  At least I hope it works that way.
It's Summertime now and there are a couple more months to learn the lake and it's idiosyncrasies.   The waters of Cherokee Dam narrow as one travels to the extreme North end of the dam.  This is where it is possible to navigate on the actual Holsten River where it enters the reservoir itself.  That's where I was two days ago.  The Holsten is a beautiful place.  I ran it North until I lost water depth and things got  dicey. 
Picturesque old houses appear occasionally, reminding one of how life used to be.  I didn't see any modern homes bordering this water.  Life along this river is very rural and, well, old.  I like it.
  The old place above is gorgeous.  The most modern aspect of it is the metal roof, no doubt added after the original wood shake roof became untenable. 

Bridge piers loom out of the forested shoreline suddenly, indicating that the Holsten River was a serious blockage to rural communities of the day.
Travel North of these bridge abutments becomes precarious.  The water level is not consistent and underwater obsticles make boating less than perfectly safe.  I went a half of a mile further and turned the boat downstream.  I paid particular attention to the shoreline as I noticed a lack of rock and boulder.  The main lake is 90 percent covered with rock.  The edge of the water was grassy and green.  There was one area that actually had a sandy beach.  It was sandwich time and what better place to eat  than on a quiet, sandy beach?  Shade was needing to stop anyway.  Ha;  I used her for an excuse to stop.

Check out the scene above.  Yep;  it's really Tennessee and not Florida.  What a tremendous place!  Shade loved it too.  That 22 foot Pathfinder boat is gorgeous beached on the sand.

The temperature was 96 degrees and she enjoyed splashing in the water.

Nothing lik a good roll in the grass

Shade would swim and then roll in the grass, only to return to the water.  It's good to see her acting like her old self.  That little black dot above is her swimming.
Two ham and cheese sandwiches and a quart of cold water filled me up and we were ready to continue on in search of fishermen.  I will bring the Gheenoe up here on a day off to continue up the Holsten a lot further.  I only need a foot of water to travel in that boat.
Back on board and down the river we went.  Shade didn't get cooled off in the 89 degree water but it was wet.  The evaporation process from the wind against her wet body created by motoring down the river will help her a lot.  I hope you enjoyed some of the views from this entry.  Stay in touch.  There are a few surprises I have up my sleeve.  Till then;  thanks for looking in.  And, Shade says hello too.

Shade says thank you