Friday, November 1, 2013

NEW BODY OF WATER

I took a ride today to check out one of two bodies of water I will be working on next year.  Douglas Lake, the mud hole, will be one body of water and the tail race of Cherokee Dam is the second.  I rode to the tail race.
I parked at a little boat ramp called Nance's Ferry.  The scenery and water, when there isn't a release at the dam, are really beautiful and there aren't any houses anywhere around.  The issue with this river, the Holston, is that it is subject to water releases from Cherokee Dam during hydroelectric operations which turns the calm, quiet, smooth running water into a wild, rapidly moving class 3 river.  The water releases are usually 8 to 90000 cubic feet per "second."   It's kind of nuts.  Not many people put boats on this water - nor will I.  The dam is seven or eight miles upstream and creates enough flow power to add the dynamic, radical change to the river that lasts all the way to Knoxville where the Holston joins the French Broad River to form the Tennessee River.
The shot above is down stream from the boat ramp and parking lot.  If you look closely you can see that the water is really moving fast.  When the release is stopped, it takes about three hours for the released water to flow to Nance's Ferry and pass on downstream which will leave the tail race smooth, quiet and beautiful once again, not to mention much shallower.  
The view above is a look upstream.  At least there isn't any houses anywhere.  I'll be surveying this water using the truck to drive from access area to access area.  The property on both sides of the water all the way to Knoxville is private property and the only access is two boat ramps for the entire distance.  Isn't that something?  This water isn't my cup of tea but I'll just have to deal with it.  I foresee a lot of boring days ahead.  There is one good thing about working this water from the truck and that good thing is that Shade will have a lot of land available to her to explore while we patiently sit at these boat ramps.  Look below:
I spoke to the farmer who owns this farm an he said Shade and I could walk the land whenever we wanted.  How bout that.   The other direction behind me is forested.  Another shot follows:
Something tells me that Shade is going to be a very welcome companion through next year.
As I stated, the second body of water I'll be on is Douglas Lake and we're familiar with that water.  At least Douglas Lake has some diverse wildlife on it.  And, it has the flood plain at Rankin on the French Broad River that is always interesting.  All in all I think next Summer is going to be a long one.