By Eric Fleming.
At 10 am on March 25th, 26 of us met at the Bennett Lake ramp on the TN River to paddle 8 miles round trip to Mullins Cove. I had posted it as 7 miles but everyone has these newfangled GPS things now and my old notes are proving to be a bit inaccurate!! Keep feeding me new info and I’ll keep updating my notes. I have too much else going on to be keeping track of that on a trip but I appreciate the updates.
We had a headwind nearly all the way up, but we made it up to the old flooded cemetery. It got flooded when they built the Hales Bar Dam in 1913 and then later the Nickajack Dam in 1967. There used to be three gravestones sticking up out of the water, but it was disappointing to see that one had been broken off and lay just below the water surface. The headstones are of Henry, Sarah and Moses Long who died in 1860, 1875 and ?. They came from the UK and were called Long because they were so tall. Hales Bar Dam was built pre TVA and families had a choice of relocating the bodies or leaving them there.
We took a photo op and then moved on to the old stone spring head which also sticks up out of the water. There was a Canada goose laying on a nest on the spring head that didn’t seem too happy that we were there.
We then moved on to the back of the cove to see the old wooden sunken barge which still has some structure sticking up out of the water and you can clearly see the outline of how big it was. About the size of today’s barges.
Then we headed back and enjoyed a tailwind till about halfway back. It turned to a dead calm, and then turned into a cross wind which kicked up quite a bit of chop. Everyone did great though and we all made it back safely. By now we were pretty darn hungry so we headed over to the Cracker Barrel to recharge.
A fun day on the river with a great group. Hope to see y’all again soon!