I ran into town with the courtesy van to get groceries. Scott got caught up on work related issues. Aiden slept. By the time I got back the last load of laundry was done and now we get ready to shove off to go anchor in a small bay.
Along the Cumberland River we see an old castle style building. After reviewing its history it turns out to be a penitentiary. It stands so statuesque on the hillside. We see osprey nests, more blue herons and tons of remnants of what this river must have looked like prior to the flooding after the locks were made. The bluffs and cliffs along this tiny old river must have been a sight. Now most of them are underwater but still hold a view all to their own.
At mile 87.7 on the Cumberland there is a small charted “bay” to anchor in. We travel from mile 31 at Green Turtle to 87.7 on the river and realize all the structure under Barkclay Lake. Submerged bridges, roads, you name it. When they made the locks to control the Cumberland they just flooded the areas without much thought. The original Cumberland was a small riverbed and that is the channel that us boaters must follow even though “the lake” looks like you can cross it any which way. On the zigzaging journey you will see, just outside the channel, birds sitting on land just below the surface, trees growing on islands in the middle of nowhere. Then you have to pass a barge.
Arriving at our destination we are met with a small opening in the river to where the depth are supposed to be 7 feet at pool. We go in slowly. Following the channel in we are met with a beautiful “bay” and Fort Donalson. Fort Donelson was the stronghold of the Confederates during the civil war that the Union, under the direction of Ulysses Grant, took over and changed the war. It was this very spot that 13,000 Confederates gave up the fort to a 2 ships and a very large Union army coming in from land. It changed the civit war as the Cumberland River was the strenght of the south. Now in Union hands they were able to take Nashville and continue south until the war ended. History is everywhere in this little area.
The boys went on a hike to investigate the history while I slept off a headache. After dropping in the dingy they went to the fort and walked the trail that many Union and Confederate troops did. The history of the United States of America was made here. As Canadians we don’t know much about the history but we do know of a civil war. What a great experience for Aiden to live!
This bay did not disappoint for the evening as well. Frogs and locust sounds, fish jumping and a gorgeous night sky with Nashville’s hue of lights in the distance. Stunning and quiet.