We watched the sun rise from our sleepy hollow and had a lazy start – – – until we realized tows, with 24 barges attached, were headed from both directions for our stretch of the water. With sharp orders from the captain, we raced to prepare Bushranger for a quick departure, to outrun one tow which was bearing down on us. Mission accomplished, we settled down to a day’s sail.
The weather gods were smiling today. We had the most magical weather, even managed to shed beanie, gloves and jackets. The sky was blue; the river was a road of sparkling jewels; the air held the promise of spring. The Cumberland River is truly a gorgeous river. It is narrow compared to the Tennessee. The low lying sides are thickly covered with all varieties of foliage. It is very sparsely populated.
We came to one stretch of the river where a tornado had been through just months before. It had snapped the trees in half.
BUT – – – it is a working river. Just outside Clarksville we passed a quarry with many tows emptying or filling, manoeurvering across channels, rounding bends, or stopping dead in the water. Mark had his wits about him. With much radio calling, y’aallls, one whistle and two and “Roger Roger”, he made himself understood. Me? I waved at the tow drivers and made a cup of coffee. Nothing else really to do – Mark had it all under control.
Such is Life!