Monday, May 5, 2008

OK Boat Trip, Day 11, 5/5/08

No boating and no pictures today but we did take the opportunity to rent a car here in Memphis to go back to our marina at Bay Hill on the TN River to get one of our vehicles and a few things we’ll need in Muskogee. So, it was a pleasant day, about three hours each way. (Our son, Adam, later noted that we made the trip twice today by car that took us 8 days by water to do just once!) Okay Adam, so what’s your point? LOL.

Anyhow, having our truck here allows us to enjoy Memphis a little more and we’ll keep it here until we’re getting close to getting underway again. Then we’ll probably rent another car and take our vehicle to Muskogee so it is waiting there for us when we arrive.

Bad news upon our return – the fire department had its boat underway leaving the Mud Island harbor. Apparently some canoeists capsized out on the MS River. No word yet on their fate.

Not much else to report today so I’ll cover a topic we had some questions on – mile markers. And by the way, I don’t propose to be an expert on any of these topics we cover – just informally passing what little I know from the experience we have.

Generally, mile markers (mm) provide a means for boaters to track their location and plan and project their travel. They are numbered from the beginning to the end of the river or vice versa. The Mississippi River is different in that it is divided into the Upper and Lower Mississippi River with the mid point being Cairo, Illinois (where we joined it from the Ohio River). Here are the rivers involved in our trip.

The Tennessee originates in Knoxville, TN (mm652), flows south into AL, proceeds westbound though AL, then turns north at Pickwick, TN to Paducah, KY (mm 0) where it flows into the Ohio River.

The Cumberland originates in Letcher County, KY (mm678), flows through Nashville, TN then west and northwest to Smithland, KY (mm0) where it also flows into the Ohio River (at a point 10 miles upstream from where the TN joins the Ohio).

Note that the TN and Cumberland Rivers are only about 2 miles apart at Grand Rivers, KY. A man-made canal makes it possible to travel from one to the other in the vicinity of Grand Rivers. We took this route to avoid the busy lock and dam at Grand Rivers on the TN.

The Ohio originates at Pittsburgh, PA (mm0) and ends at Cairo, IL (mm981) at which point it flows into the MS River.

The lower Mississippi runs from Cairo, IL (mm953) to the Gulf of Mexico at New Orleans (mm0).

The Arkansas is part of the McKlellan-Kerr Waterway which begins at Catoosa, OK (just NE of Tulsa) as the Verdigris River (mm445) which joins the Arkansas at Muskogee OK (mm395) which joins the White River (mm10) which flows into the lower MS River (mm0).

In summary, our trip thus far is as follows:

We began at Bay Hill Marina on the TN River at mm287 and continued to Grand Rivers, KY, TN River mm25. (262 miles on the TN)

We took the cut noted previously over to the Cumberland River at mm33 and continued to mm0 of the Cumberland which joined the Ohio at mm 923. (33 miles on the Cumberland)

Then we took the Ohio at mm 923 to Cairo, IL (58 miles on the Ohio) where we joined the MS River to Memphis at mm736 (218 miles on the MS). [571 miles total thus far]

Hope that helps but I know it’s a little confusing. You may have to do a little geography research to make sense of it.

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