Thursday, July 21, 2011

Easy Living in East Tennessee!

Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill drove over from St. Louis Missouri to pay us a visit and experience a little bit of the good life in East Tennessee.

So, on one beautiful but hot day, our friends Karen and Charlie (above) took us all out for a relaxing boat ride on Tellico Lake. 

First we cruised up river toward the Chilhowee Dam and the Smoky Mountains… 

Tellico Lake was formed in the valley and along the tributaries of the Little Tennessee River.  There are 357 miles of shoreline just at Tellico Lake.  Down the lake or river near the Tellico Dam, a wide channel was carved through to Ft. Loudoun Lake, in effect creating a ‘super lake’ stretching from the base of the Smokey Mountains down river to the Ft. Loudoun Dam and then back up the Tennessee River through Knoxville to the Holston and French Broad Rivers. 

This is a view of some of the homes and private docks along the shores of Tellico Lake… It’s a beautiful lake or reservoir with several developments along its shoreline.  There are also a number of public boat launch sites, several marinas, a couple of campgrounds and several parks scattered along the waterfront.  One nice feature of the lake is that its level only changes by 6 or 7 feet in the off season.  The water levels of many of the other lakes that were created by the Tennessee Valley Authority can vary greatly.

Here are Laurie and I along with Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband, Bill, at the front of Charlie and Karen’s boat…just ‘chilling’ and enjoying the ride.

Unfortunately, there is a sad side to the creation of Tellico Lake as well as the formation of the other lakes comprising the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Those that were living in the river valleys were forced to sell their property and move out.   Here and there a few ‘leftover’ silos protrude from lake, surviving testaments to the hard working farm families that were forced off the land.  Tellico Lake also has covered several Native American sites, including the historically significant Cherokee sites of Chota and Tanasi. 

If one were old enough…like me…you might recall the environmental legal war over the small Snail Darter fish… It was Tellico Dam and the TVA vs. the Snail Darter and the environmental lobbyists.  After a long and protracted battle, Congress passed a law exempting the Tellico Dam project from the Endangered Species Act.  But, before the closure of the gates of Tellico Dam, numerous Snail Darters were transplanted into the Hiawassee River in Tennessee.  The Snail Darter was reclassified from endangered to threatened on July 5, 1954.

So, as the sun began to sink in the west, Bill, Bonnie, Laurie, Charlie and Karen, all relaxed around Charlie and Karen’s pool at their house.  I tried to stay out of the photo…but my reflection is all too evident in the window on the right.

Thanks for dropping by to check out what’s been happening here in East Tennessee.  Life is good!

Click on any photo to enlarge it… 


  1. That's some easy living for sure

  2. Now that's what I call taking it easy and enjoying life. It looks like a great time!!! Interesting reading about the TVA again.

  3. Big Daddy Dave

    I think you'd find it really interesting to read the new book just published by Yale Press: The Snail Darter & the Dam--How Pork-Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River.

    You are part of the intimate history chronicled in the book.

    Good wishes.