Lake to the River

lowlake1We live about half a mile from part of Lake Cumberland, in the Daniel Boone National Forest.  Lake Cumberland is a Tocks Island dam that happened.  In the early part of the 1950s, the Army Corps of Engineers built the Wolf Creek Dam across the free-flowing Cumberland River, resulting in the 63,000 acre, long and narrow Lake Cumberland.  The historical riverbed settlements were lost.  The town of Burnside (our closest town), which used to be along the river bed, was moved up the mountainside and out of floodwater range.

The river’s rock walls lent themselves well to holding lake water – the lake is almost 800 feet deep in places.   Or was.

Seems like the Wolf Creek dam has been leaking, and about 2 years ago the Army Corp started lowering the water level to ease strain on the dam and to address repairs.  They tell us now that the repairs are going to require at least 7 years to complete, to the tune of more than 300 million dollars, and that if they can’t fix certain ‘geological problems’ that we could soon be living half a mile from the Cumberland River.

That suits us just fine, though I’m sure it will have some negative impact on the houseboat and recreational boating industry around here.

lakewalls1We have an old, ugly little motorboat that isn’t much to look at, but it floats, has a small engine and trolling motor, and gets us to the fishing holes.

I personally don’t fish, but I love going along for the ride because I get to see up close some of the amazing ‘geological problems’ that make up this river. Lake. River. Whatever.

swallownestOn our last fishing trip, I managed to find a swallow nest, up high on one of the ledges.  Probably a cliff or barn swallow, but without seeing the birds or a closer look at the nest, hard to say for sure.

Lots of poop on the walls below indicated the nest was probably successful – and why wouldn’t it be?  Few predators except for possibly a rock-climbing snake or very adept bird-of-prey could get near.

My next project is to study some of the geological features around here and learn more about them, because I like to know what I’m looking at.  I can recognize sandstone and limestone, but those intricate shapes, holes, caves, and all that goes with them, need some explaining.  Life is good.

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