June 16, 2009--- Made a beautiful afternoon trip in the boat from Hale Bar Marina to Marine Max in Chattanooga.
It was 32.6 miles with steep mountains on both sides of the river. The water depth was about 50 feet most of the time with the greatest depth at 107 feet. That depth was near the opening seen in the side of Raccoon Moutain. The opening is from a tunnel. On top the moutain at 1100 feet above is a 520-acre lake that was built for storage.
The plant works like a large storage battery. During periods of low demand, water is pumped from Nickajack Reservoir at the base of the mountain to the reservoir built at the top. It takes 28 hours to fill the upper reservoir. When power demand is high, water is released via a tunnel drilled through the center of the mountain to drive generators in the mountain’s underground power plant. This TVA's largest hydro facility.
Along the way someone has had some bad luck from the looks of the partially sunken houseboat.
As we approached Chattanooga their famous Lookout Mountain stands tall in the distance past the tow. This was the only tow on the water today.