Dale Hollow


Launch: Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park -good ramp, long-term parking with Park security.

Nearby campsites: Good campground right at the State Park, or one can stay at the resort (two swimming pools, horseback trails, and a modern 60-room lodge with a great dining hall.

Comments: There is an excellent restaurant at the resort. This is a beautiful lake, especially for off-season cruising. There are many houseboats on the lake during the summer.


-----The Obey River is one of the major tributaries to the Cumberland River. Immediately above its confluence with the Cumberland, near Celina, TN, the Corps of Engineers, in the 1940's, built a large dam for hydroelectric generation. There is no lock through the dam, so one must trailer to gain access to this site. The impounded reservoir, Dale Hollow Lake, is a treasure for Heartland trailerboat cruising. There are 620 miles of shoreline and 48 square miles of water surface, straddling the Tennessee - Kentucky border.


-----The rocks exposed along the periphery of the lake will look familiar to Heartland boaters -- limy excess of those ancient seas that flooded over the North American continent from about 300 to 200 million years ago. Loaded with fossil shells, bedded limestone crops out along the shores of much of the lake. This is the Cumberland Plateau, etched downward by the scouring silt in the Obey River.

-----Limestone, calcium carbonate, is slowly soluble. Through the millenia of exposure near the land surface, water has infiltrated along fractures into the limestone. Dissolving the lime, caves and sinks mark the cliffs and land surface.



-----iIt was late on a warm spring afternoon. Sunlight was filtering through the dense woodlands rising steeply from the water beside our anchorage. A water snake left a sinuous trail through the dense green fuzz of pollen icing the water surface. On the shore beside us, a muskrat lazily turned a green twig in his paws, nibbling off the bark, like a child turning an ice cream bar in his hands eating off the chocolate exterior. A cardinal repititiously whistled a desultory refrain that perfectly matched the languid pace of the fading day. We drifted in and out of sleep, stretched out in our lounge chairs in the cockpit, pretending to be reading. Then, from far down the cove, came the deep sonorous "Who cooks for you?" call of a male Barred Owl.

"Who Cooks?"

-----iAlmost immediately, from the dark forest near us, the female answered. Like dueling instruments, the two deep-throated vocalists filled the cove with an increasing crescendo of hoots and cackles. Then, suddenly, at least three other voices joined the chorus -- perhaps the juvenile offspring. Sound was everywhere, as each young owl, like teenagers everywhere, vied to be heard. We sat, unmoving, staring at each other in disbelief -- we had never heard such a bellowing, howling, and hooting melody. Suddenly, as quickly as it began, all fell silent -- only the Cardinal's whistles drifted from the woods.


Turkey Vulture - the Drifter



El - the Drifter


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