Summer on Lake Barkley

September 2014


 During the summer whenever I can escape for three days or more there is usually no question where to find me. Normally my wife of 43 years is along but at times she seeks her own solitude and just the True Grit and I make the 150 mile haul to Lake Barkley / Kentucky Lake near`Paducah, Ky.  Connected by a two mile free flowing canal these two large lakes have a combined shoreline of over 3,000 miles! The Kentucky Lake pool is 184 miles long and Barkley is another 118. Lots of water to explore and about 45 marinas to provide any services that might be needed. 

During our outings we sometimes hug the shoreline and cruise by admiring the numerous beautiful homes. Sometimes we idle through the marinas checking out the wide variety of watercraft.  And sometimes we just hang on the hook and read, listen to music, swim or simply relax.  Just a perfect place to kick back and enjoy you homebuilt boat. 

By design these excursions usually provide little in the way of excitement but at times they do prove interesting.  I have assembled a series of photos taken on one solo outing late this summer.  I made a 200 mile round trip from Kentucky Lake Dam Marina to Clarksville, TN as well as knocked around on the lower lake for a few days.  These snapshots sample the flavor of  activity we find.


Morning breaking in a secluded anchorage.



They say there is no bad days on the water.  Wonder if this captain would argue that point?

 Not A Good Day


This photo illustrates just how snug a fit it is when these tows are in the lock.  Note the starboard side is resting tight against the  longwall.

Tight Fit



 The trip offered very calm winds. Still amazing to me these big lakes can like mirrors.
Like a Mirror



One of our favorite pastimes when cruising the lakes is looking at the lakeside homes.  When we see "For Sale" signs technology makes this even more interesting. Using the cell phone as a WIFI hotshot I can often bring up the realtor's web site on my tablet.  From there we can find all the information about the houses as well as seeing photos of the interior and exterior.  Still shutter at the prices though.  Waterfront locations certainly demand top dollar.

The house in the photo below became even more interesting after reading the realtor's write-up.  They state it is in such bad condition it will need to be razed!  Closer inspection with binoculars confirmed the prognosis.  Appears it has set abandon and suffered both deterioration and rodent damage.  Looks like squirrels and or woodpeckers have fairly well destroyed it. Holes in the`wood siding EVERYWHERE! 

How does this happen?  How could an individual or bank let it end up like this. Not sure what it was worth before the disaster but they are asking $269,000 for the lot and you have to tear it down!

Realtor's Listing

(link will probably go bad quickly)



Tear It Down?



Here is a house of a different kind.  In my river journeys I have seen many waterside churches but this is the only totally floating one I have noticed.


Floating Church




Wouldn't a bimini top been more practial? 
Actually this is a fairly common sighting. When moving a dock why tow it when you can drive it.


Forgot To Cast Off?





Out in the middle of nowhere running down the Cumberland River (Barkley Pool) I spot this sign.  The only way to get it there and is by water.  What is it?


A Sign?



Don't know about you but any candidate going to that much trouble for a single sign gets my vote! 

 Vote For Me!



This voyage was during the last week of September which ended up being the hotest week of the summer.  My wife being smarter begged off and opted to stay home in the A/C.  But I - well I needed to boat. Fortunetly nights were very comfortable so sleeping was not a problem  BUT those afternoons. Hot and humid with little or no wind - you have to love summer in the Midwest.  Kept the cabin fans cranking but still had to stop now and then to get in the water to cool off.  Below is a view looking down Lake Barkley.  You get the idea -  it was a steam bath.

 Hot and Muggy



Did I mention it was hot..........






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