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LMPS Breaks Cabin Fever
with Cruise to Norris Lake, Tennessee

By P/C Debra Allen, AP

Thank you to John and Valerie Hunter for all of the hard work that went into planning a terrific small boat cruise to Norris Lake, Tennessee, 20-24 August 2020! We were all suffering from cabin fever due to COVID-19 and in search of recreation while observing social distancing. The Shanghai Resort and Marina was just what we needed as our entry point to a lake composed of the Powell and Clinch Rivers along with a multitude of creeks surrounding a wildlife management area.

All told, we had 16 boats and 19 couples on the trip, which consisted of half the group towing on Thursday and the second group towing on Friday. The long weekend of excitement started early with Keep 'N Cadence experiencing a trailer issue before even getting out of South Carolina! Not to be outdone, but certainly not on purpose, P/C Charlie Bruce hardly made it out of his neighborhood before needing a new tire on his tow vehicle. And, we won't even talk about the monsoon group two drove through to reach our weekend getaway.

Yet, after navigating a "road" reminiscent of that going into Devil's Fork State Park that our members know well, we arrived at Shanghai to clearing skies. Overlooking Shanghai Cove was the 24-room lodge with a large, second-floor porch from which we could see our boats. And, with only 24 rooms, you realize we practically owned the place. Down the hillside, past additional trailer parking was the floating marina, which hosted Castaways Grill and Bar featuring large outdoor dining, as did most of the marinas our members discovered during their time at Norris Lake.

Actually, we cruised just shy of 200 miles, visiting Sequoyah Marina, Stardust Marina, and motoring by the Norris Dam Marina when we checked out Norris Dam! We discovered a beautiful cove in which to raft up and spent several pleasant hours bobbing in the cool waters before continuing to explore, travelling to Lost Creek, circling Bear Hole Island and Wood Duck Island. One afternoon we cruised Cedar Creek, toward Cumberland Mountains, until Yankee Pankee almost ran out of water and we turned around and headed back with the sun setting to Shanghai Resort where we enjoyed a second night of bagpipe music by Mike Urquhart. And, on the evening we celebrated RJ and Debbie Becht's 40th wedding anniversary and KT Tripathi's 60th birthday, we enjoyed old favorites and originals by a young guitar player!

Again, the trip wasn't all roses and while we have no bent prop nominees, P/C Fred Ruinen had to replace his alternator and P/C Tony Dodson encountered an issue that was attributed to water in his fuel. Then there was the excitement of more tire changing on the return trip to South Carolina. Charlie didn't make it to Knoxville before having to change a trailer tire, while George Williamson, who was towing his 26-foot cruiser, made it 20 miles further before having to change one of his, and P/C David Allen made it to within 10 miles of home when he had to replace a trailer tire in yet another monsoon -- we were lucky in that the rain while at Norris Lake most of the significant rain took place at night. Well, there was that rain while we waited to get water and electricity back on one morning! But, you'll have to get that story from one of the cruisers!

Click on the first thumbnail below to open the photos from our trip. You'll notice a couple of photos with RJ and Debbie with friends who joined them from out-of-state to celebrate their anniversary on Norris Lake, where they all boated when the Bechts lived in Ohio. A special thanks to information provided by John and Valerie Hunter and photos from RJ Becht.

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Updated 04 September 2020
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