Cruising the Waterway for an Evening in Paris
Captain Bob's "Any Man's Journey on the Tennesee River" is a planned day of visiting local marinas and downtown Paris, TN. If you are in Paris, you have to see the sites and taste the cuisine. After all this is the home of the World's Largest Fish Fry.
Reported by Susan Jones
Miles traveled: 30.5
Day seven dawned cloudy but dry and cool as “Any Man’s Journey” continued toward Paducah, KY on the legendary Tennessee River.
Before shoving off, the voyagers enjoyed country ham, sausage, biscuits, scrambled eggs, jelly and plenty of hot coffee. First Mate Sterling Edwards, recognized the meat as his favorite product from Clifty Farm’s Country Hams– less salty, more tender, very flavorful. Clifty Farm’s hams are made just down the road in Paris, TN.
Traveling from Pebble Isle near Johnsonville State Historic Park to Buchanan Resort (marker 68) near Paris Landing State Park, several attractions were on our radar, including Lady’s Bluff, a TVA Small Wild Area; Nathan Bedford Forest State Park and the Duck River Unit of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge.
With binoculars in hand, we scanned the shoreline for birds. Our favorites were the osprey, and we were thrilled to see pairs on the nest at almost every mile marker. These couples return to their stick nests year after year, and we wondered how many how many chicks had been born in these watery surroundings.
A few more miles downriver, we bobbed around Danville, Tennessee and its ghostly grain elevator near the old L & N bridge. Both are curiosities that beg boaters to ponder and photograph these river relics.
Danville’s seven-story, concrete, grain elevator and transfer station, was built in 1914 to move goods from river barges to railcars. When Kentucky Dam was completed in the mid-forties, the town of Danville was inundated during the creation the Kentucky Lake Reservoir. This dam is one of many that helped tame the river and create electricity for the Valley.
Soon, Captain Bob was turning port side into Eagle Creek for an over-night stay at Buchanan Resort near marker 68. It would be hard to imagine how many fishermen, water enthusiasts, and other nature lovers have enjoyed this storied resort, as well as friendships with generations of Buchanan family.
After lunch, Capt. Bob’s wife, Cheri and Sterling’s wife, Kay joined the adventure. The four were joined by Paris-Henry County Chamber CEO Travis McLeese and Susan Jones for a choppy, boat ride to The Breakers Marina Bar & Grill, which included a trip under the Ned Ray McWherter Bridge on State Highway 79.
Everyone was more than ready for supper, but when Capt. Bob noticed a blue barrel in the water, he took a detour to check it out. It turned out to be free floating, so First Mate Sterling was asked to haul it aboard and secure it. Not only did he get the barrel out of the water, he removed a safety hazard from the river.
“We need to make sure our friends at Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful know that we put hauling in trash before our dinner tonight,” laughed Capt. Bob.
We pulled into the Breakers and soon were enjoying mouthwatering fried fish, friendly servers, and stellar sunset.
After a smooth boat ride back to Buchanan Resort, we realized that Sterling had wanted to take Kay into town. “I’ve always told her I was going to take her to Paris,” he quipped. Their photos say it all, a beautiful evening, a wonderful couple and the lovely glow of the Eiffel Tower, ala Paris, TN.