After flying down the Mississippi River at 10 knots, turning upriver onto the Ohio is a shock. It’s frothy with breaking waves, it’s running fast, and we struggle against its current. At one point, Soulianis slows all the way down to 1.5 knots, and we start to worry if we’re even going to make it — even at full throttle.

Our short 46-mile journey on the Ohio River takes us two days. We breathe huge sighs of relief after turning south onto the Tennessee River. Even though we’re still heading upstream, the Tennessee’s current is a much milder 1-2 knots.

The Kentucky Dam Lock — our first upstream lock transit — is rough. We quickly learn how much easier and more pleasant it is to be lowered down a lock than raised up. Compared to the muddy brown rivers, Kentucky Lake is a beautiful bright blue. We hop and skip our way down the lake until it turns back into the Tennessee River, pushing further south towards the sun and the warmth.

More music by Common Jack in this episode!

Lauren & Kirk

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