09-30-09 Guntersville, AL

As we pulled away from Riverwalk Landing in Decatur, AL, this morning we went by the home of Meow Mix Catfood, so I took this picture for my cat loving friends (Margaret and Ada come immediately to mind). I just hope they don’t make this catfood with the cute smiling catfish we showed you a couple of days ago!

We had a perfectly delightful run from Decatur to Guntersville, AL. A perfect, sunny day. There were very few boats on the water, so we were surprised and pleased to see a flotilla of old wooden ChrisCrafts zoom by. There were at least 12 by Rick’s count, and all were beautifully maintained. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of all of them as they came toward us, but we didn’t realize soon enough what we were seeing, so I got just a few pictures toward the end.

Shortly thereafter we arrived at Guntersville Lock and Dam, and only had to wait about 10 minutes to enter along with a sailboat that was already there.

For those of you that don’t know it, I was a Gunter before my marriage, so this town has a special significance for me. Therefore, there are many pictures at the end of this blog with the word Guntersville in the picture! We had just been here last year on the RiverBarge, and I remember how surprised I was at what a beautiful place this is.

We arrived early enough in the day to pull up to the town dock for a few hours and walk into town. Our first stop was the Chamber of Commerce, which had been closed when we were here last year because all the employees were down at the riverfront welcoming the RiverBarge on her first landing here (and as it turns out sadly, her last). Then we walked up Gunter Avenue where we stopped at Guntersville Pizza Parlor for lunch.

Guntersville was named for John Gunter who migrated here from the Carolinas in 1785. He was the first white settler in this county, where he became a “squatter” at a salt deposit on the south bank of the Tennessee River. This site became known as Gunter’s Landing. He married a Cherokee princess and they raised a large family. Partly because of the geographic location of the land he claimed on the Tennessee River, and partly because of his good relationship with the Indians, he amassed a fortune in land, money and slaves. Among his descendants was the noted humorist, Will Rogers. John Gunter died in 1836.

I hate to disclose that in spite of extensive genealogical research, I cannot claim to be a descendant of this John Gunter. My family is descended from a John Gunter who lived from 1770 to 1840 and died in what is now Lee County, NC. Possibly they were cousins, but my research has not proved this to be true. Still, it is neat to be in a town named for a Gunter. When we were here last year I hoped to go to the local historical cemetery and find some Gunter graves. My first stop was at the local historical society, which had a roster of graves in the cemetery. Imagine my surprise that not a single Gunter is buried in the “Historic Guntersville Cemetery!”

After visiting the town we went on to nearby Alred Marina where we will spend the night. From there we borrowed their courtesy car and drove to Lake Guntersville State Park. This is another place that we had visited last year, and it has some of the most breathtaking views we’ve ever seen. The beautiful lodge was rebuilt just a couple of years ago and is truly magnificient. It is full of beautiful artwork and carvings of wildlife. As we approached the lodge we had to stop for three deer that were just getting ready to cross the road.

The lodge overlooks the incredibly beautiful Lake Guntersville, and we arrived just in time to enjoy the sunset. We then ate dinner in their restaurant.

Just wanted to share this picture of the boat right across from us…sometimes I wonder about people’s choices for boat names!

Tomorrow we will move closer to Chattanooga, and will probably make another stop at Guntersville on our way back downriver. In the meantime, here are a few more Guntersville pictures. (note to my family…the Guntersville souvenir shop was closed, so don’t be looking for Christmas presents from here this year!!!)

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday Rick!!!!!!!! Make Betsy "drive" and you take it easy! ha! Miss you guys! But sounds like you are having a great time.. okay-- had to get by those carp..and the weather.. and.. I'll stop. Still, great pictures too.
    Love ya! Liza