Coldhearted River: A Canoe Odyssey Down the Cumberland
Coldhearted River recounts the canoe odyssey of Kim Trevathan and photographer Randy Russell down the Cumberland River--almost 700 miles--from Harlan, Kentucky, through Middle Tennessee and Nashville, then back into western Kentucky, where it spills into the Ohio. The Cumberland presented spectacular gifts to the adventures: the morning when tiny fog tornadoes swirled gently around their paddles and the night above Cumberland Falls when they built a fire on a beach and watched rapids flash across the river. But, as it presented gifts, the river also presented danger. A fifteen-hour rain downstream of Wolf Creek Dam raised the river eight feet overnight, and a thunderstorm blew 60-mile-per-hour winds, forcing them to seek refuge under their canoe near a cornfield. Trevathan and Russell met many who helped them on their journey. Among others, a fisherman portaged them and their boat around a low-head dam near Pineville, and Vic Scoggin--who swam the length of the Cumberland in 1996--met them for a fried chicken dinner at Salt Creek Campground in Middle Tennessee. Coldhearted River explores the river's past, invoking the ghosts of the Shawnee and Cherokee, Daniel Boone and the French fur trappers who arrived before him, early settlers of Kentucky and Tennessee, such as James Robertson and John Donelson, and a binge-drinking ex-farmer named Ulysses Grant, who won his first significant battle at Fort Donelson, early in the Civil War. Entertaining and nostalgic, Coldhearted River will put readers at the bow of Trevathan and Russell's journey as the river controlled it--at its own pace, sometimes slow, sometimes fast and turbulent, but never dull, and never disappointing.
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Arnow arrived asked Randy bank barge Barkley Bell County bend blue bluff boat ramp Bobby Boone bridge Burkesville Burnside cabin camera camp campground campsite canoeists Charley Cherokee Corps of Engineers County couple Cumberland Falls Cumberland River Daniel Boone dark Donelson downriver downstream Dragging Canoe feet ferry fish fishermen floated gear going Hanging Maw Harlan Harlan County Harriet Arnow head hour Indians Jasper Julie Kentucky kids knew Lake Cumberland land Lara lived load lock looked Mack marina miles morning motor mouth muddy Nashville night Ohio Old Hickory paddled park passed plastic pulled raft rain Randy's reservoirs riprap road roared rock seemed Shawnee shoals shoreline side Smithland snake stopped storm swim talk Tennessee River tent thought told trash trees turned upriver upstream Vic Scoggin waited wakes walked Wolf Creek Dam yards