Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tims Ford Lake Memories

When I was 11 or 12 years old, back in the early 70s, my family camped at a new lake in Tennessee, That lake was Tims Ford Lake which is located near Winchester TN. At that time, the lake was only a few years old and there wasn't much development around the lake. It almost seemed a little desolate. A few years ago, I painted this vintage style map of Tims Ford Lake. In fact, that's what I do, I paint lake, river, and bay maps, but more about that later.

I remember as a boy, camping on the lake during a hot summer weekend with my father, mother, uncle, aunt and cousins. My father and uncle were very close and had been fishing together for years. This was our normal fishing family and we fished many lakes and rivers together. We arrived in our 1972 White Ford Pickup that had an "Open Road" slide-in camper mounted on the back. We pulled a boat trailer with a Sears 14 feet aluminum Jon Boat. My uncle had the same rigs, but different brands. Going down the road we looked like a band of gypsies, so someone coined the name, "Fishing Gypsies." 

Last week, my wife and I went on a road trip to Tims Ford Lake. I wanted to learn a little more about the lake, see how it has changed and take some photos. We visited both of the marinas located on the lake, Holiday Landing Marina and Tims Ford Marina. Our first stop was Holiday Landing Marina located on Fall Lick Creek. 

As you can see, the marina is snuggled right in the middle of Fall Lick Creek making for a beautiful setting. I have noticed that marinas are becoming more and more crowded during the spring and summer. I think that family's are looking for a mini vacation and marinas fit that bill. 

There's a great grill at the marina appropriately named the Bluegill Grill. I heard that during the summer months they have a fantastic band that plays on the weekends. I bet this place is lively on a summer Saturday Night. 

The next marina visited was Tims Ford Marina located on a small cove that branches off Anderson Branch Cove. TFM is a large marina with many amenities such as cabins, RV spaces, and boat rental. 

We stopped by the Hard Dock Cafe at Tims Ford Marina to see what's new. Even though it was early spring, many folks were at the cafe. While munching down on some great food, you can enjoy the wonderful view over looking the marina.

Tims Ford is a beautiful clean lake and yes, you can even catch a trout! I haven't spoke much about fishing but, the tail waters of Tim Ford Lake, the Elk River, supports trout year round. Interestingly, the lake has kept it's feeling of remoteness while adding great amenities and attractions. Remember, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!    

A bit about myself. About seven years ago, I began to paint lakes, rivers and bays maps in order to bring back those golden lake memories like the one above.

I call them "Leo Lakes Treasured Maps" and have painted over 200 from 36 states using USGS maps as guides. I feel like FORREST GUMP who started to run and run and run. I paint, and paint and paint rivers, lakes and bays. I have a goal to paint 1001.

They make a truly unique and special gift for the lake house owner, lake lover and fisherman. 
Here's what makes them so Special!

I hide a few fish and even a tiny mermaid in the waters of my lakes. Yep, but they're very shy and don't want to be found.Folks just love'm especially the kids. You might even think they move around overtime.

You will find no road names, county, or state lines on my maps. I have found that folks enjoy traveling the roads with their eyes, while trying to get their bearing. I call this the "Leo Lakes gaze."

I call my maps Treasured Maps because every treasure has a Ruby and so do my maps, each have a Red Ruby Meridian.

I add a vintage plane flying over my maps to signify an adventure to your treasured lake, river, or bay.

You will find wildlife in all my maps. These signify the natural beauty of your treasured lake, river or bay. I use wildlife that is common to the subject lake, such as Canadian Geese, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagles and others.

You can add a star or symbol with a few words to mark that special place, it may be the location of the lake house, the spot where you caught that trophy fish or some grand view. This will make a very special gift for the lake lover. 

Did you know that you can always tell if its morning or evening on a Leo Lakes map? Just look at the shadows cast by the wildlife, is the shadow on the east or west? If it's on the west, then it’s morning time. Oh yeah, I have had folks tell me that they change through the day, but don't believe them.

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