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Lake Life With Molley And Chad Podcast

Jul 20, 2023

Episode 26:  In this episode, Molley and Chad continue their focus on highlighting several different lakes in Kentucky and Tennessee, Trasee and Fess are here to provide insights and recommendations about Norris Lake.

Norris Lake, located in Tennessee, is a popular destination for lake enthusiasts and vacationers alike. With its vast size, muddy waters, and unique floating communities, Norris Lake offers a one-of-a-kind experience for those seeking a lakeside getaway.

Trasee and Fess have been going to Norris Lake since 2005, giving them a wealth of experience and knowledge about the area. They own a Sea Ray 220 Sundeck, which is not their first boat. They talk about their earlier days with a smaller boat (Sea Ray 190).

When asked why they chose Norris Lake out of all the lakes in the region, Trasee explains that they were introduced to it by a friend. They used to gather with friends for Labor Day vacations, exploring different places each year. Eventually, they heard about Norris Lake and decided to give it a try. They initially had a challenging experience with low water levels and muddy conditions, but they fell in love with the lake and have been returning ever since.

Norris Lake is a man-made lake, spanning 33,000 acres with 809 miles of shoreline. There are many marinas scattered across the lake, with Trasee and Fess admitting that they have only visited five out of the twenty-one marinas available. They also mention that all marinas have boat ramps, making it convenient for boaters to access the lake.

Trasee and Fess have a home in Andersonville.  It’s near the middle of the lake.  They have easy access to at least 5 marinas.

The Floating Communities on Norris Lake

One unique feature of Norris Lake is the presence of floating communities. There are approximately 2,100 floating houses on the lake, and many marinas host these communities. The hosts inquire about Trasee and Fess's thoughts on the floating houses, and they reveal that they were initially intrigued by the idea but changed their minds after speaking to people who had experience with them.

Lake Like Is Fun and Convenient

Lake life is fun and convenient. Trasee and Fess discuss their love for the lake and the reasons why they chose to embrace the lake life lifestyle. Their stories highlight the enjoyment and convenience that comes with living near the water.

Trasee's love for the water began at a young age when she had the opportunity to spend time on a friend's boat. She quickly realized how much fun it was and became hooked on the water. Fess, on the other hand, grew up as a river rat, spending his time on the Ohio River and Kentucky River. When Trasee expressed her desire to explore other bodies of water, they decided to venture into lake life.  They spent 12-13 years boating on the river, but Trasee really wanted to go back to the lake.

The convenience of lake life is further emphasized by the accessibility of the water. Most places on Norris Lake allow residents to walk down to their docks, making it easy to enjoy the water without having to travel far. This ease of access is a significant advantage for those who love water activities and want to spend as much time on the lake as possible.

Fess mentions that the lake is controlled by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which uses it for hydroelectricity. This control ensures that the lake's water levels are regulated, providing a stable and enjoyable experience for boaters and residents. Additionally, Norris Lake is known for its clear waters, thanks to the Powell River and Clinch River that feed into it. This clarity adds to the beauty and allure of the lake.

Lake activities are relaxing and fun

Trasee and Fess mention that they are pleasure boating enthusiasts. They enjoy cruising around the lake, stopping to relax and have a good time. When they have guests or visitors, they bring out rafts, tubes, and skis for more adventurous water activities. Lake activities can cater to both those seeking relaxation and those looking for more excitement.

Chad and Molley also enjoy floating on a giant mat or lily pad. They describe how it can be a fun activity for both adults and children. Trasee and Fess mention that when adults are on the mat, it turns into a floating bar, with everyone enjoying their drinks and conversation. This highlights the social aspect of lake activities and how they can bring people together for a good time.

Trasee and Fess also mention their favorite spot on the lake called the Big Water, which offers beautiful scenery and a chance to swim and relax. They enjoy exploring different parts of the lake and taking in its size and beauty. They appreciate the fact that Norris Lake has remote areas where they can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature.

Advice to New Boaters on Norris Lake

One of the main advantages of boating on Norris Lake is the ease of access. Unlike other bodies of water, such as the Ohio River, Norris Lake does not have a strong current, making it much easier to navigate in and out of with a boat on a trailer. This is particularly beneficial for new boaters who may not have as much experience maneuvering their boat. The absence of a current also means that there are no difficult angles to navigate when getting the boat onto the trailer.

Additionally, the lake offers a peaceful and serene environment for boating. While weekends can be busy with other boaters, it is still possible to find coves and hideaways to escape the crowds and enjoy some solitude.  It’s great to go out early in the morning to avoid the rush and enjoy the calmness of the lake. They love sitting out and watching the sunset, highlighting the beauty and tranquility of Norris Lake.

For new boaters, Trasee and Fess suggest avoiding going out on a holiday weekend for the first time, as these times can be particularly crowded and overwhelming. Instead, they recommend choosing a quieter time to get familiar with the lake and its navigation. It is also important to scope out the area ahead of time and know where the rental and dock are located. This can help prevent any confusion or getting lost on the water.

In terms of the lake itself, Norris Lake offers a unique experience compared to other lakes in Kentucky. Trasee and Fess have visited other lakes such as Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow and Taylorsville Lake.  They prefer for Norris Lake due to its distinct features. Norris Lake has many fingers and coves, providing opportunities for exploration and discovering hidden spots. In contrast, Dale Hollow is described as a big bowl with islands, lacking the same level of diversity in its landscape.

Chad always brings up a story about Molley at Dale Hollow. After a long day of enjoying the lake, she described the water as feeling thicker, possibly due to the minerals present in it. This unique characteristic sparked a debate about whether to speed up or slow down the boat, showcasing the interesting conversations and experiences that can arise from boating.

If You Could Buy Any Boat, What Would You Buy?

Chad asks them about their dream boats.  Trasee immediately says, a Sea Ray 270 SLX.  Fess loves the Sea Ray 34 Sundancer.  He thinks it a great cruiser option for the lake.

Fess talks about Froggie’s Patio Bar and Stardust Marina on Lake Norris.  The group talks about how people are accessorizing their slips in very creative ways.  It may not be the most relaxing, but it’s another great aspect of the Lake Life.

Boating Creates Lasting Family Memories

Trasee talks about their experiences boating with their son, Layne, and how it has brought them closer together as a family. They mention that when their son was younger, he would always go out boating with them, bringing along his friends as well. They recall one particular memory of having a group of friends out on the boat, with one of the younger brothers refusing to get off the tube. This memory highlights the fun and excitement that boating can bring to a family, creating moments that are cherished for years to come.

There’s also the freedom and relaxation that boating provides. Boating allows you to escape from your daily routines and enjoy the peace and tranquility of being out on the water. They talk about how boating has become a way for them to reconnect as a family, especially now that they have a place at Norris Lake. Having a place to stay at the lake makes it easier for them to get away and spend quality time together. They express their excitement at the prospect of their son joining them more often now that they have a place at the lake.

Lake Norris is also known for having some great food at the marina restaurants.  Most of the marinas offer some form of local entertainment.  Trasee talks about why Shanghai Marina is one of her favorites.  There’s a wide variety of food and settings. 

Community and Friendship at the Lake

There’s a sense of community and friendship that can be found at the lake. Boating allows you to meet new people and form lifelong friendships. The boating community is always willing to help each other out and offer advice. They also talk about how boating has provided them with opportunities to have conversations and create memories that they may not have had otherwise.

Memorable Lake Adventures and Laughter

Trasee recalls a summer where they realized they weren't using their boat as much as they would like. They reflect on the time and effort it takes to prepare the boat for each outing, but ultimately decide that the memories and experiences they have on the lake make it all worth it. They discuss the tough decisions they have to make, but ultimately conclude that the sense of community and friendship they have found at the lake is invaluable.

Greatest Lake Life Memory

Molley asks them to share a key memory involving Lake Life. Fess shares a memorable experience of being at the lake with friends. They recall a Labor Day weekend where they witnessed a friend sitting in a motorized tube, surrounded by the NFL cheerleaders from Cincinnati. The image of this friend, with a hat on, cigar in hand, and reading a book, is a source of laughter and amusement for the hosts. They remember this moment and it has become a story they share whenever they get together.

Trasee shares the memory of their son learning to ski for the first time. This moment is etched in their memory and brings a sense of pride and joy. She also recalls jumping off a bridge at Norris Lake, an activity that is common at many lakes. Despite hurting herself in the process, the adventure and laughter that accompanied these experiences was worth it.

Molley and Chad describe a time when Chad decided to jump off a high spot, when he thought Molley was cheering him on.  Turns out she was trying to tell him she was out of film.  Chad had to jump again!

Chad also discuss the fun and excitement of tubing at the lake. They share stories of tubing with friends and the determination they all had to hold on and not let go. They recall the sheer joy and laughter that comes from being on a tube, even if it means getting whipped around and potentially hurting themselves.

Fess talks about the time their nieces and the fun they have had with them on the lake. They mention how hilarious it was when the girls confidently claimed that no one could knock them off.  But, they had to stop so the girls could fix their hair.

Defining Which Job Each Person Has

Fess mentions how they used to trailer their boat until they bought a condo with a slip and lift. They describe this as a game changer, emphasizing the convenience and ease it brings to their boating experience.

The conversation then turns to the roles each person plays in their boating adventures. They mention how one person handles the truck while the other handles the trailer. They share stories of their partners' impressive skills in maneuvering the boat and trailer, creating a sense of admiration and camaraderie. This highlights the sense of community and friendship that can be found at Norris Lake, as people come together to share their love for boating.

Closing Words

Trasee and Fess invite everyone they can to come and enjoy the lake with them. This highlights the inclusive and welcoming nature of Norris Lake, where people can come together and create lasting memories.  We’re looking forward to creating even more memories and laughter in the upcoming summer and cherish the moments they have already experienced at the lake.


We’d like to thank today’s sponsor and encourage you to contact them for your Lake Cumberland real estate needs.

Walker Realty


Phone Number:  (270) 384-3661

That’s a wrap for this episode.  We’d like to thank our friends Trasee and Fess for guest hosting with us.  We hope you found it helpful, insightful and maybe a little entertaining. 

Thanks for Listening!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider sharing it with your social media friends.  We hope to see you out there soon.  Until next time, here’s to warm weather and calm waters!

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