I know where you come from, and there are plenty just like you. Sure you can run it from PO to 61 with the water off, and there are only a couple of bad places. PO shoals, Coldwater, and 61 bridge. Everything in between is pretty easily avoided, but the above will always leave a mark of some kind.
If you want to avoid it, get out and walk the boat through. Also,try to avoid floating on days when TVA turns the water off any earlier then midnight the day before.