Sunday, November 16, 2014

Winter is coming (oh, that's so original)

Today was wet, cold and gray -- the kind of day some people live for, but not me. Most of the color is gone from the hills, and down by the Ohio River it looked kind of like one of those old sepia photos.

I did see some leaves in the water that looked interesting.

But other than that, the landscape reminded me that warm times and green hills are over, and it's past time to get ready for cold weather. It's a task I rarely perform adequately.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A bridge photo before the polar vortex arrives

The weather man says warm weather ends tonight. I could see the clouds move in right around dark. I figured it was as good a time as any to get a new photo of the Huntington East End bridge. So ...

This bridge was the first in this region to be lit at night. Perhaps if it were done today, they would have used something other than orangish sodium vapor lights. But what's done is done. At least the cables look good.

There are many good angles for getting pictures of this bridge. I've discovered maybe half of them.

(As a reminder, unless otherwise stated, all photographs on this blog are copyrighted by me and are not to be copied, downloaded or used without my permission).

Friday, November 7, 2014

Oops. I missed an anniversary.

Lucky for me, not anything involving my wife. Instead, I was thinking that I needed to get ready to mark the year the Dravo Viking class of towboat turns 40. You know, when it hits middle age.

But I thought, am I talking 1975 or 1974. Then I did a little checking, and I missed it by a year. There were Vikings on the river in 1973. All of which means I need to find a library that has 40-plus-year-old issues of the Waterways Journal so I can track down when the first Viking was launched.

Soon enough the Omar and the Erna E. Honeycutt, which I still think of as the Omega, will reach 35. Maybe I'll remember that one.

Not a great day for river photography

I had this great idea last night. Why not go through my hard drive and highlight some of my best Ohio River photos from November 7 of years past?

When I looked, I didn't find many such photos. I guess part of it is that when the leaves fall, I tend to lose interest. Unless there is snow or something to hide the drab hillsides in this area from early November to the middle of April, taking pictures of boats or bridges loses a lot of appeal for me. Fog or rain helps, but a landscape without green leaves is kind of dull.

However, I did find four pictures that I could share. The first three are from 2010, when Campbell sent the Bill Stile and the D.A. Grimm down the river together. I thought one of them was deadheading, then I saw a small amount of prop wash behind the Grimm.

The Stile and Grimm were followed closely by the Caleb Lay.

Then in 2011, I went to a favored boat ramp to learn how to use the camera on an Android phone. This was one of the pictures I took.

And that was about it. Some days you get a picture. Some days you don't.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

R.I.P. M/V Warren

What's left of the old towboat Warren has been on dry land at the Tri-State Fire Academy and Inland Waterways Academy just outside Huntington, W.Va., for several years. From the looks of things, it has been used to train firefighters in enclosed spaces. today Adam and I drove by there, and the pilothouse has collapsed. Why, I don't know but I will try to ask.

I don't know when the Warren was built, but it was already old- and not-so-good-looking when I got some pictures of it on the water on July 4, 1985, in the lower approach of the Gallipolis Locks and Dam. According to my 1993 Inland River Record, it was owned by G&C Towing of Point Pleasant when it was taken out of service and off the official records in 1991. Such a sad ending.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

New look for an old boat

An old boat is getting a new look at South Point, Ohio.

This is the M/V Titan as seen waiting above the Gallipolis Locks and Dam in the 1980s.

And this is the boat today as seen at the McGinnis dock this weekend.

My apologies for the quality of this image. I had to shoot it from across the river and a mile away.

Murray bought Consol's river operations when it bought five mines from Consol about a year ago. Along with the new colors scheme, the boat also has a new name -- the Luciana Moore.

The Titan was built by St. Louis Ship in 1953. It's one of the relatively few boats on the river that's older than I am. The distinguishing feature of the remodeled boat is the modern-looking pilothouse, of course. There are several of us who want to get good pictures of it once it's on the river and in service.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Trying something to see if it works

Here, I decided to use a timberhead at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington to see if its shadow could block the setting sun, allowing me to get a photo of the Robert C. Bridge, known locally as the 6th Street bridge.

Meanwhile, some of my friends and acquaintances are in Louisville for the big goings on there. They seem to be having a good time. I wish I could be with them. Maybe for the bicentennial. I'll be very old then, but it will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More on bridge tolls and such

Bloomberg has a story about how the Ohio River bridges project at Louisville could be a model for public-private partnerships for future infrastructure projects, as opposed to what happened when Indiana leased its turnpike to a private operator.

As noted here before, most of the high bridges built over the Ohio River in the early part of the 20th century, at least in my area, were done by private companies. Private entities operated ferries, so it was natural for private entities for build and operate bridges, charging tolls for the opportunity to cross, just as ferries charged tolls.

It's understandable that people who pay fuel taxes for highways and bridges don't want to be charged again to use a bridge. Believe me, I feel that way every time I drive the hundred miles or so of the West Virginia Turnpike. As far as curves and grades so, it's probably the most harrowing four-lane road I have driven, particularly at night. But at present levels of funding, there is no way the West Virginia Division of Highways could take over that road and maintain it without something else being neglected.

Also, there are about twenty miles or so of U.S. 35 along the Kanawha River between Point Pleasant and Charleston that need to be upgraded to four lanes. You have four lanes for most of the way with two lanes through farm country in the middle. That part of the road is dangerous, too, especially when you're driving at or above the 55 mph speed limit and the grille of an 18 wheeler fills your rear view mirror. Much of the traffic on the road is trucks moving between Columbus and Charleston. Locals don't want tolls, and that resistance is slowing down completion of the road.

I understand that people in northern Kentucky are resisting the idea of tolls on a new bridge to replace to take some of the burden off the Brent Spence Bridge. But with large bridge projects costing in the billions now, something will have to give.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I guess monsoon season is here

I went to the boat ramp to see if there was anything to see in the rain, and I saw that I just missed the Nashville Hunter. But I did get one halfway decent image of it going under the bridge.

I usually don't like going out in the rain, but sometimes you get some good pictures down by the river by doing so. In case you wonder, I did not touch this image other than to add the copyright reminder and to crop it in 16-by-9 format. Otherwise this is how it came out of the camera. It was a black and white world this evening here in Huntington WV.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Last batch of W.P. Snyder Jr. photos ... for now

I might catch the boat when it comes back upriver. Until then, these are probably the last photos I'll be posting from last Thursday.