Adam and I were headed up Ohio 7 today, just below Gallipolis, when I saw three empty barges coming around a bend in the river toward us. I joked to Adam that they were pushed by the AEP Future. Soon enough, we saw that one of the new AEP boats was pushing the empties. Adam saw another tow right behind the first and wondered if it was the AEP Mariner.
Wouldn't you know it was. We had to stop and get photos of two of the new AEP boats heading the same direction in one picture. The fact we had my 15-month-old granddaughter (Adam's niece) in the back seat complicated things a little bit.
When we found a safe place to pull off the road, we still couldn't ID the boats except that the one in the distance had to be either the AEP Mariner or the Chuck Zebula, based on its pilothouse windows. Adam wondered if the boat in front could be the Dan Elder, as that would be the oldest and newest of the boats in the same picture. I got off one shot of the lead boat, zoomed in and read the nameboard.
"You're smart," I said.
As we stood there planning our impromptu photo shoot, we noticed the Elder was slowing to a near stop while the Mariner kept coming ahead. The question would be the angle we would get when the Mariner overtook the Elder. As it turned out, we got a pretty good one.
We watched them as long as we could. We took turns withe the camera. While one person shot, the other kept his hands on the toddler. I let her walk around a little, but never close to the top of the bank or the road, of course.
I noticed in the second shot that the smokestacks of the Mariner partly block the Elder's nameboard. A second or two later ... that's how it goes.
Adam got one wide shot of the two boats and their tows. He apologized that he got my granddaughter and me in the lower right corner, but I'm not complaining.
I used this last one as my cover photo on Facebook. I told folks there was a lot going on in this photo, and now you know a good part of that story.