Saturday, June 15, 2019

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Size comparison

Today the M/V Eugenie P. Jones of Canal Barge Company pushed another component of the Monaca cracker through this area. As many of the vessels making the trip do, the Jones stopped at Kenova, dropped its load and headed down to Catlettsburg for supplies.

In case you wonder how the size of the Jones' load compares with a common Ohio River towboat, here it is next to the Mary Artie Brannon.

Big, huh?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Discussion on the barge

Have you ever seen a couple of people talking and from their gestures wondered what they were talking about?

I have.

Friday, June 7, 2019

My latest river column

When I was asked to write a personal column on this subject, I thought I had kept it really, really short. When I did a word count, it came out to around 950. I could have written five times that many. But the limit was around 600. Oh well.

M/V Nancy Sturgis

Yesterday morning I saw the M/V Nancy Sturgis passing Huntington. This was taken from Huntington looking over toward Bradrick, Ohio.

The white church is Defender United Methodist Church. I've been told the church bell came from the steamboat Defender. Which came first I don't know.

And here's the prop wash from the Sturgis, which was pushing 12 barges of stone loaded to 10 feet.

I guess it takes most if not all of what an 1,800-horsepower boat's got to push more than 20,000 tons of stone against the current.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Stairway to heaven?

Nah, this isn't heaven. It's Huntington, West Virginia. Or #almostheaven

But it was nice to be able to go from the river bank back up the hill on this organic, sustainable, non-GMO staircase.

My thanks to whoever discovered this and all those over the years who have kept it up through constant use.

Campsite on the river bank

This morning while I was down on the Ohio River bank getting photos of the M/V Nancy Sturgis, I saw this. It looks like the remains of a homeless person's camp, although it could be a temporary shelter for a local fisherman, now abandoned.

It would not surprise me if this were an abandoned homeless camp. At this particular place, I've found what otherwise would be a perfectly good sleeping bag if it hadn't been left exposed to weather and high water, and I've found a shopping cart (or buggy, as my wife calls it) from a store 27 blocks away.

I have no proof any of this is from a homeless person, but the homeless tend to gather on the river bank here as elsewhere. I wondered about the sleeping bag — who bought it and why; if a person was trying to help a homeless person but the homeless person didn't care, or if he simply abandoned it for some reason; and if so, does it do that much good to go out of your way to help.

I say the last part because burnout is not uncommon among people I know who volunteer time and money to help the less fortunate. Sometimes they walk away because they feel they've been taking advantage of. Sometimes they just have to move on to other things.

Anyway, those are the thoughts this sight brought to my mind.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Another day, another tug-and-tow combo

I had a quick freelance assignment today that required me to locate boats to photograph. In this case, I caught up with the tugboat Tristen and the towboat Brittany Lynn.

And I found these two guys out on the barge.

Now to see if there are any others approaching this area. They seem to be pretty frequent lately.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

M/V Ms Nicole passes Huntington

10th anniversary

It was ten years ago today that the Ohio River Blog launched. A lot of things were going on then, and a lot has changed.

Back then I had just lost my job of 30 years. I was a victim of downsizing. So six days after that, this blog appeared. I needed something to keep my busy while I looked for work, and given my interest in almost all things having to do with the Ohio and its tributaries, it seemed the logical thing to do.

It was a good time to start a blog. Blogging was popular. Towing companies were launching lots of new boats. Coal was big, and boats were everywhere.

But over time people drifted away from reading and moved more toward podcasts and videos. If you're not into politics, you're not going to keep your readership. As interest in this blog waned and as more and more things at home demanded my attention, I got to putting up fewer new posts. And people stopped commenting. So far this year I've had only ten posts worth publishing, and most of those were in February.

I looked at Google Analytics to see how the readership was doing. Based on those numbers and the huge amount of spam I get -- most of it using grammar and syntax that betray the fact the writers' native language is not English -- I came to the conclusion that about half my readership is from Russia and former Soviet republics.

So what now? I'll stay on here, although I don't see posting picking up until something big happens. Even then, I'm tired of working to provide free content when people who make YouTube videos can make some money from their content.

I'm thinking of a few videos I can make, and I am working on a couple of longer-term things that could be more lucrative. Even if they're not profitable, they will be fun.

So please hang around. I don't know if this will keep going for another decade. We'll just have to seel.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

M/V Linda Little

A normal photo ...

And one with some HDR added.

Sorry for the hiatus. There's a lot going one around here, especially with grandchild number two due any time in the next couple of weeks. Plus we're coming out of the drab mud season of river photos (except when we get some nice snow or fog) and now the hills are greening back up.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Two boats

First, the Neil N. Diehl, seen last Sunday. The first photo was taken at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, looking back at the Kenova, W.Va., railroad bridge. The others were taken at Ashland, Kentucky.

Yesterday the AEP Legacy was in the area, so I went to Lock and Dam 27 to get a couple of images.

Eight or nine years ago, we saw these two boats a lot more often in this area than we do now, but things change, right?

Sunday, March 24, 2019

M/V Niel N. Diehl

We had an infrequent visitor to our area this past week. We used to see Ingram's Neil N. Diehl up this way every so often, but as the shipping markets have changed, companies have reallocated their resources, and the Diehl is not up here the way it was about 10 years ago.

Here it is downbound passing Ashland, Ky., today.

I'll have more pictures later, but I was so pleased with this one that I just had to get it out there now.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

That was the week that was, 3/16/18

One day late.

One evening I headed down to Catlettsburg to take advantage of the light forgetting (a) that it was later in the day than I thought, and (b) there's a hill behind Catlettsburg, and it can get late awful early there, to steal a line from Yogi Berra, even if he was a Yankee at the time.

At least I got to see the O. Nelson Jones and one of the 2010-era AEP boats there together.

And yesterday evening, as the golden hour began, I caught the Robinson coming down the river. The light and shadows were off a bit from what I wanted to get of the boat itself, but look at the elongated shadow of the bridge pier out toward the buoy.

The Jean Akin came down the river right after the Robinson, so I had time to compose those photos just as the sun was getting in a better spot.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

M/V Jean Akin

This evening I was lucky enough to catch it in the golden hour before sunset.

Nice light, eh?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Barge spray

Or whatever it's called.

M/V Leslie M. Neal, if anyone is interested.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Steamboating on the Yukon River

If you have 20 minutes, this video on YouTube has a pretty interesting look at steamboat traffic on the Yukon River in the Yukon Territory in the 1920s.

It must have been something to see back in the day.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Painting the Purple People Bridge

OK, I can understand why some highway bridges over the Ohio River don't have sidewalks. Some such bridges are for roads on the Eisenhower interstate highway system. Those highways aren't supposed to have pedestrians on them to begin with, so that's understandable. And some bridges have a city on one side of the river and now a whole lot on the other.

But some bridges do have nice sidewalks. And at least two over the Ohio — the Purple People Bridge at Cincinnati and the Big Four Bridge at Louisville — are former railroad bridges retrofitted for pedestrian traffic. If there are other pedestrian-only bridges that I don't know about, please let me know.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that the Purple People Bridge needs paint. From a news release dated March 3:

The Newport Southbank Bridge Company (NSBC), the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that owns and operates the Purple People Bridge, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for capital improvements the pedestrian-only bridge between Cincinnati and Newport.

The GoFundMe campaign seeks to obtain financial support from the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky community in connection with NSBC’s capital campaign to raise at least $1 million to repaint and maintain the iconic structure. ...

Every month an average of 71,000 people run, walk, bike and skate across the Purple People Bridge. The bridge is owned and operated by the Newport Southbank Bridge Company, a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates and maintains the bridge. The bridge can be rented out for private events, weddings, and parties.

I've been on the bridge once. The next time I go to Cincinnati, I'll do it again if the weather is good. I will say that walking up the hill to get on the bridge, at least on the Kentucky side, can be a gasser if you don't have good lungs or if you aren't in the best physical shape. Once I was up on the bridge, it was pretty enjoyable.

Entering one lane of the Purple People Bridge from the Kentucky side.

When I checked this evening, the GoFundMe campaign had raised $1,240 of its $100,000 goal.

I hope to be in the Louisville area this spring to check something out. If I do make it down there, I plan to give the Big Four Bridge a try. If you have any suggestions about best days of the week or best time of day for doing so, please pass them along.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Shale gas in the upper Ohio Valley

It's no secret in these parts that natural gas has taken market share from coal in the electric generating industry. The growth of fracking has also held back the development of wind and solar, at least for now.

Monday, March 4, 2019

From the archives: M/V O. Nelson Jones

I was looking for something having nothing to do with the river when I found a few photos from October 2015. It's the O. Nelson Jones heading into the late afternoon sun.

Nice-looking boat.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

That Was The Week That Was, 3/2/19

How about a collection of pictures and stuff from this week? We had high water and stuff. As for me, it was a busy week with taking care of taxes, my son's FAFSA, more taxes, getting a new temporary money-making opportunity, and more taxes.

So here are the photos with minimal comment. A word of warning: Some of these were processed in methods I'm trying, so if they look a little odd, blame me, not the camera or the software.

P.S. I took the name for this post from a TV show that aired 55 years ago. I remember watching it, but I don't know that I understood everything that happened on it.