Friday, April 30, 2010

Two days and a camera

Here are a few photos from Wednesday and Thursday.

First, the mv. Transporter, seen from Harris Riverfront Park in downtown Huntington, W.Va., with Chesapeake, Ohio, in the background.

A few minutes later, the East End bridge, with the morning sun high in the sky. The plume of vapor behind the bridge is from an asphalt plant.

Near sunset, the mv. Lady Mary passes under the East End bridge, downbound.

Around 8:45 p.m., the lights on the bridge came on. One of these days, I'll get the two nighttime photos of the bridge that I want. This isn't one of them.

Thursday morning, the mv. Mongah came down the river in a heavy fog. As you can tell from the bush at the top of the bank, the fog was entirely on and over the river. 

The fog burned off as the Mongah passed my position along Route 2 a few miles north of Huntington.

If you want to see more photos from Wednesday and Thursday, you can check my Flickr photostream here and here and here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

24 hours

I spent a pleasant evening on the banks of the Ohio River yesterday with Adam as we tried to get a decent photo of the Huntington, W.Va., East End bridge at night. Nighttime photography has been my curse in the digital age. I was pretty good at it with film. Perhaps I need to move back that way. Adam and I got some decent shots last night, but I'm starting to think I liked night on film a lot better.

Yesterday evening was part of an amazing 24 hours of river sights, most of which I was able to photograph. There was the mv. Transporter in the glare of a cloudless morning with Chesapeake, Ohio, in the background. I'm sorry I wasn't able to get the silvery reflection of its wake. There was the East End bridge in that same glare, lit from above by the sun. There were the photos of the bridge at night, including one of the Lady Mary downbound under it, followed by the James G. Hines upbound.

And this morning, I had to be out and about while a heavy fog lay over parts of the river. I got some decent shots of the mv. Mongah in it. I saw the Mongahas I was driving down Route 2, but I had to travel another mile before I could safely park and shoot. Because traffic was so heavy, I couldn't hear the Mongah coming. I didn't realize it was upon me until I saw the glint of sunlight off something near the pilothouse, perhaps a searchlight.

Finally, there were good morning shots under and near the bridge.

Before I go, an Adam story from yesterday evening. We were at the boat ramp at the mouth of Indian Guyan Creek on the Ohio side. The sun was setting. Adam looked downriver and saw a boat under the 6th Street bridge at downtown Huntington. He said it was either a 1960s Dravo or a boat built by Jeffboat. Mind you, the kid is 10 years old and the bridge was almost three miles away. And most of what he could see was a silhouette. But he nailed it. It was the Hines.

That's not the first time he's done something like that.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Helicopter seeds

The other day, when Adam and I went up on the 6th Street bridge at Huntington, W.Va., to get photos of the mv. Linda Reed passing Huntington, he gathered as many "helicopter seeds" as his hands would hold. One by one, he threw them off the bridge, counting the seconds until they hit the Ohio River 87 feet below (usually more than 30).

The breeze was at our back, so when he let them fly, they went out where we could see them and he could count the seconds. Sometimes the breeze carried them so far he couldn't see them when they hit the water.

Before we left the bridge, he found a better way to launch the seeds. Every few feet, the sidewalk had drain holes that went straight down. Adam would drop a seed in the hole and watch the breeze catch it and shoot it forward like it came out of a gun.

From the archives 7: the Delta Queen

These photos are from the late summer or early fall of 1984, taken when I knew the Delta Queen was coming up the Ohio River. There’s a spot at the mouth of Hildebrand Run that gives a clear, straight shot up the river to the Gallipolis Locks and Dam. So I went there.

The first photo shows the Delta Queen coming up on the locks, with the Oliver S. Shearer tied to the West Virginia shore.

This second shows the Delta Queen approaching the locks themselves.

In October 2008, I followed the Delta Queen on its final cruise down the Ohio River through my area. I caught it after work between Crown City and Miller, Ohio, so I could have the setting sun at my back and shining on the boat. The river was smooth and glassy, making for some fine reflections.

As darkness was about to fall, I got my last photos as the boat finished passing old Lock and Dam 27. I headed home, and the last I saw of the Delta Queen, I was crossing the Huntington East End bridge, with the boat a few miles up the river in the rapidly fading light.

And that wraps up this trip down Nostalgia River. Eventually, I’ll scan some more old photos.

(Reminder: All photos on this blog, except as otherwise noted, are copyrighted by me, Jim Ross, and are not to be downloaded, used or reproduced without my written permission.)



From the archives X: A bit of housecleaning

Before I post the final installment of photos from the 1970s and 1980s, I need to take care of a couple of items.

First, most of the people who have contacted me about that green boat owned by Oil Transport Co. say it was the Bayou Beouf. Maybe that's why I thought the original photo was illegible. I have a sister who has lived in Louisiana for 30 years or more, and she knows a lot of Cajuns. Maybe I should ask her how to pronounce that. At least she let me know how to pronounce "Charlie Melancon."

Second, the photo of the old Ashland Oil boats drew some attention. On his Flickr photostream, C.R. Neale posted one of the old Valvoline as it was tied up the bank prior to its being scrapped. You can see that photo here.

Barry Griffith sends word that the Aetna-Louisville and the Allied-Ashland both are on the job in South America. The Aetba-Louisville is now the Don Eduardo, and the Allied-Ashland was renamed the Loyd C. Beesecker.

The final archive installment should be up later today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A heron

I will put up the final installment of my archive series sometime this weekend. A couple of things have come up -- minor, but time-consuming -- that I want to address. Good things, actually, things that I'm happy to deal with.

Meanwhile, here are three heron photos that I got on Thursday at old Lock and Dam 27 near Proctorville, Ohio. I like shooting herons, although my equipment is not the best for doing so. It's good for closeups and shooting large objects, but it's not the best for getting close to wildlife that doesn't want you around. I'll get a new lens someday when I don't have better uses for $2,500 (paying down debts, buying a needed second vehicle, kids' education, fixing the house ... that sort of thing).

So here they are.

First, here it is looking intently into the Ohio River. It dipped its head a couple of times, but I wasn't close enough to see if it got anything.

I like this shot of it walking up the old guide wall, mainly because of how its legs are crossed.

And here it is flying away. Raise your wings, lean forward and flap. So simple.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Which is "better"?

What you see above are two versions of the same photo. That's the mv. Linda Reed seen after it had passed under the East End bridge at Huntington, W.Va., Thursday evening. One person in my household likes the full-frame shot. One person likes the close-in crop. This person asked me to put both versions on the blog and ask people which they prefer.

So here they are.

From the archives 5: Four boats and a powerhouse

In this next-to-last installment of the archive photos from the 1970s and 1980s, I thought I’d run the final towboat photos in the group.

First is this boat. The name of the boat is not clear in the original print, but I think it’s the Bayou Black of Oil Transport Co. This was taken in  late summer or early fall of 1984, I think. This may have been the only time I saw this boat on the Ohio River in the 1980s. I’m pretty sure this is from the only set photos of it that I have, at least under this name and paint scheme.

Second is one of my favorites, the mv. Omar of Ohio River Co. This was taken right above the old locks at the Gallipolis Locks and Dam, and I think it was taken at the cells that the boats used to help navigate the bend as they approached from upriver. I have no idea what the Omar was doing here, as it is facing upriver.


And this is the Capt. Charles H. Stone of G&C Towing Co. Captain Stone gave me some good interviews when I was a reporter. If memory serves, he had a historic slide show that, he said, shows a sequence of the only known photos of a steamboat exploding.

 Remember M/G Transport Services? Here’s the William F. Plettner as seen on a dreary October day in October 1983, I think.

 Finally, this is the powerhouse of the old Lock and Dam 26, which was replaced by the Gallipolis locks in 1937 as part of a program to improve navigation on the Kanawha River.  Yes, the Kanawha.

 As the story goes, Dam 26 raised its wickets and its pool one day, and the next morning people discovered that the dam had bowed and had to be rebuilt.

 The powerhouse stood for years after Lock and Dam 26 was demolished and was particularly visible from the Ohio side. It was demolished when the new locks were built. I can’t say exactly when it was removed, but I have a box of slides that I shot from sunup to evening on June 26, 1988, and it was still there.


(Reminder: All photos on this blog, except as otherwise noted, are copyrighted by me, Jim Ross, and are not to be downloaded, used or reproduced without my written permission.)


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A couple of news items

As thousands of people prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, The Courier-Journal of Louisville notes that the Ohio River is much cleaner than it was 40 years ago. The article notes that the easy sources of pollution -- those coming from a single point -- have been addressed, but the nonpoint sources are the major contributors now. Those include runoff from farms and pharmaceuticals that get flushed down the toilet and not removed by sewage treatment systems.


And construction on the hydroelectric power plant on the Kentucky side of the Meldahl Locks and Dam above Cincinnati is expected to begin on May 1, according to The Hamilton (Ohio) Journal-News.

Construction could take 3 1/2 years.



My condolences to the family of David K. Smith. His brother, Greg, was the pilot of the Misty Dawn. Greg drowned when the boat  sank in the Kanawha River earlier this week.

From the archives 4: the Becky Thatcher

A few weeks ago, when the Becky Thatcher sank at or near Pittsburgh, I had it in my head that I had seen the boat being towed down the Ohio River just below the Gallipolis Locks and Dam, probably around 1984, when I bought my Nikon FM2 camera. The other morning, I found those pictures.

This first one is of the Becky itself, in a drydock being pushed down the river by the mv. Charleston, which is out of the photo to the left, or a boat of similar design. The second photo shows the entire tow. I do not know the name of the smaller boat. Where it was going and what was to be done to it, I did not check, so I do not know.

Four archive entries down, two to go.

(Reminder: All photos on this blog, except as otherwise noted, are copyrighted by me, Jim Ross, and are not to be downloaded, used or reproduced without my written permission.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From the archives 3: The Mississippi Queen


The Mississippi Queen went into service in 1976, but it did not make its first trip up the Ohio River as far as Huntington WV until Aug. xx, 1985. Naturally, I was there to see the boat and to write about it for the Huntington newspaper.

Only a few people were at Harris Riverfront Park, then relatively new, to see the boat dock.

(One thing about this picture: In the background you can see the old 6th Street Bridge, built in the 1920s and replaced in the 1990s. That thing could be scary to drive across, especially if you had seen the rust on the metal members supporting the roadway. But that’s a blog entry for another time.).

That morning, I went aboard and interviewed people on the Mississippi Queen, including Commodore Harold DiMarrero (pardon me if I misspelled his name or got his first name wrong).  They gave me a tour of the boat, which felt more like a 1970s-era Hilton Hotel than it did the Delta Queen. The two boats definitely had two different feels to them.

By the time the Mississippi Queen left Huntington and headed upriver, a larger crowd had gathered at the park.

The kid in the red shirt didn't look too excited.

I wrote my story and, after work, headed upriver with my camera. I caught up with the boat near the community of Clipper Mills, Ohio. A dozen people or more had gathered at an old coal tipple to watch the MQ go by.

Several pleasure boats were escorting the MQ upriver. By then I had loaded my camera with slide film and had put another roll or two in my camera bag. I chased the MQ as far upriver as Point Pleasant, W.Va. There, at the park at the mouth of the Kanawha River, I photographed the Mississippi Queen passing by with the setting sun in the background and reflected on the Ohio River.

The next day, my story ran on the Local page of the Huntington paper. The photo (by the late Jack Burnett, a pleasant guy to work with) was so big that it took up the top half of the page.

In my story, I mentioned that some folks didn’t like the look and feel of the Mississippi Queen, so they nicknamed it the “Mis-Q.” Say it out loud, and you can hear the insult in that. But a headline writer for the Gallipolis, Ohio, paper didn’t get the joke, so they used “Mis-Q” in big letters on their main headline when their paper came out that afternoon.

On its downbound trip, I took my younger sister and the youngest son of one of my older sisters up to the Racine Locks and Dam to watch the boat lock through. In those pre-9/11 days, we could get close enough to the boat as it was in the lock to have conversations with passengers. One guy asked how the Cardinals were doing. I said I didn’t care, but I could tell him how the Reds did. He wasn’t interested.

A few years later, in the early 200s, local steamboat historian Jerry Sutphin, who also worked as a history guide on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen, invited me to come aboard the MQ when it docked in Huntington. I took my two oldest with me, and he gave the three of us a tour of the boat, which had been redecorated by then. My youngest was too young to bring along, and as fate would have it, he would be the only river fan among the three.

To give you an idea how old these photos are, my daughter is about to graduate from high school and my older son is in 10th grade. Both are significantly taller now than what they were when these pictures were taken.

Someday I will be able to convert my mounted slides of the Mississippi Queen’s first visit to this area to digital. Forgive my lack of modesty, but they’re pretty good.

Three archive entries down, three to go.

(Reminder: All photos on this blog, except as otherwise noted, are copyrighted by me, Jim Ross, and are not to be downloaded, used or reproduced without my written permission.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Huntington at sunset

Here are a few images of Huntington, W.Va., on a late spring afternoon as the sun prepares to set.

First, downtown Huntington ...

A closer view of guys fishing ...

This is the Nick Joe Rahall II Bridge, formerly and informally known as the West 17th Street Bridge. It opened in 1967 and closed for a few months in 1998 for repainting and repair. After it re-opened, the state of West Virginia graciously renamed it in honor of its senior member in the U.S. House of Representatives, who has been there since first elected in 1976. After we ran out of things to name for U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, we had to put Rahall's name on things.

But you can't keep a good senator down, and we've found a couple more things to name after the senator and his wife.

This is my favorite bridge with the sun striking it almost horizontally. Part of the tower is in shadow, but the rest is lit up pretty good.

And this is the Ohio River bank a few feet above the mouth of the Guyandotte River, looking west toward the setting sun (on the left).

From the archives 2: Baptizing

One day back in the early 1980s, between noon and 1 p.m. on a Sunday, I was driving through Lawrence County, Ohio, on State Route 7 when I decided to stop by the park at old Lock and Dam 27 on the Ohio River. I had my camera with me for some reason, and I have no idea why I chose to stop on this particular day.

What I saw there was a guy minding his own business fishing even though a few yards away from him was this gathering of people preparing for a baptism or two at the boat launch ramp. I got some quick shots from a couple of different angles and then left, as I had to be at work soon. Also, I didn’t want to intrude on their ceremony.

I remember river baptisms happening every now and then in the 1960s and 1970s, but I rarely hear of them anymore. It could just be that I'm not by the river at the right places on Sunday afternoons, or it may be that it just doesn't happen around here nowadays.

(Reminder: All photos on this blog, except as otherwise noted, are copyright by me, Jim Ross, and are not to be downloaded, used or reproduced without my written permission.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beaver-Monaca railroad bridge

The railroad bridge over the Ohio River between Beaver and Monaca PA turns 100 next month. A story in the Beaver County Times about the bridge is here. A really good photo by Flickr user "artistic pursuits" is here.

The 90 miles of Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Wheeling contains a number of amazing old bridges. Some are historic, and some are merely old and scary. It's been almost 11 years since I was up that way last. Now that I've gone digital, I really want to get up there and shoot some of those bridges, such as the old one at Steubenville OH, before they come down.

Even better would be shooting them on a boat at sunrise or sunset.

For decades, I've enjoyed shooting bridges and dam, along with riverboats. I have a lot of pictures in  my archives, but there are thousands more to shoot. Too many angles, too little time, too little money.

From the archives: Two Ashland Oil boats

I was able to grab some time on a scanner yesterday, so I scanned about a dozen river photos from the 1970s and 1980s. Some of them turned out okay, but some didn't. Maybe next time I'll read the instruction book. I hear that usually  helps.

So, here are two photos of old Ashland Oil boats.

(Reminder: These photographs are copyright by me, Jim Ross, and shall not be reproduced without my written permission).

This is the Aetna-Louisville preparing to lock through the Gallipolis Locks and Dam in late summer 1978 or 1979. That's based on a couple of other photos in the packet I found this one in.

I kind of liked the Aetna-Louisville and its twin, the Allied-Ashland. From what I understand, the Aetna-Louisville was dismantled a few  years ago, and the Allied-Ashland was sold to South America about five years ago.

Look behind the Aetna-Louisville and you'll see people enjoying the river bank. Dare I call it a beach? The spot was popular with people who wanted to fish, including those who brought a tent for an overnight stay. And you could get close to the boats as they entered and left the locks. But the beach was removed when the new lock canal was built there in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

This next photo is the old Valvoline.

This was an old boat that I liked seeing when it passed through the area. It, too, was dismantled a few years ago.

I remember riding the new Valvoline in 1988 when David Smith was the captain. We arrived at the Gallipolis locks after dark, and they were locking through three up and one down. We had to wait a little longer than expected because the old Valvoline, then with another name, had gotten there upbound and moved ahead of us in the queue.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Blogger Granny Sue has a few thoughts on all the unused barns and vacant farmhouses along the Ohio River.

26 boats, 400 photos

If you want to see interior and exterior shots of 26 different towboats, head on over to Towboat Photography by C.R. Neale.

There are about 400 photos in all. They kept my river-loving son entertained for a while  yesterday, I know that.


Oh, and Neale has a couple of nice nighttime photos of the new Crounse towboat Linda Reed on his Flickr photostream. You can see them here and here.

No camera this time

When I went out to do a couple of errands this morning, I forgot my camera. I'm glad I did.

I walked up on the 6th Street bridge over the Ohio River between downtown Huntington WV and Chesapeake OH. In the distance, I saw a boat pushing a single barge, and it was heading my way. So I waited. As the boat came out from under the bridge, I noticed it was pushing a single loaded covered barge. All over the barge was a white powder. Whether it was lime or cement mix or ketracel white (obscure Star Trek reference), I don't know.

The boat was the Transporter, one of which I do not have a photo yet. When I saw the boat, I remembered my mother telling me that my uncle Herman, who died in 1960, worked on the old sternwheel steam towboat Transporter.

The river surface was smooth until the Transporter passed. Without the camera, I stood on the bridge and watched the waves from the barge move toward shore. That was expected; I'd seen this many times before. But this time I paid attention to the waves left by the Transporter's twin propellers. Where the barge waves were straight and linear, the waves from the propellers were circular. As the circular waves met the straight-line waves, they canceled in some places and amplified each other in other places.

I'd seen a variation of that in several physics textbooks that my wife has collected, but it was different seeing it on such a large scale from 80 feet or so above the water.

Monday, April 12, 2010

mv. Hoosier State gets up close

Before we went bike riding Sunday afternoon, Adam and I had to get a look at the mv. Hoosier State. Adam loves the new AEP towboats, and he had seen the Hoosier State only once before. He's seen the mv. AEP Leader only once before, too, so we'll have to track that one down the next time it's in the area at a good time.

We went to the park where old Lock and Dam 27 was. We had seen the boat coming upriver at Huntington WV, so we waited. He had been pounding me at slug bug on the way to 27, so I jabbed him in the shoulder when I saw the Hoosier State come around the bend.

As Adam is fond of saying, we saw the mv. Buckeye State at 27 on Nov. 2, 2009, the same day the Hoosier State was delivered or went into service.

As it happened, the Ingram towboat Craig E. Philip was coming down the Ohio River at the same time as the Hoosier State was coming up. We hoped the two boats would pass where we stood or just a little downstream. Lucky for us, they did, with the Hoosier State on our side of the river and the Philip going closer to the West Virginia side.

This meant we would get a closeup look at the Hoosier State. Because these photos were taken before 2 p.m., the sun was behind the Hoosier State, putting the side toward us in shadow. That's the way it is around here. Before 2 p.m., you want to shoot photos from the West Virginia side if you can. After, you shoot from Ohio.

We hung around until the Hoosier State had gone out of sight upriver.

The river was maybe a foot above normal pool. Otherwise the old upper guide wall would stick out of the water more.

Adam asked if we would go up to the boat ramp at Athalia OH to see the Hoosier State again. I explained that we could do that, but the additional trip and boat watching would take an hour or more. He wanted to go bike riding, plus we had to pick his sister up from work later in the afternoon, so chasing the boat would cut into bike time. He figured he could see the boat again, but he really wanted to ride his bike, so we left.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Three vehicles I desire

This is a blog about the Ohio River, but this particular post is about cars. There is a connection and you'll see it if you hang around long enough.

In the past two or three weeks, I've seen three cars in  my home territory, and I want them all. As far as I know, none are for sale. Even if they were, I can't afford them, I can't take care of them, and I'd probably run them into the ground prematurely, but I want them, if only for a day. And I know the specific roads I would drive them on.

First was a late 1970s-era Chevrolet Monza hatchback. It was on the back of a flatbed truck driving along a country ridge near Huntington. The car may have been a Monza clone such as a Buick Skyhawk, but for now I'm calling it a Monza. It was silver gray -- the color that Detroit just couldn't get to stick on cars in the '70s and '80s. Every silver car that I saw from that era suffered from extreme paint failure.

Second was a Chevy flatbed truck of the Advance Design series from 1947-55. It was dark blue with clearance lights on the roof and other orange lights. It was behind me on a country road early one morning, and it turned off onto a road where I didn't have time to follow.

The third one is a 1980s-era Honda Civic CRX, the two-seater hatchback that got a gazillion miles per gallon if it had a manual transmission. It's parked every day outside a mobile home outside of Huntington. If I could buy an older car for a me-only vehicle, this is the kind I would want. Or perhaps a first-generation Toyota MR2. Or a Fiat X1/9 or a Pontiac Fiero. You get the idea -- a small two-seater.

If I could have a vehicle like one of these for a day, where would I drive them?

The old flatbed truck would go up the Ohio River by way of West Virginia Route 2 to Point Pleasant WV, then cross the river to Gallipolis OH and back down to Huntington via Ohio State Route 7. Both roads are farm country. Route 2 in Mason County has to have the most barns per capita of any state highway in West Virginia. I would stop at every store to buy a bottle of pop or some M&Ms and take my time enjoying them while standing beside the truck. The looks of passersby would be worth it.

The Honda would come with me down U.S. 52 from Huntington to the Capt. Anthony Meldahl Locks and Dam near Cincinnati. From Huntington to Portsmouth OH, Route 52 is four lanes, but once you get out of Portsmouth, it's two lanes through beautiful countryside. The road itself must have two dozen different textures of pavement. A small car like that without power steering would give a year's worth of driver feedback that you just don't get from the dressed-up, power-everything cars that come out nowadays. I could roll down the window and smell the area, too.  You can't beat the smell of farm country. Even cow manure smells good to me sometimes.

The Monza? Well, it would have to take me to Gallipolis and back on the Ohio side. That's where I did most of the driving with my first car, a silver (!) 1976 Ford Mustang II. The Mustang II and the Monza were aimed at the same market, and you don't see many of either nowadays.

Those are my dream drives in three vehicles that I've seen in the past two or three weeks. It's not the vehicles I crave so much as wanting to relive my experiences in others like them. Today's cars are so much better, but I'd still like to have fresh reminders of what driving along the river road was like not that long ago.


Here's something that's no surprise to people living along the Ohio River in West Virginia: The whitetail deer population is growing faster than hunters (or car drivers) can control given the current game management plan. This fact was in this story by The Charleston Gazette.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Historical marker (UPDATED)

Today while driving up WV State Route 2 along the Ohio River, I saw this historical marker just below the community of Gallipolis Ferry. I don't remember seeing it before, and judging from the freshness of the paint and the dirt around the base, it must be new.

This was the first I had heard of Adena burial mounds in Mason County WV. It doesn't surprise me that they are there, but I now must wonder where. This marker is surrounded by land that has been farmed for generations. I looked around and didn't see anything that obviously looked like a mound.

That's a task for another day.


I remember now that when the canal was built at the Gallipolis Locks and Dam in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they had do do some excavation in the "plow zone" of that area. And in 1978, I did a story about some students from WVU doing some excavations and searching in farmland on the upper end of Point Pleasant. So yeah, now I remember, but it's never been made a big deal of. Maybe this marker will help change that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

mv. Detroit

For nearly six months, ever since I saw the top of the pilothouse -- and that was all -- I've wanted to see the new Marathon Petroleum towboat Detroit. So today I found it on vessel locations, that it had departed the Greenup Locks and Dam at 10:50 a.m. or thereabouts. So I headed downriver, saw it passing Ashland Ky and headed for a park at South Point OH.

According to information in Dick's Towboat Gallery, the Detroit is 142 feet long and 44 feet wide. It has 4,000 horsepower and was built last year by C&G Boat Works at Bayou la Batre, AL. (Whenever I hear the name Bayou la Batre, I have to think of Forest Gump. I can't help it).

Here are three photos I got today.

The Detroit spends about all its time below Kenova WV, which is a few miles below where I live. When it's in the area, it's usually tied up at a Marathon dock at Catlettsburg KY, which pretty much hides it from any place on shore.

So, when I got to see it today, I waited in the rain.

Too bad Adam was at his grandmother's house for spring break. I'm sure he will see the Detroit or one of its twins in the coming year.

One more thing: The pilot must have a great view to the front with all that glass.

Hey, Huntington

A local boat pushes three empty coal barges past beautiful downtown Huntington WV as clouds and maybe rain move in.

Today was a good day for getting boat photos. I have a lot to go through, including three of a certain boat I'd been trying to get for almost six months. But someone messed up and sent it to this area on a day I could get down the river to see it. More on that later.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Three spring photos

A few photos from my visits to the Ohio River the past day or two:

The mv. Vernon C. Smith goes  under the East End bridge.

A duck stands on a log in the minutes before sunrise.

And the mv. Capt. Deane Orr heads upriver.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring arrives at HRP

So there's some mud left on a couple of the lower concrete areas next to the Ohio River. I don't care. Spring has arrived at Harris Riverfront Park in downtown Huntington WV. When I was there this morning, two guys were making their last passes on their lawn mowers, and the place smelled heavy with freshly cut grass. Soon these trees along the top of the river bank will be green with leaves. Wonderful!

People were enjoying the park, whether they were sunbathing, sitting on a bench or walking the dog.

But best of all, the tulips are back.

Yes, spring is here.