Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best river memories of 2010

So here it is, Dec. 30, and I give myself a few minutes to look back at 2010. There were some good moments in my time spent along the Ohio River, but one seeming throwaway moment back in April changed everything.

It was a Sunday morning, Checking boat movements via the Internet, either Adam or I noticed the relatively new AEP towboat Hoosier State was in our area heading upbound. We didn't have a lot of time to chase it, as Adam had to be somewhere that afternoon. We caught up with the Hoosier State at old Lock and Dam 27. You can read the account of that morning here.

One of those photos was of Joe Kincaid, a pilot on the Hoosier State. He wrote me afterward to tell me about the boat's christening ceremony scheduled for late May in Rising Sun, Indiana. I e-mailed the AEP folks at Lakin, W.Va., to verify dates and such. I kept Adam home from school that day so we could make the trip. We toured the boar during its open house and watched the ceremony from the shore, as we were not invited guests of AEP.

As it turns out, Adam finally got a ride on a towboat that day, and he got to steer it, too.

Details of all that are here and here.

The AEP folks gave Adam an AEP River Transportation ball cap after his adventure in steering. It's one of his most treasured possessions, and he wears it when he can as we go on towboat photography expeditions.

And it all started because of getting one or two pictures on an otherwise busy day.

There were other good moments, of course. We had some good back and forth with Barry Griffith. His gift package for Adam back in the summer was a highlight. We got to meet C.R. Neale. Touring the towboats at Point Pleasant was great. And Chuck Minsker of the Corps of Engineers in Huntington got us inside the security fence at the Greenup Locks and Dam as I worked on a news article about repairs there, and he got us inside the fence at the  Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam to photograph the salvage fleet up close.

That one day in Indiana, though, stands out, and it made Adam's year. Meaning it helped make mine, too.

So thanks to all those mentioned above and to everyone who reads this blog for making this a great year along the Ohio River for Adam and me. This coming year will be a bit different for reasons I'll reveal later. But we still plan to make it better than 2010.