Sunday, July 31, 2011

Evansville is ... what?

I've been to Evansville once in my life. That was in 1986. It's the fourth-largest city on the Ohio River, after the big three of (in order of river mile) Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Louisville. I have impressions and images of those cities, but Evansville? I wasn't in the city long enough to get an impression. I remember seeing a dredge out in the river channel that day, and I've looked at navigations charts to get the idea that the channel there is narrow and, if I read things correctly, there is no bridge across the Ohio within city limits.

I got to thinking about that this morning when I read this on the Courier & Press Web site.

So now I'm thinking of cities that I know little about but have strong images of. Paducah, for example, has to be the A-Number 1 river city along the Ohio, with Point Pleasant WV in second. Cairo? It's image is not the best, unfortunately.

I want to visit Evansville, Paducah and Cairo again in the near future, if I can scrape up the money for a trip. I'd like to see the Paducah riverfront from the river if possible. I want to walk the streets of Cairo for a little while. When I visited Japan a decade ago, I was given a guided tour of Hiroshima. I turned down the tourist sites (other than the A-bomb stuff) and instead wanted to see the malls and other places where people gather. The same with Cairo and the same with Evansville.

Maybe I'm wrong about Cairo. Maybe it has an underserved bad rep. I just don't know. It's like Huntington, W.Va.,where I live. The big-city journalists parachute in to get their Jane-Goodall-with-the-chimps moment, write up something using all the stereotypes in the book, and leave. Maybe it's the same with Cairo.

As for Evansville -- and no offense intended to my reader(s) there --  I have to say I have no image other than a city that's large by Ohio Valley standards. It's there, and that's it.

On to the Utica shale

Last week in my day job, I noted how drilling for natural gas and fracking in Marcellus shale was very profitable for two of the larger players in  that industry in West Virginia in the second quarter. Included in the earnings release for Chesapeake Energy was an announcement that the company is investing heavily in Utica shale in Ohio. This article came from the quarterly Q-and-A with analysts and goes into more detail.

What will it mean economically and environmentally for the upper Ohio Valley? I don't know, of course, but it will be interesting to see how the residents of eastern Ohio react compared with those in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York who live near or are involved in Marcellus shale development.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Paula Ruble passes Huntington

This time Adam and I went down close to the river, and I held the camera fairly close to the river level to gt this shot. This was taken on the river bank at Harris Riverfront Park near the homeless camp, or where people have told me the homeless camp has re-established itself after being cleared out a few years ago.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

News comes in bunches

It's been a few days since my last post. There's not been much news on the river, and I've been working with my pictures. A lot of photos I put on here go through quick edits for reasons of timeliness. Lately, I've stopped taking new pictures and havce gone back to working on old ones. I've picked out a few that I'm working with slowly and deliberately to see exactly how good I can make them.

But this morning, there seems to be a lot of Ohio River news happening. So here goes...


With the Ohio River bridge at Madison, Ind., coming down soon, an engineering professor at Purdue University will be testing whether modern theories about "fracture critical" components and bridge collapse are accurate.

It sounds like it will be a fun experiment, at least if you like seeing bridges fall in controlled demolitions. Or not.


And that old bridge over the river near Wheeling, the one that's been tied up in court for a while, might be coming down soon after all.


Here's an AP story talking about how urban areas are growing and rural areas are shrinking population-wise. For some reason, it uses Moundsville, W.Va., as an example, although I don't understand why.

The story is a short one and doesn't try to understand what's really going on in rural areas. I grew up in an area of farms and such. While I'm no "expert," I can say that there is a downward spiral in rural areas. One thing that has changed is that the agricultural infrastructue of my youth no longer exists. I don't see dairy farms anymore (long hours, hard work) or as many meat-packing plants. And I don't see people growing as much of their own food.

The thing is, there are too many deer now. Those critters will eat the apples off your trees and the plants in your garden. I hardly saw deer when I was young. Now you have to be alert for them every time you drive.


Maybe I'll read this one tonight. The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at pipelines in its area. I know there are several around here, including some that cross the river, but it's not something I've worried about. And unless someone in this article gives me a good reason to, I probably won't. My worry list is overloaded right now with stuff I can do something about. I've about run out of room for things I can't do anything about.


Speaking of pipelines and such, my coworker Pam Kasey has written a short piece about a shale gas company investing more than a billion dollars in northern West Virginia, including a fractionation facility on the Ohio River. Yeah, shale gas is the new big thing going in the upper Ohio valley.


And that's about it. If I've missed anything, drop me a line.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A couple from the Kanawha

But this was in sight of the Ohio River, so it counts.

First, one that I call "Timberhead Revisited." For some reason when I saw this scene, I thought of the title, although I have no idea what "Brideshead Revisited" was about. It's like about 18 months ago, I saw a tree all alone on a hill. I took a photo and called it "One Tree Hill" knowing that was the name of a TV show, even though I knew nothing about the show itself.

And this is the M/V Marlie Price. It was here when I got here, and it was here when I left, so I don't know if it was in the process of dropping barges or waiting for some to be delivered or what.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Three more from upriver

Here's the Sistersville ferry putting in at Fly, Ohio. Sistersville, W.Va., is in the background.

Down the Ohio River at St. Marys, here's the Hi Carpenter Bridge. It's similar to the Silver Memorial Bridge that I'm far more familiar with for good reason. The Silver Bridge, which collapsed on Dec. 15, 1967, was one of three bridges in the world of its design. One was in Brazil, or so I am told, and the other was at St. Marys. Because the bridge could not be inspected for the flaw that doomed the Silver Bridge without dismantling the whole thing, the old Hi Carpenter Bridge was removed and replaced downstream with a new bridge.

And here's the M/V D.A. Grimm in the locks at the Hannibal Locks and Dam, about to head upriver. I  think the guy in front of the pilothouse window is spraying it down with a water hose.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another Mail Pouch barn

I don't remember exactly where this one is. All I remember is that it's along Ohio Route 7 somewhere north of Fly.

Moundsville, W.Va.

A few photos I got when I was in Moundsville, W.Va., on Monday.

First, the bridge over the Ohio River there. I think the engineers call this a tied arch bridge.

This marking on a bridge pier looks like it's been under water and/or hit a lot.

I know it's off limits and I know there is no good reason for doing so, but I want to climb down this ladder and stand on this pier.

Finally, does Megan still heart Tim? We may never know.

R.E. Burger and driveby photography

Don't you hate cruising along on a four-lane highway and seeing a great shot, knowing that if you stop, get out of the car, try to cross the road and set up the shot that it will be gone?

That happened to me Monday as I neared Moundsville, W.Va., on Route 2 and saw the Mary Artie Brannon passing the R.E. Burger power plant. I had my wide-angle lens on the camera, so I rolled down the window and snapped the shutter a half dozen times. I watched the road, of course, and hoped I got everything I needed in the picture.

Lucky for me there was no other traffic on the road at the time, but I figured that if I stopped, it might be a long time before I sat in the car again.

This is the cropped version of my best shot.

And here's the Burger plant as seen from the riverside park in Moundsville.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Queen of the Mississippi ... and other news

If you want to see the new cruise boat Queen of the Mississippi up close on the Ohio River, you'll et your chance next fall. According to the schedule on the American Cruise Line site, the boat has four seven-day cruises that are all or partly on the Ohio River.

Those four cruises are:

Sept, 22, St. Louis to Cincinnati

Sept. 29, Cincinnati to Pittsburgh

Oct. 6, Pittsburgh to Cincinnati

Oct. 13, Cincinnati to St. Louis

I don't know the details of each cruise, but I know in terms of miles that Cincinnati to Pittsburgh is a lot shorter than Cincinnati to St. Louis.

But ... if you want to see what the new river cruise boat Queen of the Mississippi will look like when finished and how it looks now, try this link.


Does the Ohio River need another port, one that would handle soybeans and grain for export? Officials in Meade County, Ky., think so.


BusinessWeek takes a look at pilot programs that capture and store carbon dioxide from the stacks of coal-burning power plants such as Mountaineer near New Haven, W.Va.

Two more of the Amber Brittany ...

... before I post some other stuff.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More hydro development possibilities

At 10:30 a.m. today, Earl Ray Tomblin, the acting governor of the great state of West Virginia, will be the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking ceremony on the West Virginia side of the Willow Island Locks and Dam. The ceremony will mark the beginning of construction of the new hydroelectric plant there. In actuality, site clearing began a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post has an article about using the flow of rivers to generate electricity without dams. It's called hydrokinetic power. The article in mainly about the Mississippi River, but it does address something that I mentioned in this blog months ago but had almost forgotten until I was working on articles last month about hydroelectric projects in West Virginia.

You should read the entire article, but here are the main points about the Ohio River:

But the cost has killed the plans of other developers.
Marine services company McGinnis Inc. thought its proximity to the Ohio River was a natural reason to get into hydrokinetic generation. However, the South Point, Ohio-based company found small-scale generation wasn't economically feasible and a larger operation required development costs that were too high, said its legal counsel Doug Ruschman.
The company tried to get federal help, but was turned aside.
Douglas Meffert, executive director of Tulane University's RiverSphere, a planned hydrokinetic testing facility along the Mississippi River in New Orleans, said the technology will need federal support for commercial development.
"Every renewable energy source that has moved into commercial use, such as solar and wind, has always had to depend upon that initial subsidy," he said.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It was so hazy ...

I passed by Sistersville, W.Va., on Monday, so I just had to ride the ferry from one side of the Ohio River to the other. It was really hazy that day. You couldn't look a quarter of a mile and not have your view obstructed by haze.

As we were about to pull out of Sistersville for Fly, Ohio, the ferry had to wait for the M/V Lydia Brent to pass. These are the shots as seen by my camera. I could have taken the haze out, but I left it in for effect, particularly the last shot.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beckjord closing announced

For some reason, I had though the Walter C. Beckjord power plant at New Richmond, Ohio, had closed, but I was wrong. Instead, it is now scheduled to close in 2015, Duke Energy has announced.

Amber Brittany

Three photos from Point Pleasant Monday evening.

First, the Amber Brittany. I like the look of this boat -- the design and the color go so good together.

Here, a deckhand on the Amber Brittany removes a wing wire from the tow the boat had been pushing.

Meanwhile, the Lelia C. Shearer and the Joe T. meet two knee to tow knee for whatever reason.

Far from home

Yesterday was a long day at work. Left at 6 a.m., back at 10 p.m. But I had to go close enough to the Ohio River where I think I got some good pictures to post.

Plus a reader of this blog has sent some links that I need to post.

That can come tonight. Now, I have t concentrate on my day job. Later.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back in action

Here's some good news for ferry fans: The ferry at Sistersville, W.Va., was scheduled to go back into service today following completion of repairs to the boat's transmission.

I'm scheduled to be up that way soon for a work assignment. If I have time, I expect to make a trip across the Ohio River on the ferry.

Asian carp

Today the Detroit Free Press began a six-part series on Asian carp. As with most reporting I've seen on the subject, it deals mostly with efforts to keep the fish out of the Great Lakes. Part 1 of the series mentions the Ohio River in passing, but it does note several tributaries where people are concerned about the fish's spread.

There was this paragraph that caught my attention: On the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., however, fishing guide James Patterson of Bartlett, Tenn., can name fish that have begun to disappear. "Asian carp have changed this river," he said. "They have starved the shad out, which other fish eat."

I'm neither a fisherman nor an ichthyologist, but if I remember correctly, shad is the most plentiful fish in the Ohio River, and some fisherman catch it by the bucketful so they can use it as bait for other fish.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Inside looking up and out

Many times I've walked or driven past the sternwheel of the Weber W. Sebald that's on display outside the Point Pleasant River Museum. Today I wondered what it would look like from the inside looking out. So I climbed inside to see. This is what I saw.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Big load coming

A big load is expected on highways in eastern Ohio today before it's loaded on barges and begins its trip down the Ohio River on its way to an oil platform in the Caspian Sea.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Permanent end to CO2 sequestration at Mountaineer?

According to this article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, American Electric Power will announce today its intention...

to table plans to build a full-scale carbon-capture plant at Mountaineer, a 31-year-old coal-fired plant in West Virginia, where the company has successfully captured and buried carbon dioxide in a small pilot program for two years.
The stated reason: uncertainty that regulators would allow it to recover the costs involved in building full-scale unit to capture carbon dioxide before it goes out the stack.
More later today as the news develops.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Window closing for nice riverfront parks?

My former job kept me in Ironton, Ohio, for nearly the entire decade of the 1980s. In that time, I saw the city cope with the decline of the heavy manufacturing jobs that once defined Ironton and other towns along  my home part of the Ohio River. And Ironton city government has has financial problems all through those times.

Now, Ironton wants to upgrade its river front park -- basically an expanse of grass, a parking area and a boat ramp in bad need of repair -- to something like what other cities in the area have. But it may be too late, considering how state government is cutting back and there's a chance the federal government might be, too.

At the place I work now, we'll have an article this week on proposed renovations of the riverfront park at Huntington, W.Va. It was the first of its type along through here and serves as the model of what other cities want or now have. And I'll have some thoughts on it after the article appears in the paper.

One more on power plants

Regarding the previous couple of posts on smokestack emissions at coal-burning power plants, I dug up a piece I wrote at work last month about the EPA's proposed rules. The full article is here, but following is the important part:

The regional haze program has been in effect for several years. States were required to submit proposals to the EPA outlining their plans for reducing emissions of air pollutants that impair visibility. State implementation plans were due in December 2007.

The public comment period for the proposed HAPs rule ends July 5. The rule would reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants, or HAPs, from new and existing coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units. The rule addresses metals (including mercury), acid gases, organics and dioxin/furans.

The public comment period on new clean water standards ends July 19. The rule seeks to lower the number of fish killed in water-cooling systems at power plants.

The final rule on the EPA's proposed clean air transport rule is due in July. It would reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide by 71 percent from 2005 levels by 2014 and nitrogen dioxide emissions by 52 percent from 2005 levels to 2012.

The final rule deals with coal combustion residuals, commonly known as fly ash, bottom ash and boiler slag. The rule would require liners at existing surface impoundments and provide incentives to close those impoundments. It also establishes dam safety requirements to address the structural integrity of surface impoundments. The public comment period ended in November 2010. A final rule is expected in mid-2012, with compliance required between 2018 and 2021.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Acid rain; hydropower update

Environmental groups in New York State are praising new EPA rules that require further cutbacks on pollutants that come out of the stacks of coal-burning power plants. Their point of view is that the new rules will continue to cut back on the acidification of lakes in their area.

Here is an overview of the new rule.

Meanwhile, construction on the powerhouse for hydroelectric plant at the Meldahl Locks and Dam should begin next month. And I have been told that site clearing has begun for the new plant at the Willow Island Locks and Dam.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Problems with power plant scrubbers? (Updated)

Not only does a lot of coal move on the Ohio River, but a lot of limestone moves on it, too, to feed all those  new billion-dollar scrubbers to clean some of the pollutants out of the stuff that goes up the smokestack. The scrubbers are one reason why the stacks are shorter now than they used to be. The exhaust gasses are heavier and wetter than before, and they don't go up a 1,300-foot stack. It's also why stack emissions are whiter and much more visible than the old faint yellow smoke.

But some scrubbers are having unexpected problems with corrosion, according to this article in the Columbus Dispatch. Read the whole thing, as they say. Here in the Ohio Valley, our residential electric bills have gone up in part to pay for scrubbers. I'm on the AEP system, and it looks like AEP's biggest plants don't have the corrosion problem, but the Mountaineer plant does. Mountaineer is notable because it's the pilot plant for the underground carbon dioxide sequestration experiment.

Not every coal-burning plant in my part of the valley has scrubbers. AEP has decided to mothball some plants ahead of schedule because they're sold old and so small that spending millions or billions on scrubbers cannot be justified from a business standpoint.

This is the Mountaineer plant on a December day. The plant is in Mason County, W.Va., near the townof New Haven. This was taken from Meigs County, Ohio, near the village of Racine.

UPDATE: Here is the article from the EPRI Journal on which the Dispatch article was based.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday on the Ohio River

I saw a lot of boats on the Ohio River today. The big workboats, yeah, but also a lot of pleasure craft. And I discovered a place that functions as an ocean beach, only it's an Ohio River beach. Pickup trucks and Jeeps drove down to the river bank. One family set up a beach umbrella and placed plastic chairs in the water while little kids waded. I'm not sure that was the safest thing — the dropoff can be pretty deep — but this particular family looked like they had done this before.

Oh well, it's back to work tomorrow.

Simulated piloting

I didn't get to make it up to the Point Pleasant River Museum a week or two ago to get a preview of the pilot simulator because of other stuff I had to do at the office. However, Adam and I did make it there yesterday,

Because no one else was there, Adam got about five straight turns on the simulator, with each lasting four minutes. He has decided it's his favorite video game, and he keeps asking me when we can go back.

I plan to go back soon. Adam plans to go back again and again and again ...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two news items for the morning

Mechanical problems have put the ferry at Sistersville, W.Va., out of service until Monday at least.


Utilities in southern Indiana are reacting to the new EPA rule regarding emissions from coal-burning power plants.

Off topic

I've been told that if you want to get a lot of blog traffic, you have to go off topic sometimes and post a picture of a pretty girl.

I shot this picture of my niece Isabella on Sunday.

I doubt that it will increase my traffic much, but who knows?

A new spot for photos

I had to be in the Williamstown WV-Marietta OH area yesterday for my job. While I was there, I got some photos in the area of the bridge connecting the two cities.

First, from Williamstown, I saw a couple of folks in a canoe enjoying the Ohio River.

Later, I saw the M/V West Virginia coming down with some AEP barges.

The channel line is so close to the Ohio shore that I didn't need a long lens to fill the frame with the West Virginia.

By the way, when Adam saw these pictures, he thought this was the Tennessee and not the West Virginia because the lettering on the name board was black and white, not gold and blue. But I zoomed in and showed him the nameboard. And I said there was something else different. The West Virginia didn't have any logo on its stacks. I assume that's because the company is changing from MCS to the AmherstMadison logo, but I don't know that. We'll just have to see.

In a few weeks, I have to take Adam up there because there are some things I need to photograph and he needs to see. Among other things, I want to find that park or overlook where we can see the side-by-side highway and railroad bridges in a bend that I've more than one pilot gripe about.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Four news items

My day job requires me to edit and sometimes write news articles on the topic of hydraulic fracturing and drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale. This morning is the first time I've read about water being drawn from the Ohio River for use in fracking. It's 6:15 a.m. and I need to get ready for the work day. Perhaps more thoughts on that this evening when I get home.


From the tributaries: It looks like the end has come for a lockhouse at one of the old locks and dams on the Muskingum River.


From the Ohio River to Russia: Some power plant turbines are making a long trip soon.


And work on converting the old Big Four railroad bridge at Louisville got its ceremonial start yesterday.

American Queen to sail again? (Updated)

Could the American Queen be cruising again on the Ohio River in 2012 or 2013? Maybe.

And maybe the Delta Queen, too, eventually.

A tip of the hat to Mark Kincaid. Thanks.

Yeah, the article is from April, but I just found it. Here's something from last week about Memphis perhaps being a home port for the AQ.

Here's more.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eagles shot

These incidents all happened on the other side of West Virginia, far away from the Ohio River, but they still make me angry.

A few morons are shooting bald eagles. At least four in West Virginia have died of gunshot wounds so far this year, according to this article in The Charleston Gazette.

Eagles have returned to the Ohio River to next in winter time, although I've not been blessed yet to see one. But I've heard they're in the Parkersburg area up and in one or two spots below Portsmouth, Ohio, at least. I look forward to seeing one this coming winter, and I think I might know a secluded spot where I'm likely to find one. I've also been told one has nested at the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam.

Back in the late 1970s or early 1980s, I heard that a pair was nesting in the part of Gallia County, Ohio, where I grew up. I also heard that a local said he wanted to find them and shoot them. Why? Because they were there, I guess. And that was the last that I heard about eagles in Gallia County, Ohio.

A Cincinnati bridge and a Pittsburgh fountain

It's been years if not decades since I've crossed the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati. From what I've been reading, I'm glad of that. Consider this paragraph from this article on

The Brent Spence Bridge was designed to carry 80,000 vehicles per day. Today, average daily traffic is 172,000 vehicles, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Volume is expected to grow to 230,000 vehicles by 2035.

And judging from the rest of the article, relief would cost billions and is a decade or two away, at least.


I've been to downtown Pittsburgh only once in my life. It's one of those places where I'm always telling myself I'm going to go back, but time and money -- particularly money -- always get in the way. The one time I was there was on a late Sunday afternoon about 25 years ago. A lot of people were at the park there at the Point, and kids were playing in the big fountain there.

The fountain has been shut down for some time, but it looks like it could flow again in a couple of years. My time in Pittsburgh that day was limited, but it seemed to my visiting eyes that the park at the Point and the fountain were two of the best things about the area. I'm glad to see the fountain will be returning.

The only thing I wonder is if the rebuild will be done to keep kids out. Health regulations might designate a fountain large enough to kids to play in as a swimming pool -- seriously -- meaning city and state officials won't want the expense or the liability. We'll have to see.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Good evening at Big Sandy harbor

Last night I got to see a couple of Marathon Petroleum Co. towboats in different angles than I'm used to. First it was the M/V Kentucky, which was pushing a barge loaded with people. To my surprise, it did a 180-degree turn right in front of me.

As the Kentucky was turning, I saw the Marathon coming out of the Big Sandy River pushing an empty barge.

I might put up more pictures later in the week. Some of the ones I got were so good, I need to take my time editing, cropping and fine-tuning them before I post them here.

Reminder: All photos on this blog are copyrighted by me, Jim Ross, and are not to be downloaded, printed or copied without my written permission. All rights reserved.

Kids, don't be really, really stupid with fireworks

Some teenagers up at Pittsburgh had what seemed to be a funny idea. But it's not funny to the people on the barge loaded with professional fireworks when you shoot a a consumer-grade aerial firework in their direction.

I have a word to describe such the people who engage in such youthful antics, but one of my kids reads this, so I won't use it. Actually, there are two words.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Links, part 2

Earlier today I said I wanted to put some more links on this page. I think I found some.

Riding on the Illinois

This is on the Illinois and Mississipp rivers rather than the Ohio, but it's still an outsider's look at life about a towboat.

More on hydropower

I've been writing lately about development and redevelopment of hydroelectric power on the Ohio and Kanawha rivers. For another take on the same subject, there's this story from the Evansville Courier & Press.


I'm adding new links to the blog. It will take a few days to get them all up, but I'm tracking down as many links as I can to put over there. So if you now of any that would be good to include, send them my way. I prefer links related to the river, of course.

Glen Ferris hydro

I was remiss a couple of weeks ago in not posting a couple of photos from way up on the Kanawha River, where I did an article last month on how a 100-plus-year-old hydroelectric plant is being refitted with modern technology to put power back into the grid.

The story is here. Bad link before. Sorry.

Here are the photos. The first is a wide shot of the dam and the power plant at the lower end of a series of falls at the beginning of the Kanawha.

The building on the left is the older plant, built in the 1890s. The one on the right is the 1917-era building. The folks who own the plant say it was easier to use the old buildings than to go through the permitting process to tear them down and put in new ones. Anyway, the old buildings look pretty nice.

Here's a closeup of the newer building.

Neat architecture, eh? You don't see that anymore unless someone is building a ballpark or rebuilding an old school.

Someday I'll get inside one of the hydroelectric plants on the Ohio River to see how a modern one operates.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Three news items

A speedboat in a race on the Ohio River at Madison, Ind., crashed into a rescue boat today, injuring four people, according to news reports.


It's kind of long, but buried in this Q&A in a Wheeling newspaper are a couple of paragraphs about the Nature Conservancy's plans for the Ohio River Islands Wildlife Refuge and fish habitat on the Ohio River mainstem and its tributaries.


The Blue Bridge at downtown Owensboro, Ky., will be closed for three months for repairs.

A pedestrian bridge in Louisville

It looks like an old railroad bridge in Louisville that hasn't been used since the 1960s is about to become a pedestrian bridge. While I don't know enough about Louisville geography to offer an informed opinion, my first reaction is ... great!

I've commented before about how some bridges that need pedestrian access don't have it, and some bridges that don't need it do. While the opening of the Big Four Bridge to pedestrian traffic may be two years away, I do hope to get down there and see it.

David, don't move that boat

I was trying to get a photo of the Bridget Caulley today at Amherst Harbor at about Mile zero-point-something on the Kanawha River, but the pilot was moving it around. If I had David Smith's cell number, I would have called to see if he was on the boat so I could tell him to hold still for a minute.

But I did get the shot I wanted, so no harm done.

The boat on the left, heading up the river, is the Nell. The boat in drydock is the Drema G. Woods.

Overall, the Ohio River in my area has been pretty dull the past couple of days. I haven't seen a lot of boats moving while I've been out.

Happy 4th, everyone

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

Did you know a Ross signed the Declaration of Independence? From what I understand, he had no children, so I probably can't claim him as an ancestor. Old saying: "Childlessness is hereditary. If your parents didn't have any children, you probably won't, either."

But seriously, folks, have a good 3rd and a great 4th. And Tuesday we start working on the 5th.

Adam has been at his grandmother's house for a week. I get to see him again today. We'll probably run over to Point Pleasant to look for boats at the mouth of the Kanawha. If we see any good ones, we'll let you know.

Friday, July 1, 2011

M/V Robinson

This evening I saw the Robinson upbound with two loaded petroleum barges heading up the Ohio River past Huntington. I figure it was going to a terminal on the Kanawha River n Charleston, W.Va., where I see it now and then dropping off or picking up two barges at a time.

And that was my Ohio River excitement for the evening. You can envy me later.