It’s a Big Dam Country — Day 15

From Ash­land, KY to Lawrence­burg, IN.

Nev­er far from rain­ing at any point. I had the top down a cou­ple of times but always had to stop to put it back up with­in half an hour. I’m get­ting a lit­tle tired of the misty, atmos­pher­ic stuff.

Start­ed with the Greenup Lock and Dam. 

Greenup is a lit­tle odd because they built the bridge right behind it. From a dis­tance it looks like they just plopped the bridge deck on top of the dam.

bridge and dam at greenup
bridge and dam at greenup

I got a nice shot of the hoist that runs on rails above the spill­way to lift the gates.

hoist at greenup dam
hoist at greenup dam

The last dam yes­ter­day and both dams today were sur­round­ed with huge pic­nic grounds. You can get a good long view from the pic­nic shel­ters but the ground slopes quick­ly down below the lev­el of the locks and by the time you reach the chain link fence you’re shoot­ing up at the sky (and you have wet feet.)

The Ohio Riv­er Val­ley nev­er lets you for­get that it is a val­ley. No mat­ter how broad it gets or how far you seem to be from the riv­er you can always see the hills on the oth­er side.

looking at the hills across the valley
look­ing at the hills across the valley

Mail Pouch Tobac­co is about the only sign you still on barns around here. The barns are in var­i­ous states of repair but the signs are all weath­ered to just about this degree. There must have been one last sum­mer of sign painting. 

painted barn at blue creek
paint­ed barn at blue creek

In Man­ches­ter Ohio I saw these folks set­ting up the car­ni­val rides for this week­end’s Car­ni­val at the Riv­er Barn.

setting up a small town carnival
set­ting up a small town carnival

Before the push to mod­ern­ize the lock and dam sys­tem on the Ohio there were more than 50 small­er locks. Num­ber 34 was Chi­lo Lock in Chi­lo, Ohio. There is a park, his­tor­i­cal muse­um, and nature pre­serve there now.

This is the lock house.

Lock House at Chilo Lock #34
Lock House at Chi­lo Lock #34

The Ohio Riv­er tra­di­tion of park­ing boats in the grass con­tin­ues with the Jen­nie Wade being up on blocks here.

steamboat jenny wade
steam­boat jen­ny wade

Arty pad­dle wheel shot. 

paddle wheel (arty, no?)
pad­dle wheel (arty, no?)

This pile of mess is actu­al­ly two steam engines from the Waker­obin which was built in 1926 for the Light­house Ser­vice (lat­er Coast Guard) and most recent­ly serv­ing as the USS Night­mare, a haunt­ed Hal­loween attrac­tion. She sank in 2005 at Hebron, KY. There are sup­posed to be plans afoot to restore the engines. I doubt much can be done with them. 

the steam engines from the wakrobin
the steam engines from the wakrobin

But they do make cool rusty subjects.

detail of rusty steam engine
detail of rusty steam engine

The last dam of the day (rainy of course) Cap­tain Antho­ny Mel­dahl Locks and Dam. 

Two views look­ing at the dam behind the locks. One from slight­ly upstream and one from slight­ly downstream.

meldahl dam
mel­dahl dam 
another look at meldahl dam
anoth­er look at mel­dahl dam

Using a long lens I was able to get this shot of one the of Corps of Engi­neers’ main­te­nance boats. It’s kin­da cute — don­cha think?

corps of engineers maintenance boat
corps of engi­neers main­te­nance boat

That was the last stop of the day. Then I got colos­sal­ly screwed try­ing to get through Cincin­nati via 5250 at 4PM. Went a whole bunch north that I did­n’t mean to. End­ed up in Lawrence­burg, Indi­ana home of the Argosy Casi­no. Or some­thing like that. 

Today’s Route:

View It’s a Big Dam Coun­try — Day 15 in a larg­er map

Lyric of the Day: (I heard it twice it stopped me cold both times.)

The look on your face yanks my neck on my chain.

(Neko Case)

About the Author

Lara Harriger