A truckable tug named Mame Faye and her tow anchor outside the current near the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.  Idyllic . . .  serene, sleepy upstate river banks .  . . eh?  She’ll be back.


Here tugs Empire and Shenandoah tie up on the opposite bank of Mame Faye and along the bulkhead.


Farther east is The Chancellor, with twin stacks arranged longitudinally.


Still farther east inside LehighValley Barge 79, speakers like Jessica DuLong and Don Sutherland mesmerize with their tales and chronicles of the river.


Captains Bill and Pam park their powerful machines to rest and enjoy the quiet of oars moving in and out of the fresh water.


Rain showers come and go and no one cares.  Lined up behind Empire are Little Bitt, Gowanus Bay, Benjamin Elliott, and Margot. It’s another lazy day at the Roundup.


What’s this on the foredeck of Bill’s Eighth Sea?  Looks like PVC, hairspray, and  . . . radishes?


And Captain Fred has gotten involved.  This looks  . . .


ominous, especially after he went to the supermarket for 50-calibre radishes, the most lethal kind.

aatdx2As dusk falls,  that same Captain Bill boards Mame Faye to maneuver the barge into the middle of the stream, which is now closed to traffic, for it will soon be time to


see the scene change and

How to describe that:  part night harbor scene, rock concert, traffic jam, railroad crossing, cacophony, simulated war zone, kaleidoscope, popcorn popper, video game, confetti, aquatic bioluminescence gone wild, volcano, apocalypse .  . .   Oh, and I’ve always preferred seeing the flashes reflect in water to seeing them in air.

Now who do you suppose Mame Faye was?  Elizabeth toots Mame‘s horn here.

All fotos and video by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated . . .  the Dutch barge flotilla probably moves through the Hudson Highlands and northward today;  if you get good fotos and want to share, email me.