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Another quick post . . .

sardines once made this a prosperous port.

Traces linger.


A handful of boats are already way down at mid tide.



Too bad I wasn’t here on December 31 for the sardine and maple leaf drop!  Check the Tides Institute website here


Here’s more on Old Sow Whirlpool.

My guess . . . sardine fishing boat . . .

All photos, not that much info . . . WVD, who departs tomorrow and doesn’t know how soon the next post will happen.  Stand by.

Here’s a quick “sign of life” post.  We’re laid up in the archipelago of Eastport for preparations to get under way.  But occasionally I see something and grab the camera.

Like Fairhaven Princess II.  I’m not sure what work she does, but I trust someone will comment.  My guess is that she’s involved in some sort of fishery.

Hopper II is a ferry between Eastport ME and Campobello Island.

Sunday she was quite busy.

Note the guy on the motorcycle in the photo below.


More photos by WVD when I can post. 

I read this about Eastport:  “1833 Eastport was the second largest trading port in the country after New York City.  Farms produced hay and potatoes. Industries included a grain mill, box factory and carding mill. But the island’s economy was primarily directed at the sea.   … but the fishing industry would decline, and many people moved away. Indeed, the city went bankrupt in 1937. In 1976, the Groundhog Day Gale destroyed many structures along the waterfront.”  You can read that and more here.

I need to come up here when I’m free.  Here’s more on Eastport. And I know Jackie F. McAllister is nearby, but I can’t figure out how to get a photo without trespassing or getting a skiff. 

As the crow flies, this post covers a 1000-mile trip, and I zagged and zigged enough to double that distance.  More than half the trip was done by train, as accounted for in Traxter 5.

Let’s start by heading south for the Rio Grande, the place of much current attention.

When I was there, the temperatures were in the 80s F.  West of the national park, the flats of the former sea bottom were vast, and strewn with some well-preserved old ferrous metal,

like this one at Jackass Flats and

this at the ghost town . . . making this a ghost car.

With the Rio Grande behind us, this is looking north toward Alpine on  Texas 118.  That’s the Chihuahuan Desert all around,  and Forrest Gump would feel right at home.

This is the rail crossing in Maverick TX, looking west, the view presumably seen at this hour from a locomotive of a New Orleans-Los Angeles Sunset Limited  . . . at sunset.

The train portion of the trip was chronicled in Traxter 5, clicketyclacking  on a 24+ hour trip up to Oklahoma, where I rented a car at Will Rogers airport.

This is a must-see, the memorial where the Murrah Building once stood.

Since this post is called “road photos,” I drove NW to Canadian County and chose El Reno to start my way east on remaining portions of the “mother road.”  

I plan to do a separate mural post, but I have to slip a few in here.  Yukon is the boyhood home of Garth Brooks and many others, of course.

I had planned to spend a few days in Tulsa, but then I discovered that the Woody Guthrie et al. center is open only Wednesday through Sunday, and I arrived on Monday.  So I postponed my visit to Tulsa, paid respects to the whale in Catoosa, and kept east and north . . .

I followed 66 through Chetopa and east all the way to Carthage MO,

passing through the border town on Joplin along the way.  A lot of famous and infamous people lived here.

This law car was parked outside Boots Motel in Carthage MO. 

From here, I backtracked west and north to Manhattan KS and Wamego KS, my general destination, home of a former co-worker.  Little did I expect to find the handiwork from the land of my parents.

And here was the end of the trail, a cattle operation on prairie land in the Flint Hills.

An open gate on the grazing ground means that all traffic, human and grazing beast, must pass through that same portal.

The day I arrived was sunny, calm and warm, but the next day, the wind kicked up and brought some very wet snow, and created muddy roads.

These young steers greeted us as we brought more hay.

Let’s hold it up here, because early the next morning I headed back for the train.

All photos, any errors, WVD.

Related:  A week after I left Big Bend, a half foot of snow fell there, and the warning were no longer for heat but rather icy curving roads.  Here’s a video of snowy Big Bend just after I left.


Quick post today . . . just trucks with patina, and all between Texas and Kansas, and 

in various states of integrity and

different types of display

or on long-term layaway

and surface condition

and past specialized function

and even substance, and

some even serve as daily drivers.

All photos, WVD, who’s mindful the ides have come today.

I might have to put this post into a context of riverbanks, or you’ll think I’ve lost my mind.  My sense is that I’ve just opened it a bit.  This blog IS called a waterblog, and there is water in this post, but there’s also–like negative space in photos–“negative water” here, i.e., geological structure and bones resulting from water now gone.  But given the “water cycle” idea, is the water ever gone.  But enough talk  . . . to the photos.

Heading south from Alpine, then Marathon, sand in some flats show that water has flowed here. 


In a place like Big Bend, the fossil record is rich, and 

[hat tip to the truckster series] scientists have been coming here for some time.

The fossil discovery exhibit was the first place I stopped inside the NP.

That’s my brown hat on the tip of that plaster replica of the deinosuchus skull.

Other small craft appear in this post, but this one was used as a fossil sled. 

That rift is the Santa Elena canyon.  That’s Mexico to the left and the US to the right, and 

yes, those are folks on the Rio Grande for recreation.



Here Mexico is to the right.

Nope, I saw no desert beaver, but the frogs croaking in this canyon were loud!

Lots of canoeing opportunities exist.

OK . . . here’s a gratuitous photo of the reporter.

All photos [except the last one] and any errors, WVD.  If ever there’s been a gallivant post, this is it.


The first half of January 2013–a decade ago–was one long gallivant, taking in New Orleans to St Louis to Pittsburgh and then back home.  In the spirit of these retro posts, let me start here, shooting right off the Algiers ferry. Barbara E. Bouchard is now Dann M’s Turquoise Coast, which I’ve not seen.

No stroll in the night life of Nola is complete without a stop at Igor’s Checkpoint Charlie, combo bar, music venue, and laundromat!!

Following the river by car, we next stopped in Baton Rouge, and among the dozens of boats, enjoy this one–Ned Ferry–with a sixth boro connection:  It was built in 1959 Pittsburgh for Pennsylvania Railroad, which in 1968 merged with the New York Central to form Penn Central.  In 1974 it was sold to Crescent, which repowered and rebuilt it . . .  Find more in Paul Strubeck’s Diesel Railroad Tugs Vol 1.

The river is quite busy;  here Creole Sun works on a fleeting job.

Richard‘s pushing a set of tank barges. You might imagine I’m toying with a Mississippi River cruise this year.

American Pillar is a good example of a line haul boat:  195′ x 54′ and working with 10500 hp.

Fort Defiance Park in Cairo IL is a good place to see the Ohio and the Mississippi River refuse to mix for a while.  Note the difference in water color.

I never mentioned that my car was broken into in East St Louis in summer 2021;  Malcolm W Martin Park right across the way is the place.  I left a review on tripadvisor in September 2021 here if you scroll through.

Leaving St Louis in 2013 we made a stop in Kampville to catch the ferry across the Illinois River.


Then it was a lot of dry until we got to the Monongahela River at Belle Vernon PA, and the port of registry on these boats tell you where the nearest port (to the north) is.

We’ll leave it there.  If you want to peruse the archives for January 2013, click here . . .  they are in reverse chronological order.  There were obviously many many photos.

All photos, WVD.

These road fotos posts are celebrations by restless people like me of mobility and the means to travel, see new things.  I guess these are some guard rails on my southbound journey.

Northbound view, this highway has a guard rail to keep anyone from tumbling into the Pacific, whereas on the right side, that bank looks solid until the road disappears into the ocean with a landslide.

Staten Island has some guard rails to keep you from being distracted (ha!!)  by the sixth boro.

substantial guard rails now and speed cameras make it increasingly inhospitable.

The Mississippi–as seen from a westbound jet– has extra sand cushions around the turns, perfect locations for camping maybe if you follow the river road like Dale Sanders.  If you click on any links today, this one here on Sanders’ amazing feat is the one.   Eddie L. Harris did it too, although at a much younger age.

Here the critters in the bushes keep you focused on driving safely, and the potholes moderate your speed, one way or another, as you travel westbound.

Seen northbound just north of Washington DC . . .  and no comment.

This is the tow path/bike path up near Newark NY, and what you’ll see if you make a long bicycle trip eastbound in 2023.

Another eastbound photo . . . aka the Noses, place of legend.  If you click on another link today, be it this one. The photo below is from a road trip in October, but I’ve posted photos of this location from the Mohawk River in previous posts here. To the left is NYS Canal and then the transport rails you’d ride on Amtrak or a container train.

Heading north in November before turning back . . . all I can say is that the road, guard rails, ditches, Lake Ontario–like the truth–are out there . . . somewhere. 

And one more from November . . . southbound on the Taconic, this sign always intrigued me, conjured up lurid thoughts.  Unfortunately, I looked up its origin, and now I wish I hadn’t.  If you prefer to keep your lurid associations, do not look this up. Ignorance, if not always bliss, is sometimes more entertaining.

All photos, any weirdness, WVD, who wishes that all your travels are safe. 

If you want to help out with the next “road fotos” post, email me your strangest “seen along the road/channel/river/flyway/etc” photo you’ve taken this year . . .

This series goes back to the last days of December 2010, the first post here.  I could break the 2022 installment into three posts, each covering a third of this waning year. 

Things creep, including the definition of “road,” since a channel is not unlike a road.  In this photo from January 3, 2022, Ava and Bruce here guide Ever Far safely into her berth.  

This sign along the road in Orient does double duty;  to eastbound traffic it’s the last, but on the other side it equally accurately informs westbounders–just off the ferry–that it’s the first farm along this road.

This is a footpath under the Jackie Robinson Parkway.

This was a view from a rutted parking lot off a dirt road in the Appalachians in February.

These buffalo find a home in the 315 area code region of NYS.

Great Beds Light, as any lighthouse, guides vessels in channels between NY and NJ.

Here’s a welcoming sign along the east side of the Chesapeake, 

and this marks a lake that’s been drained several times and always comes back with a vengeance. 

That’s sand near Rodanthe, 

and a variety of farms near where I first lived.   Actually, the location of my first home is on the horizon center of the photo. 

Not far from the KVK, I transited this bamboo stand. and 

a few miles west of the Hudson, this trail required attention. 

Sidewalks and trails in Central Park get you here, and 

these ferries were idled near the southern tip of Hatteras.

All photos along various roads and taken in first months of 2022, WVD. 


I spent part of a quiet T’day thinking about doing a 2023 calendar, and difficult as it always is to winnow the choices down to 12 or so shots, I’m doing a calendar.  Price will likely be $20 again.    Sorry to bring up buying on this Black Friday.

Going back through the 2022 photos reminded me of the highs and lows of my personal year.  I also looked again at some gallivant photos I’ve never posted on the blog.  Today seems a good although dark, rainy day to open the line locker. 

Any guesses on this roadside attraction?  It’s a 3/8 size replica measuring 63′ x 13.’  I’ll let you do the math.  Answers below.   Doesn’t the design suggest a Zumwalt class destroyer?

I took the photo in April 2022. 


Here’s another roadside attraction.  Maybe I could do some road photos 2022 posts.  Any ideas about this similar replica vessel, this one appropriately on terra firma, or terra mudda?

There’s a clue in this photo. 

So before moving to the next sets, here’s some ID:  both are replica from the Confederate Navy and both are located in North Carolina, whose flag you see above.  The first is CSS Albemarle, moored in the Roanoke River in Plymouth NC.   The actual vessel–158′ x 35′ — was commissioned in April 1864, and sunk in October of the same year.  More here.

The second vessel is CSS Neuse II, a replica of a 152′ x 34′ steam-powered ironclad ram.  Also launched in April 1864, the underpowered and “overdrafted” warship bogged down and never left the immediate area of Kinston NC, where she was built.  Finally, in March 1865, her crew burnt the vessel in the river to prevent its capture by Union land forces.  More here

Previous US Civil War vessels I’ve mentioned on this blog are USS Cairo and CSS Hunley.   Any suggestions for other Civil War navies sites to visit?

The fine print on the vessel below says University of Maryland; it’s their RV Rachel Carson down in Solomons MD. 

I took the Carson photo from the decks of skipjack Dee of St Mary’s, a delightful cruise under sail as part of a friend’s even-more-delightful wedding. 

I’m not allowed to say much about the next set, but I have the privilege to see this tricky maneuvering up close.  

Note that this vessel, currently underway between Indonesia and South Korea, is assisted by four tugboats. 

Thanks so much for the hospitality.  You know who you are.  Again, sorry I’m not permitted to say much more or publish my article.  If you have any questions or comments about this last set, email or telephone me.

All photos, any errors, WVD, who’s thinking of doing a freighter cruise soon, with a destination in eastern or southeastern Asia.  does anyone have suggestions?  I’ve not yet contacted these folks.  

Moving through the anchorage in Gloucester during the schooner festival, I expected to see a variety of sailing craft, although not one like this. 

Polaris is a Viking replica fishing vessel, built in Anacortes WA to a design at least a thousand years old.

Downeast craftsmanship is evident in Tellina, although I know nothing more about the boat.


Ditto Bluefish.

It appears that pilot vessel Eastern Point was serving as a photographers’ launch.  Note the distinctive clock tower of Gloucester City Hall in the distance.

Another classic was out watching the schooners and sometimes stealing part of the show . . .  The Curator.

One of the joys I experience especially from Cape Ann and continuing downeast comes from the lobster boat design . . .  as in Black Sheep and

Life is Good.

Some of the boats were beauties a sailin’


but also beauties just at the dock like Lewis H. Story and 

Isabella, both handiwork of H. A. Burnham yard. 

I last spent much time on Cape Ann quite some time ago, as in here, here, and  here. And I last saw Ardelle in the Boothbays.  I can still do a whole post on Ardelle.

All photos, WVD. 

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