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We’re a week out from Christmas Eve and fewer days than that from the solstice, it’s time to complete road photos from two weeks ago already;  here was part 1.  The French Quarter of New Orleans has a lot of colored neon all year round, but here, juxtaposed with tropical colors of house paint, are some fairly traditional decorations.

But surprises abound: joy on the marquee here marks the Joy Theater, so named and so identified all year round since 1947 when opened by Joy Houck.  On next trip, I need to see what’s doing at the Joy.  More on the Houck family and specifically Joy’s place in it here.

Down a random street like St. Ann’s, you might see some seasonal lights, but

not all I suspect.

To the west 85 miles or so, Morgan City is the original home of Conrad Industries. We saw the front gate but had no appointment to go any farther.    Conrad has launched a long list of vessels since 1948, but the most common to sixth boro readers carry names like Weeks, Vane, and Great Lakes Dock and Dredge.

Morgan City, originally Tiger City, is currently named for shipping magnate Charles Morgan, buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in –you guessed it–Brooklyn.  His connection to the city stems from his dredging Atchafalaya Bay.  He’s unrelated to Charles W. Morgan, namesake of the whaling vessel seen here at Mystic Seaport.

The formidable gate is the result of the “great wall” surrounding the city, created and improved by the USACE to protect against flooding, particularly floods from snow melts in the Upper midwestern US.  I was surprised to learn the Atchafalaya is the fifth largest river in the US ranked by outflow.

The photo above was snapped by bowsprite, sitting [below) on this delightful public dock outside the “great wall” along the east bank of the Atchafalaya River gussied up with a bit of Christmas cheer.

This mural on the southeastern corner building at Front and Freret shows a crossing from another time.

The riverfront had lots to see.  Unfortunately, the rig museum and its centerpiece Mr. Charlie are closed, likely forever.  It would have been an interesting tour.  More on ASME landmark rig Mr. Charlie–the first offshore drilling rig that was fully transportable, submersible and self-sufficient–can be read here.

Since I started this post referring to Christmas displays in New Orleans, I  need to end it with the next several photos.

Lots of places have their local takes on Christmas trees, like this one of lobster pots I wrote about nine years ago.  Resplendant in flora from the Atchafalaya is Morgan City’s, which I’ve written about previously here.  That I believe must be La Christianne, Mama Noel sort to Papa Noël.  A cajun version of “… night before Christmas” can be read here, but you need to affect the accent.

Roux-dolf is the lead rein-gator towing the Spirit of Morgan City and its cajun Santa, a gift to the city by native son, Lee Romaire. A full compliment of gators would be called Gaston, Tiboy, Pierr, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste and Renee . . . .

All photos, WVD, who welcomes any of your local waterChristmas photos and stories.

For tugster’s “twelve tides of Christmas,” click here. For my idea of a sixth boro container tree, click here.

 

See the man on the pier using his cell phone to get a photo?  I wonder what he imagined he was looking at, other than a group on the water on a spectacular December day.  Did he know he was witnessing the culmination of an odyssey?

The Columbia, Snake, Clark Fork, Missouri, Mississippi, [to saltwater] Mobile, Tombigbee, Tenn-Tom Waterway, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Kanawha, Allegheny, Chadakoin, Lake Chautauqua, Lake Erie, Erie Canal, Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Hudson . . .  [I may have left one out].  What do they have in common?

Neal Moore‘s paddled them stringing together a path on his 675-day canoe trip along his 7500-mile route of inland rivers from saltwater Astoria OR to the saltwater Statue of Liberty, an extreme form of social distancing during the time of Covid.   Photos of the last several miles follow.  

Note that the other paddlers traveled to the sixth boro of NYC to join him for the last few miles,

just as they–“river angels”– had during different segments of the 22-month trip.  Some elites of paddling enjoyed the sixth boro yesterday.

From Pier 84 Manhattan to the Statue and back, they rode the ebb.

 

Why, you might be wondering?  Moore, a self-described expatriate who wanted to explore the United States in the reverse order of the historical east-to-west “settlement” route, sought out to meet people, find our commonalities, our united strength.  Some might call that direction “the wrong way.”

After one circumnavigation of Liberty Island following his paddling up and down all those watersheds, the journey was done.  After unpacking his Old Town canoe, he scrambled

with assistance onto the Media Boat, triumphantly but humbly.

 

He stepped over onto a larger vessel in the NYMB fleet, for interviews and a trip back to terra firma,

22rivers’ goal completed, for now.

All photos, WVD, thanks to New York Media Boat conveyance.  I have many, many more photos.

For Ben McGrath’s New Yorker piece on Neal Moore, click here.  Also, check out Ben’s book Riverman.  Let me add two more references:  another McGrath article and a book Mississippi Solo here.

Of course, Neal’s whole epic can be traced at his site, 22Rivers.

I first learned of 22Rivers from Bob Stopper, who met Neal in Lyons NY two months ago, and I and posted about it here (scroll).

More links as follows:

Norm Miller, Missouri River guide

John Ruskey, lower Mississippi River system guide who was on the Hudson yesterday.  He’s also the founder of Quapaw Canoe Company.

Tom Hilton, Astoria-based Fisher Poet, whom I met last night.

And at the risk of leaving someone out, here’s a longtime favorite of mine, an account of a rowboat from Brooklyn to Eastport ME by way of New Orleans . . . Nathaniel Stone’s On the Water.

Who’d I leave out?

For some context, Road Fotos 2021 E left off in September here, and I’ve not caught up with road fotos for November.  But let’s jump ahead to December, and a trip we could start in New Iberia, about 150 miles west of New Orleans.  It was a reconnoitre, a gallivant to investigate what to spend more time on in a subsequent trip. More on that at the end of this post.

New Iberia is a low lying settlement, epicenter for the lift boat fleet.  Click here for an image taken after Hurricane Ike.

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From the raised deck of a lift boat, I had this perspective on a ship yard across the waterway.

Some lift boats are for sale, others–like Jane below–in the yard for inspections, and

and still others are being dismantled, scrapped, like

the one that has these lift motors removed and possibly in triage for either recycling or rehabbing.

Heading by car for open water at Cypremort, we passed this church on stilts.  With greater time, I’d love to attend a service here.  With more time, Louisiana black bears might be spotted here.

I’d have to be there on a Sunday morning at 0900.

Taking the trip slightly out of order, let me add this moody photo bowsprite took from a low bridge over Bayou Black.  A thousand more photos like this would have reduced travel speed to a saunter pace. 

Here the intrepid bowsprite is recording the mosses in the trees, maybe collecting some for a multitexture project.

Like I said, I have many more;  selecting is tough, like this old tree.

The road and bridge system across this whole Atchafalaya region, half the area of the state, is quite impressive. The rest of these photos are thanks to bowsprite.

I love the higher bridges on these roads when less trafficked because they provide high points, great for taking photos, like this of the GIWW and other waterways of Louisiana looking west and

this, looking east.  With an entire other lifetime, I’d love to travel and explore this all the only way possible, by boat.

You may have heard of the disposal of the RORO Golden Ray, the car carrier that capsized outside Brunswick GA;  final cutting up is happening here, and over by the cranes, what you’re looking at is slices of the ship at M. A. R. S., Modern American Recycling Services in Bayou Black.

High bridges also facilitate a view of the an industry I’d not known was so visible this area, sugar cane production.  In the lower half of the photo, that’s a newly planted cane field.

Swaths of cane of different stages of growth were everywhere. 

In the foregound is newly planted, and beyond the machinery, that’s a crop ready to harvest with

large tracked machines like this. To see these machines at work, click here.

In large transports like this, you see the chopped cane

heading for the refinery.  This one below–the Enterprise mill— in steamy operation near New Iberia is one of many.  Definitely, a return trip would involve seeking permission to see all steps in this process closer up. 

Photos by bowsprite when indicated.  All others, WVD, who believes that you only halfway smell the daisies on the first time to determine what to spend more time at if and when you return.

 

Sitting on the levee in Nola, I note a variety of watercraft passing by no less assorted than the revelers in the French Quarter.  Well . . .  How about as differentiated as the contents of the best 15 bloody marys in Nola?  Well, let’s see the photos below , or see past Nola posts here.

Seeing a deeply loaded kayak like that coexisting with commercial traffic is quite unusual, but the gear there tells me that is a long-haul and experienced paddler.

Above and below, MV John Pasentine fights a lot more gravity than the paddler does.

Janice Roberts and Presager keep a healthy distance apart, 

 

each carving an arc in the current.

Upbound inside the curve, Rodney is about to disappear beyond Pan Unity.

Less than a minute later, Pan Unity splits the distance between Shiney V. Moran on our side and an unidentified tugs stands by with

After doing some work and returning to the river, I return to a river that continues flowing assisting and resisting those whose business rides there.

Robin R. with a crane barge,  two tugs with fuel barges upbound, and more and more.

What hearkens to the past, of course are vessels like the kayak above and paddlewheelers like the 1991-build riverboat City of New Orleans, or the 1983 Creole Queen, or 1970s steamboat Natchez. For info on the Lake George NY connections of the family associated with all three paddlewheelers, click here and scroll.

I have more, so I’ll have to do Dense Traffic Nola 2.

All photos and curiosity and any errors, WVD.

The first batch of calendars is on the way.  Please confirm when you receive.   The price this year is $20, and few are left.  Order now by emailing me.

 

I traveled RT by air last week, and as usual, tried to spot landmarks, entertainment for the map fan that I am. 

Mount Vernon is how the smart phone labels it.  I’d call it a view of Mobile Bay at dusk, looking south.

I concur with the phone that this is New Orleans, one of the bends in the river below the Crescent City.

Westwego is a western suburb of New Orleans.  I see those bulk carriers anchored in the river and I think of all the wheat and beans grown along the Mississippi River system (or the Missouri River system) to be exported in their holds.  If you want a long fascinating read by John McPhee on the river system, click here.

After five intense days in Louisiana, I was back at another airplane window seat.  It was a foggy morning over the Crescent City.

Westwego again gets the label.

River Ridge is another western suburb of Nola.  These bulk carriers, like the ones a few photos above, will likely take grain and beans for export.

Cambridge MD appeared after almost a couple hours of cloud cover.  I took the photo because of the “outlined” island.  A little research told me this was Poplar Island, a restored island created with dredging spoils.

Greenwich Township seems wrong as a label, but the Salem Nuclear Power Plant is unmistakable.  Also, along the top of the image is the sinuous C & D Canal.

Matawan seems alright as an identifier, since this is the mouth of the Raritan River and the west end of Raritan Bay.

Brooklyn-Fort Hamilton is not visible, but the concentration of orange vessels clearly marks the the east end of the KVK, and beyond that Bayonne, Newark Bay, and Port Newark.

Brooklyn.  Need I say more?  I find it curious, though, that from this perspective the 1WTC gets lost in a cluster of its neighbors.  With all the new tall buildings in central Brooklyn, One Hanson Place, long the tallest building in the boro, has gotten lost near the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic.

Brooklyn is below in this view across to lower Manhattan and Jersey City.

Flushing-Queensboro Hill means we’re about to land, once we make a hard turn to port.  Note the Unisphere and 1WTC on the horizon.  The circular body of water in the foreground is called by the unlikely name Fountain of the Planets.

All photos, WVD, who previously did similar shots here.

A friend recently suggested that “gallivant” should be my middle name.  There’s no need to make it legal, but maybe I’ll get it embroidered onto my hat and jacket.

The first batch of calendars is in the mail as of this morning.  The price this year is $20.  I have about 10 left.

 

 

 

You might have known that I had the good fortune to gallivant most of last week, and it’s tough to gallivant without recording some images.   I took several hundred photos, and not only of boats and ships.  As with infants, humans in unfamiliar places detect patterns, familiar details.  

Pattern recognition kicked in when I glanced across the Mississippi toward the Algiers side and saw Bouchard colors, although a little digging yielded info that Robert J. Bouchard, name notwithstanding, is now a Centerline Logistics vessel.  I suppose she’ll be painted soon.  Robert J. has worked in the sixth boro, but the most recent time she appeared on this blog was over 12 years ago here.

Dann Ocean colors are also familiar, but the profile is as well.  Rodney is one of several formerly Moran boats dating from class of 1975.  Rodney at one time was Sheila Moran. Of that same class, Moran’s Heide is now Dann Ocean’s Helen and Moran’s Joan is now Dann Ocean’s Roseada.  There may be others I’m unaware of, like the barge Carolina.

 

“Diaspora” refers to those who depart from a location, and they should be distinguished from the incoming (I’m wondering if there’s a word for them more general than immigrant) .  And as I understand it, Courageous, downbound here a few days ago on the Mississippi, was on its delivery and will be arriving in the sixth boro early this week, maybe today.  I didn’t notice her on AIS, but FB reports her departing Charleston SC for the sixth boro yesterday, Sunday. She’s sister vessel to Commodore, involved in a mishap this past summer.

 

I’d never have guessed that Crescent’s Miriam Walmsley Cooper had a sixth boro connection, but a little digging shows the 1958 boat once worked in the boro as Harry M. Archer M. D., an FDNY  boat. Anyone have a photo of her in FDNY colors?  Was she single screw already then?

 

I saw a pattern in the photo below because another formerly huge Bouchard tug saw transformation in the same drydock, Donna J. Bouchard to Centerline’s Robin Marie.

As it turned out, this was the former Kim M. Bouchard, now to be Lynn M. Rose.  Her eventual appearance will match Susan Rose.

And it appears that next in line for rehab and transformation, Robert J. will become a Centerline vessel as well.

All photos last week, WVD, who is happy to be back in the boros, any of the six.

Gallivants are intended to stimulate change, a path forward for which I’m seeking.  How strange it was then when I exchanged business cards with a Nola gentleman yesterday and his card was in the form of a Tarot card;  it was Death, the Grim Reaper signifying imminent major change in one’s life.  The old has to die for rebirth to be possible, like with plants.

Speaking of change, the calendar year too is about to change and in preparation, I recently created a 2022 calendars, of which 15 are left for sale. I’m expecting the shipment will arrive at Tugster Tower shipping office today. More details later but if you’re interested, email me your interest and your address. Send no money at this time, please, but prices will likely be up a tad because, of course, (fill in the blank here with your favorite scapegoat).

Unrelated:  Grain de Sail is back in the boro, their third time calling here in less than a year.

Today I hope to return to the sixth boro safely.  I’ve not yet tallied my miles driven, but if you want to guess, I’ll let you know.  I saw a lot of trucks in those miles, some of them on pedestals, like this Diamond heavy wrecker along I-80 in western Iowa. I’m not sure if this is a Diamond T or a Diamond Reo.

This very backlit photo shows two trucks, one you likely don’t immediately notice lower right.  In the foreground, a Chevrolet–based on the cutout in the rear window–with a tow rig.

I managed to squeeze a bit of river and a towboat into this post . . . .  This Freightliner has backed down a ramp to transfer 7000 gallons of diesel to the tanks of the boat.

Here’s one I’ve not seen in a long time:  GM’s answer to the increasingly popular imports from Volkswagen, an early 1960s Corvair Greenbrier van.

In an eastern Nebraska town called Plattmouth, birthplace of Raymond Chandler, I spotted this pair–a 1920s tanker and a flatbed truck of the same vintage–as well as 

this Dodge Brothers tractor, again on a pedestal.

More recently, in a cornfield in central New York, these two pickups were part of the racing action.  I’ve many more photos from that event, should you be interested and should I need another distraction. I know some of you don’t do FB, but here’s a John Kucko Digital original that really captures racing on a drag strip in a corn field in Savannah NY.

All photos, WVD, who meets a big milestone soon. 

Again . .  greatly abridged . . . it took the two-lane most of the way across Iowa–included a fuel stop in Pella— from the Mississippi to the Missouri, although from Des Moines westward, I did take I-80, where a fleet of windmill parts was parked in a long rest area. 

 

I got back on the two-lane again to get to my river port destination.  The high-rises here are grain elevators, and small towns sometimes grow up with services around them. 

I got as far north as Sioux City, when I needed to turn south again.  The rest of this long river has to be postponed for the next trip, since what drove this trip is work, which I’ll hold off on explaining.  

But you can’t be here without countless references to the Lewis and Clark gallivant, a wandering westward at the behest and on the payroll of the United States.  

Near Blue Lake, a state park features a set of replicas of the vessels of the expedition.  

The centerpiece is their keeled boat/barge/mothership Best Friend.  Can you imagine poling, rowing, and towing this behemoth?!!

 

As I said, earlier, the northern areas of this river, South Dakota upstream to Montana, must wait for the next expedition/gallivant.

All photos, WVD. 

 

Road Fotos never tell the whole story, but enjoy these fleeting sights from the Mississippi Valley . . . like an excursion boat called Tom Sawyer

or one called Mark Twain . . ..

Some towns have statues of obscure favored and maybe local folks . . .

but no such unknowns are raised onto a pedestal in Hannibal. Is there anywhere in the US a writer as universally known and recognized as Mr. Clemens?

I’m sorry never to have met him.

Let me be uncharacteristic, and add a bit about my visit here.  After some trouble I’ll not elaborate on in Saint Louis, I was driving north along the Mississippi.  After some debate with myself, I pulled into Hannibal, found a room, took a shower, and walked around town looking for some food.  The BBQ place had moved out to the highway (Highway 61 !), so I walked on and found a Turkish place, right next to the farmer’s market where I bought some pears.  This Turkish place…  I sat outside, where a cat of the feline sort joined me.  The waitress had no voice but was very charming and wondered why anyone would visit Hannibal.  I’ll get back to that.  After a delightful and delicious meal, I paid up and walked out onto the deserted street, or I thought it was a deserted street.  Two deer, who seemed to be out exploring, met me.  We chatted and then went our separate ways.

Why would anyone visit Hannibal?!!  

Are you kidding me?  

I’d go back.  I highly recommend a visit to Hannibal, although I can’t guarantee you’ll meet the deer, the cat named Isabel, or the waitress with no voice.

All photos, WVD, who is now out of my personal WiFi desert.

It’s been two years since my last “road fotos” post, and it was great to go out exploring without a fixed destination, i.e., gallivanting,  other than a late afternoon rendezvous on the other side of the Hudson.  Seeing traces of the D & H Canal, i.e., New York’s Coal Canal, was the general goal, but then I saw this.

This is the reverse, and it refers to the D & H Canal.  Little did I know the “dove” in Mamakating was one of fifty in the Catskills of Sullivan County.  That fact alone will draw me back here.   Mamakating was once home of the mamakoots . . .

A roadside stop to check the internet in Mamakating convince me to turn back about two miles to Wurtsboro  (formerly Rome) and see the dove there and wander a bit as well.

I was impressed by the signage in parts of the old D & H Canal linear footprint.

That rock wall has been there since at least 1828.

The road on the left side of the photo is US 209 looking back toward Wurtsboro.  There’s swamp in the middle  with unexplained water trails through it.  The straight line heading diagonal into the lower right corner is the D & H towpath, with the canal off to its right.

The next hamlet on US 209 is Phillipsport, an actual port on the D & H, and while taking photos of the dove, I noticed

this sign.  It was Saturday, and I was ahead of my non-existent schedule, so . . . off to the cemetery I went . . . to find

it a wild place.

Six miles on, I got to Ellenville, and noticed these five intriguing panels covering windows.

At one time, Ellenville was quite the port.

Napanoch is home to the Eastern Correctional Facility, a place that was built during the days of the D & H Canal, as you can see from this postcard.  In fact, stones to build the place were shipped on the canal, as you can see from here

By now I’d started to feel pressure of the clock, so I skipped the possibilities of BBQ in Kerhonkson and its adjoining Ker Honky Tonk.  Ah . . . next time.

Next stop was 20 miles on in Rosendale.  I know people there and in the area, but I allowed myself only a quick walk around.  I hope to get back here soon.

All photos, WVD.

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