PLACES TO GO ON LAND HOME PLACES TO GO ON WATER
Eagle Creek (Mile 416) to
Today marked a first: Dummy forgot to tie his boat down to the car and when he left and it promptly slid right off!
It wasn’t a bad omen though! Even though nothing really went as planned, everything worked out perfectly and I saw a section of the river that I hadn’t planned on paddling until later – this one!
originally intended to put in from
Well, when I arrived I found some pretty amazing murals! Rosemary Clooney, a native of Maysville, was smiling down at me from one, and on another was a group of Indians out on a buffalo hunt – apparently the river valley here used to be a pretty popular hunting ground. You can check out the artwork on Maysville’s website at: http://www.cityofmaysville.com/tourism/floodwall%20murals.html), or better yet, come on out and see it! There are 10 of these murals in total.
The views from this spot with the bridge going over the river were really nice too, and it looks like a perfect fishing spot, but it might not be the best place to put a boat in. You’d have to park, walk your stuff through a little “tunnel” in the flood wall, and then walk it down. I didn’t see a ramp. You might be better off putting in across the river. Because…
I got on the road again and headed over the bridge to
This is the
Now at this point I must confess to being a little torn as to how to describe things… I’ve been writing these journals in an upriver fashion because that’s how I generally recommend paddling if you’re out solo – you’ve simply got more control of your situation that way. Today, however, I put in from an upriver point for the sake of ease, and to compose this I have a decision to make: Do I make a break from the routine, or do I opt to begin this journal from the point at which the trip ended? I’ve chosen the latter for the sake of continuity. I hope it won’t be to confusing.
After paddling downriver to the Eagle Creek I could see the town of
Anyway, Eagle Creek is at a point slightly upriver from mile 416 on the river, but I didn’t paddle in. It certainly looked large enough to explore (and I may have to come back later and paddle it separately), but it also appeared to have quite a bit of traffic. In fact, as I glance at the charts again, there appear to be 5 put-ins back there: 2 for the Eagle Creek Boat Club, a public ramp, the Eagle Creek Marina, and the Eagle Creek Boat Dock (http://www.eaglecreek1.com/index2.htm)!
was from the mouth of this stream that I began paddling back upriver along a
This stretch of the river starts with farmland on the
The Lawrence Creek enters just prior to reaching it at mile 415 and loops around the back. I got in about ¾ mile before I reached a split where it looked like a shelter had been set up and a dog was barking at me. Unwilling to disturb the tranquility of others, this was a bit too up-close-and-personal… I headed back. This stream seems to mark the western boundary of Maysville.
Needless to say, when you get up to the power plant
at mile 414 there are likely to be a ton of barges around, and today was no
different. I navigated nearly to the middle of the river to avoid them
while being extremely wary of any towboats at the same time - not only the ones
on the river itself, but also the ones that you’re likely to see amidst the
barges. I’ve sometimes noticed that there’s one dedicated solely to a
large operation like this and that it seems to be “on call” along the shoreline.
In this case it was the “City of
So, before you even begin paddling around such an operation, I’d be certain that these are idle too. Otherwise, you’ll probably just want to paddle all the way over to the other side of the river and avoid the congestion altogether - probably the best option in any case! There’s just a lot going on that could be dangerous for a paddler.
…and speaking of dangerous…
Just upriver from the power plant at mile 413.5 there’s a spot that almost looks like a ramp and then there’s a water intake structure for the East Kentucky Rural Electric Corp. Well, when I passed this location earlier I’d spotted a huge plume of churning water emanating from around this structure, maybe a couple dozen yards offshore. It looked somewhat like the water churning in the immediate wake of a towboat, although it did seem to be a bit larger in scope. Whatever - it really spooked me, and I paddled all the way to about the middle of the river to avoid it.
Well, I sure am glad that I saw that churning water, because if I hadn’t I might have been in trouble. I couldn’t make out the sign on this intake until I got back home and enlarged the picture, but it read:
DO NOT ANCHOR OR
OF THIS STRUCTURE
FILTER BACKWASH MAY
CAPSIZE SMALL CRAFT
…..!!! (My reaction, not part of the sign!).
Needless to say, I was very lucky today but I’ll certainly be much more watchful for any signs of structures like this in the future – on the charts or out on the river (in case they’re not on the charts)! I've posted the picture below so that any readers will know how to spot such this structure.
This occurrence led to a bit of introspection for me. How is it that fate can seem to smile upon a person while they’re engaged in certain activities while generally doing the opposite otherwise? Why the dichotomy?
Well, I guess each person will have to answer that question for themselves, but as for me, I can only come up with one answer: this must be what I’m supposed to do (yes, my boat did slide off the car to start the day, but it didn’t end it – and neither did this).
I’ve come to believe that when fate seems to have you backed up against a wall it’s best to keep your options open - you may just discover that there’s a door at the end of that seemingly dead-end hallway! And if there isn’t, wait for it – opportunity may eventually knock on the wall just before the door materializes. I’ve had doors slam on me a few times, but I went on to find that my past failures had actually strengthened me and that I had the perseverance to wait things out until I found something better. Anyway, if you’re in such a situation please don’t give up!
OK. I’m done…
Across from all the activity in
three Mile Creek enters from the
As for Three Mile itself, it has a road bridge (US62/52) going over it almost immediately and then it curves to the right, eventually passing some old bridge supports. I made it back about ¾ miles until I rounded a bend and saw someone’s setup at the back. Since the creek looked like it dead-ended anyway, I headed back out.
Once you get back to the river it looks like they’re setting up a park that’s
also on the
Meanwhile, across the river there are some more
discarded barges along a shaded, park-like shore and I got what I think were my
best pictures of the bridge from this point earlier as Marathons’ towboat
“Speedway “ was going under. At that point the structure had really caught
me by surprise because I’d only just passed under the
Once you pass under this bridge the shorelines will
seem to switch scenery.
Then, at about mile 409.5 there’s an interesting spot with an old pier set up and there were a few old and halfway submerged watercraft here, one of which appears to have been an old towboat. The spot may be part of the CSX operation, and the charts indicate that a water intake for the H & E Pogue Distillery is near this spot too, but I must have missed it. (As I now research it, Pogues ceased operations here in 1950, but it looks like they may be making a comeback http://www.oldpogue.com/News.htm!)
You’re now fully in Maysville at this point, and it’s
got a 3-tiered row of houses with forested hills as a backdrop (there may even
be a fourth tier up there - I couldn’t quite tell). The railroad track, as
mentioned, is directly alongside the river. Then comes
At the time I was paddling by, about dusk, the setting sun was shining its last beams of light on the downtown area and a neon sign caught my eye onshore. I decided to try and find out what it was. It turned out to be Caproni’s (I think). They’ve really got you covered on Italian food out here! I also passed by a place called Pasquale’s as I was coming into town along with another pizza place that I forgot the name of - Mike’s, I think?
Anyway, the charts indicate that the Lively Lady Marina is on the
Next up came my put-in location in
Before reaching my endpoint today I had a couple
barges pass me within a short period of time, Ingram Barges Harllee Branch Jr. (http://www.ingrambarge.com),
and American Electric Power’s D & R Boney (http://www.aepriverops.com).
I’ve mentioned Ingram Barge before, and they seem to have more towboats
operating on the
At any rate, the first of a few little surprises greeted me once I reached my endpoint at the ramp at mile 407. Turns out, there’s a very small cove back here that I missed the last time, kind of a little “bowl” along the banks of which were parked quite a few RV’s (the park also offers that service and you can get more information at the City of Maysville website link above).
My next little surprise - or should I say my second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth surprises awaited me when I got back to my put-in point in Aberdeen. If you’re out on the water you just never know what you’ll run into at the ramps - especially solo and after dark. What kinds of people? Will they be friendly? Will their dogs be friendly? You just never know! I haven’t yet had a problem, but you still have to be prepared for anything and I think a certain amount of anxiety is healthy. These are the only points in my excursions that I wish I wasn’t traveling alone. Well, today I kind of wasn’t…
There at the little pier (picture above was taken earlier in the day) was a father with 4 children taking in the peacefulness of the river amidst the fading light of day. “Was it scary?” One of the children asked me about paddling the river...
I was thinking: “Not when you’re greeted at the end of your trip by such a nice family!”, but instead I just mentioned that you have to get way over to the side when the barges come by, other than that it’s OK.
I’ll not soon forget this family. What a great
day on the
After crossing take a left at the “T” and then make another left on the 6th street (Market Place). The ramp is at the end of this street.