PLACES TO GO ON LAND HOME PLACES TO GO ON WATER
(This was a somewhat
challenging journal to compose, what with everything going on in
It really is
truly amazing how much water access you have within 2 hours of Lexington,
Kentucky – close to 1000 miles I’d bet. You’ve got around 200
on the Ohio alone, then 250+ on the Kentucky River (not including tributaries),
and maybe 100 additional on the Licking. When you then add in
all the other rivers and lakes, you’ll see that
stretch of the
(Speaking to that; this economy has really left a lot of people feeling down and, having experienced it, I’ve reached some conclusions. It occurs to me that if you’re prone to misfortune then you lose confidence. No confidence, no self esteem. No self esteem, no social life. No social life, very little chance of success – at anything! It’s a vicious cycle that can really bring you down if you don’t find a good coping mechanism. The outdoors has been that mechanism for me, and I hope that these journals will prove to be of assistance to others in this regard.)
The charts for
this section of the
When I got on the water a little after I decided to very quickly cross over to the other side. Just my experience, but I’ve found that it’s safer to make your crossings earlier in the day. I notice fewer boats out on the water during such times and that of the ones that are out; most are operated by a pretty easy-going crowd. Later on in the day is when you’re apt to get more boats and a generally more aggressive crowd. Not out any sense of malice, per se, it’s just that there’s less time in the day and people want to get the most out of that little remaining time.
the river from
Today the first
mile or so was fairly quiet with the aforementioned parks on either side of the
river, but following on the
signs of commerce will have already become apparent. Wooten
River Service and Supply is just past mile 599 in
It was upon
curving around Wooten’s that I could first see 6
Then comes the
Admirals Anchor Yacht Sales and
At any rate, I
had a decision to make at this point: How did I want to
negotiate the island? I could continue to follow the
This is the
location of the
The first and most obvious business was Consolidated Grain and Barge (http://www.cgb.com) with its grain elevators. More familiarly known as “CGB”, they apparently began their operation with 3 employees in 1970 and have now become a fully diversified company, primarily focused on the grain and transportation industries. Sounds like a good, old fashioned American success story to me!
A Kinder Morgan terminal came up next (http://www.kne.com/business/terminals/ohiovalley/OV-Jeffersonville2009-Jun.pdf), and the first of the 2 “overhangs” you can see in the picture above is part of it. Kinder Morgan’s operation is pretty vast. In North America they’re one of the largest pipeline transportation and energy storage companies. This particular terminal had a couple barge docks, but they have 180 terminals in total!
Eagle Steel Products then follows Kinder Morgan (http://www.eaglesteelproducts.com). According to their website Eagle provides steel products and services to a few different industries, and what I was looking at was a part of their 200,000 square foot processing facility. Eagle has been in business since 1982 and from here they can transport their products via barge, train or truck. This was at mile 597 on the river, by the way, and it looked like I was at the end of the port grounds.
…but I haven’t even talked about the island yet! Although quite small, a sign indicated that it’s designated as a nature preserve, so there’s no camping permitted. The bank here was somewhat steep, but the slope of the river bottom was gentle, and today I could see right down to the bottom. I enjoyed seeing the wavy patterns in this sand/mud mix, and it gave me an idea...
First a little background: I wear gloves when I paddle even in the summer so as to ward off the sun. Sure I could just use suntan lotion, but all it really is is a bunch of chemicals and you have to keep applying it anyway. Sooo… I avoid putting it on unless it’s absolutely necessary. Call it a personal quirk – and one of many. Anyway, I had realized when I first hit the water that I was missing one of my gloves and that the back of one hand was going to get torched over the course of 8 to 10 hours. If I could lather some of that sand/mud mix on the back of my hand and let it dry then I’d have a healthier sun block… It actually worked!
At any rate,
after passing the island you’ve got a ton more activity between miles 597 and
596, but this time it’s more in terms of incoming streams and boat
clubs/docks/marina’s. First in
There were 2 coves within this mile, the first of which had a sign discouraging entry by order of the Supreme Court! The second, Lentzier Creek, seemed to basically be a harbor for the Rubaiyat Boat Club. Again, I didn’t paddle back due to traffic concerns (in fact, I didn’t end up paddling into any coves or streams today), but I did notice a large number of boats upriver from the mouth that seemed to be in various stages of repair.
This was apparently the site of Marine Builders, Inc. (http://www.marinebuilders.com), a company that specializes in a fully diversified array of marine construction and repair. In fact, it looks like these guys will build or fix any water-related vessel; be it a towboat, barge, yacht, dinner cruise vessel or whatever – and then deliver it to you. Pretty impressive!
…and that’s the
Within the same span on the Kentucky side you have the Goose Creek entering at mile 597 with the Juniper Beach Dock (http://www.juniperbeachdocks.com) right inside its’ mouth. Once again, I didn’t paddle into this one due to traffic, but I was confused by the presence of a Harrods Creek rescue boat! Harrods doesn’t enter the picture until mile 596…
Anyhow, it was
just past this point that I got into a bit of trouble on the way back.
You see, there are some simply amazing houses out here - some of
the most impressive I’ve ever seen - and one of them really piqued my curiosity.
It sure looked to be inspired by a Frank Lloyd Wright design, and I
simply had to get some pictures of this magnificent house so I could try and
verify that. Wright, of course, was a brilliant designer
whose houses were erected mostly in the
Now I usually don’t care to take pictures of peoples’ property - I feel a little uncomfortable - but I had to find out about this house! So I took one picture. Then two… And before I knew it I’d taken 5 or 6! Well, after the last of these I saw a man at the balcony… I froze, mortified that I’d not seen him as he greeted me with a: “Hello, hello”. I then half-shouted: “You’re house looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright!” No response…
Well, it didn’t take me but an instant to get the point, but it didn’t matter - the damage had already been done. I was extremely embarrassed!!! Taken in total, the man’s expressions were ones of: “Stop taking pictures of my house - yesterday - and get the hell out of here!” I obliged. If this man ever happens to read this: I am very sorry!
business – still on the
Limestone Bay comes up near mile 596.5 and it contains a yacht Club of the same name (http://limestoneyachtclub.com), but there will also be some things to note on either side of its’ mouth. Downstream is a fantastic looking building (possibly a condominium complex) that is so prominent you’ll have surely seen it well before this point. Meanwhile, McBride Towing and Drydock is just upriver from the mouth, and there was an interesting assortment of towboats and barges visible here, the Georgia M amongst them.
As mentioned, Harrods Creek is at mile 596. The Captain’s Quarters Marina (http://www.cqyc.org) can be found back here, and at the mouth there’s a restaurant which also looks to be operated by the good captain! Everything looks really nice with a great deck overlooking the river at the restaurant.
…and now we’re all caught up in our shoreline descriptions as we come together at mile 596, the location of Utica, Indiana…
Things get a bit more reserved from this point because after Utica’s line of houses, you’ll predominantly be in the midst of a rural area with little rows of mostly incredible houses coming in intermittently; first at Transylvania Beach at mile 595 in Kentucky and then at Beachland Beach at about mile 594 in Kentucky. The Louisville Sailing Club lies at the latter (http://www.saillouisville.org/lsc/index.html), and today I could see all the sail-less boats lying in a row at one point onshore – although I did see some out on the water later. They’re so peaceful in action, but I’ve heard they take a lot of work to operate!
Across the way
from this club is another in
Here I had another navigation decision to make,
though... With 12 Mile
You can certainly see why a lot of the communities in this section are named after beaches, and while I didn’t see any nature preserve signs like I had back at 6 Mile, I did see some ducks! (This island, by the way, is closer to the center of the river than 6 Mile Creek had been.)
I’m now at mile
593 and, blocked from my view at the time was the Alexis Cove on the opposite
side of the river. This spot marks the location of the Louisville Yacht
enjoying the island a little while longer I headed back over to the
These days it’s known as
I decided I had to get out and look around a little! Not only does it look like they’ve left another old structure up as an interpretive exhibit, but it also seems that they offer a few hiking trails with some great river vistas (and a map of these is available at the above website).
Campsites are available too, yet as I stared at the empty parking lot it made me a little sad. I like to see lots of people out enjoying such nice places! Granted, summer was over, but I thought I might see some boaters or fishermen. Well, it turns out that most of the park is located further inland and a bit further upriver, so I was only seeing a small part of it (another “tip of the iceberg”!).
Not just yet,
though! First the Sara Page push boat passed me coming
downriver. It’s owned by the Crounse Corporation
…then the Marathon Oil push boat, Superamerica passed going downstream...
It wasn’t until
these boats had passed me that I began to paddle back over to
This guy began to turn his boat to aim it in front of me – between my kayak and the shoreline! Well, I started paddling frantically to try to get to safety but it was no use. I wasn’t going to beat a power boat given the distance I still had to span. Instead, I had to stop dead in my tracks and pray that this "gentleman" didn’t run me over! I must say, however, that when he sped past he did take the time to stop and look down his nose at me!
Once on the
opposite shoreline I was at a point just upriver from the cove for
On my way back
I had a lot of tow boat traffic pass me by – and all at nearly the same point:
the William P Morelli of Ingram Barge, the Leslie M. Bell of Crounse
Corp., and the now fully loaded Miss Ida that I’d seen earlier in the day down
at Wootens’. There were more too, but I couldn’t quite make
them out in the semi-darkness. As you might expect, there’s a
lot of traffic so close to
Know what I completely missed though? A paddlewheel boat!!! I don’t know how I could have missed it, but I only saw it when I came back down to the water for my boat after dropping off my other stuff at the car. By that point it was too far away to get a good shot.
I took the