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Ohio River

Grandview, Indiana (Mile 742) to Andersen Bar (Mile 736) 

July 19, 2013

 

Today I put in from the quaint little community of Grandview, Indiana (http://www.spencerco.org/about_towns/grandview/grandview.cfm).  With a population of just over 700 Grandview is quite small but they sure do have a great ramp and picnic facility located only about 45 minutes from downtown Evansville!  These first two pictures were taken as I drove into town…

 

 

The next two below were taken as I drove around the park (Harold Schroeder Park).  I noted on one of the plaques here that this area was originally known as Sandy Creek Landing in the 1700’s/early 1800’s.  Why that name?  The mouth of Sandy Creek lies directly adjacent to this boat ramp!  On the other side of the Ohio you’ll find another stream - Blackford Creek.  In the pioneer days there was apparently another settlement here called Fort Blackford.  Early settlers apparently crossed the river at this point, the most famous of which was the father of one Abraham Lincoln! 

 

  

Today I got on the water a little later than I would have liked so I wasn’t able to go as far as I wanted, but the Sandy Creek made things a little easier – its mouth was completely blocked off by a deadfall!  I now had to decide which direction I wanted to go…

Since the river had been running high this year I hadn’t had many choices as far as direction.  Here it was the middle of summer and I’d only paddled one other time on the Ohio.  It had been in Henderson, Kentucky where I’d found the current to be quite strong.  Today, however, the current had waned enough so that I’d actually have a choice as to which direction to go.  The next condition would decide that direction – the wind.  Often times on the Ohio the wind is blowing hard enough to offset the lazy current during the warmer months.  Would such be the case today?  I decided to float around a little while and see...  How far and how fast would I move in either direction?

I waited… 

…and waited… 

…and once I’d seen that I was going downstream at a fairly good pace despite being against the wind my choice was clear - the current was clearly stronger than the wind.  I was heading upstream.  I’d rather do more work at the beginning of a trip when my energy is fresh than later when I have to return and I’m more fatigued (besides, what if the current is just too strong and I can’t return?).  This is how I think about such things.

Another decision now:  which side of the river to paddle on?  Me, I decided to stay in Indiana to begin and then return on the Kentucky side.  I saw something going on up ahead, you see…  At first I thought it might be a load of barges but they didn’t appear to be moving.  I wouldn’t know what this was until I got up to the Little Sandy Creek about 1/2 mile up.  In the meantime I did notice that Grand View has a pretty long stretch of undeveloped beach…

Then, once I’d gotten to the Little Sandy, I found that I wouldn’t be able to get in very far – perhaps 50 yards – but I always enjoy these streams.  Besides providing me a chance to get a little more “up close and personal” with the environment, I love the sweet scenes they provide! 

 

 

…and as for what I’d been seeing up ahead?  Below it lies, seemingly inert with its own towboat in attendance.  I wondered what the Corps of Engineers was up to here…   

Further on, there was a pleasant beach oasis on this same Indiana side…

Around this point I began to see a little more action.  A couple towboats crossed paths on the opposite side of the river, but as I had a different camera than I normally use I found that my distance shots didn’t turn out too well.  I was, however, able to get a decent shot of what was coming up next - a boat ramp and community park.  This park looks like it ushers in the community of Lewisport Kentucky. 

 

Lewisport has a great website (http://www.lewisport.cityof.org/) and as I was looking it over I learned a new term – rip rapping!  Apparently rip rapping is a process by which shorelines are protected from erosion by lining them with rocks, stones, concrete or whatever such material is available.  You’ll see this process being utilized all over the river system – especially around towns or roads that lie close to the water.  Below are some shots of Lewisport…

 

From here you’re going to pass through an area where you’ll catch some great glimpses of the surrounding farmland, both on the Kentucky side…

 

 …and in Indiana…

 

 There were also more great beach spots on the Indiana side than I’d seen in quite some time.  I spotted another here…

 

Just before you reach Anderson Bar you’ll find the mouth of the South Yellow Creek Fork on the Kentucky side.  You might be able to make it back as far as I did before hitting blockage roughly 100 yards in. 

Anderson Bar is now looming up ahead.  Note what a wide view you’ll get here as the river is just beginning what will become a sharper right curve– a curve upon which you’ll eventually encounter the namesake of Anderson Bar - the Anderson River.  It was here that I decided to head back.  Anderson River would have to wait.

Here’s a shot of a towboat around Anderson Bar…

 

…and on my return to Grandview I continued to find attractive scenes along the shorelines – here are a couple in Kentucky. 

 

One last shot of Grandview as I made my departure…

 

With a great put in amid a great community, a bevy of great shoreline scenes and plenty of action (but not too much) in this stretch of river I’d happily recommend this trip – in total or in parts.

  

DIRECTIONS:

 

I came from Evansville and simply took Indiana Route 66 East all the way to Grandview.  You’ll drive almost due east into Rockport, Indiana and then you’ll hit a dead end.  Make a left here.  Route 66 will continue in a northeasterly direction and once you find yourself making a sharp left curve you’ll want to get ready.  You’re entering Grandview here and you’ll see the park off to your right.  Take the second right and then another (almost immediate) right into the park.  The ramp is just ahead.