We had two people join the virtual crew this week. Welcome aboard to ‘greatday’ and ‘orwellact46’!
The crew left Louisville on Monday and made their first stop in Madison. Unfortunately, they could not get off the dock and explore the town because a coded gate was standing guard on the gang plank and the crew did not have the code to unlock the gate upon return. A look around to find someone to help proved fruitless, so the crew just relaxed on the boat. The second stop was at Florence, where the crew met the new owners of Turtle Creek Harbor. They are busy making many improvements to their marina. Third stop brought the crew to the interesting towns of Rising Sun and Rabbit Hash. The fourth stop was in Cincinnati where the crew docked right downtown next to the The Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds. Fifth stop of the week brought the crew to Maysville, which turned out to be a great surprise. Then the sixth travel day concluded with a voyage to Portsmouth, where the crew will lay over for a few days before moving further up river.
To see more detail of each days travel, click on the link: Still Waters II Travel Map and view the Captain’s Log, pictures, and a short narrative of the days observations. The Travel Map also has a feature where you can follow the daily voyage updates. Just click on the menu, then click follow, and add your email to the pop up menu. You will receive an email each day the crew travels and updates the map.
With a bust at Madison, because the restaurant was closed and the gate was locked, the crew was looking forward to getting off the boat and exploring some. After getting docked in the shallow waters of Turtle Creek, with the low water alarm blaring the whole time, the crew walked a mile down to the only show in town, the Belterra Casino. Most of the restaurants were still closed from COVID-19, but one sports bar was still open.
A sign of the times, help wanted signs posted, job fairs in progress, and signs on the table apologizing for slow service because of lack of staff. The crew sees this often this summer, and the people who are working acknowledge that the establishment is having a hard time recruiting any new help. The crew wonders if this is what happened back in Madison, the restaurant/dock closed for lack of staff.
The crew got a suggestion from a virtual crew member to check out a little town named Rabbit Hash, which is located across the river from Rising Sun. However, the skipper grossly underestimated the effort to just get across the river. The journey by foot turned out to be about 6.8 miles round trip. After docking in Rising Sun, the crew set off on foot to the ferry crossing, 1.7 miles. The ferry carried the crew over to the Kentucky side of the river. Then the crew made the 1.7 mile hike to Rabbit Hash.
When they arrived they explored the historic Rabbit Hash old General Store that has been in business since 1831. This store is 90 feet above normal pool level of the Ohio River. In the historic 1937 flood, the water was above the roof.
After getting a snack and something to drink, the crew headed back to the ferry crossing. This old barn and tractor were about halfway back to the ferry. The skipper was seriously thinking about a jump start after walking about 4 miles on this journey so far.
Another half mile and the crew were back at the ferry. Turns out it was the ferryboat Captain’s first day on the job. Once he backed the ferry off the shore, he pivoted the tow 180 degrees and pushed the ferry back to the Indiana side of the river. At least the crew could take a little break from walking.
Then it was time to hoof it back 1.7 miles to Rising Sun and find something to eat. There was a Mexican Restaurant that had good reviews on line, but the skipper was reluctant to give it a try. He uses a thumb rule that you should not eat Mexican Food east of the Mississippi River. The Admiral pulled rank and they went to Tequila’s, and to the skippers surprise, the food was very good. So good, that the Admiral made another command decision that they were stopping back in Rising Sun on the down bound trip for round two at Tequila’s.
On the way back to the boat the crew passed an interesting log home. Turns out it was the first home ever built in Rising Sun.
While walking along the waterfront park, the town has embedded pavers to mark the history of the town.
To follow the path virtually along the waterfront, click on the history of Rising Sun, learn how the town got its name, how the town is connected to some interesting historical figures, and look at the 43 pavers.
And finally, the crew sees the boat to bring this day’s exploration to an end. Time to take off the shoes and soak those tired feet.
The crew decided to dock downtown along the waterfront park. They then headed out to explore Cincinnati. The Reds were not in town so a ballgame was out of the question. But the stadium was just a few blocks from the dock so the crew headed there first.
The skipper enjoyed looking at all the famous players from the 70’s championship teams.
The crew then walked up to Fountain Square which is the main gathering place for Cincinnati. The crew enjoyed the fountain but the big draw was Graeter’s Ice Cream. The Admiral asked the scooper how to pronounce the store name. The young man said it was the same way you say ‘greater’ but back in 1870, when the company got its start, the owner did not know how to spell. Today they have 50 retail locations around the area, and their claim to fame is that they craft their ice cream in 2.5 gallon French Pots. Not sure what French Pots have to do with anything but the ice cream sure was good.
Then it was time to hike over the river on the Roebling Bridge and visit Covington. They have a flood wall with 18 panels painted with murals depicting the history of the town from 800 BC to the present. The murals were painted by the same man who painted the Paducah murals, Robert Dafford. To see a gallery of all the Covington murals click the link. If you click the gallery photo it will enlarge and provide some detail about the mural.
The Roebling Bridge is depicted in one of the murals. The bridge was officially opened on January 1, 1867, at the time it was the longest bridge in the world at 1, 075 feet.
This is a statue of the engineer who designed the bridge, John Roebling. He is also the same engineer who designed the more famous Brooklyn Bridge. So the Roebling Bridge built in 1867 was the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge built in 1883. Looks like he is taking a selfie in the picture below, but he is actually holding a 1800’s model calculator, we used to call them slide rules.
The Roebling Bridge at night.
Today marks the 6th anniversary for our crew moving aboard Still Waters II. It has been a great six years. The crew landed in Maysville today, and walked into town to celebrate. They found a restaurant that advertised “fine dining”, this set alarm bells off in the skipper’s head. Fine dining usually means overpriced small portions, where you have to stop at a fast food joint on the way home to get filled up. Luckily, the Two Twelve Market was not one of those fine dining establishments. The food, service, and portions were all excellent. The Admiral made another command decision, the crew will return here on the way back down river also.
On the way back to the boat, the crew checked out the 10 murals painted on the flood wall depicting the town history. These murals were also painted by Robert Dafford.
The crew will relax a few days in Portsmouth and then venture back out on the water on Tuesday. They hope to add West Virginia to the states they have travelled by boat, as well as land in Marietta, Ohio for the weekend.
Oh Dave and Claudia, you are traveling our territory now. It makes me homesick. If you saw a hill from the dock in Madison, there used to be a hotel on it where we spent our honeymoon many years ago. It burned down and I don’t know if another replaced it. We could hear all the boat horns that night and it was beautiful. Don’t forget the flood wall in Portsmouth. Our adopted daughter is trying to get a murial of the Hillcrest Children’s Home placed there. She has achieved a historical marker for the home which has been torn down, and has quite a historical room at her business Pocket Puppies on Sciota Trail.
The Bisch Family
My thoughts on blogging before you pick a platform:
1- who is your target audience? Answers could be many, such as yourself, your friends, other loopers or planners, or anybody who stumbles across your blog.
2- what is your purpose for blogging? Answers might be to capture your adventure and print a book when you are done. Might be a way to monetize the blog and make a few bucks to buy fuel. Or anything in between.
If a book, then make sure the platform can convert blog to book at end of trip.
3- what will you write about? Many blogs out there about the loop, and they all are different. For example, Jim Healey’s blog is a technical library of good information.
Mom with a map talks about their personal journey.
I write about the history of the areas we travel.
4- do you want a map of your journey?
NEBO does a good job of this now, but was not available when we started.
Some people use I reach or other similar devices to get map.
Some people use google maps
I use the Travel Map
4- How often will you publish? I update the Travel Map at the end of each days voyage. Takes me about 45 minutes to an hour.
I update the WordPress blog weekly and publish on Sunday afternoons.
Some people publish daily, others when the mood strikes them. It takes way more time than I ever imagined to keep the blog up to date, hence why some people post as they have time available.
However, what I learned was that our virtual crew members liked to know when the next update was coming. So we landed on a weekly update.
Based on how you answer these questions will drive the platform you pick.
WordPress is good and easy to learn and use. It will provide a book at the end. You can share your posts to social media easily. But will take hours each week to maintain. I probably have spent about 8-9 hours on this weeks blog. Claudia still needs to proof read it. I will then include her edits. Then will do one last review before publishing later today. So will put about 11-12 hours into the effort this week.
This is a quick and easy way to share your voyage with family and friends. Just update it anytime you want.
I initially started using this to get a map of our stops to show on WordPress blog. Initially it did not have many features. It has come a long way in the past few years.
Allows pictures, videos and blogs. Can make a book at the end.
I use the Travel Map and Word Press. It is probably overkill but have followers that each one independently, so we keep updating both.
Just a few of my thoughts
Sent from my iPhone