A Waterway Hub (Day 61)


Inland waterways are the liquid version of highways, and the big ones carry a lot of product across the country. Pedukah, KY is a hub of this maritime activity because it sits at the confluence of two major rivers (the Ohio and the Tennessee) and near two others (the Mississippi and the Cumberland.) Given its location, it’s not surprising that it’s been flooded several times — most recently in 2011 but most disastrously in 1937.

Padukah Municipal Dock at night

So the city built a floodwall … and then decorated it. It also built a new floating dock, our home for the past three days, which rises up giant pilings during flooding.

Here is evidence of the ongoing human-vs-nature battle, but also of human ingenuity and creativity. I’m so glad to have another day here to absorb this context and history, visit the River Discovery Center, pop into an open-air bar with “local flavor,” and linger at the floodwall murals. (We also took time for a hot bike ride to Walmart to load up on supplies.) Our first two days here, we did a lot of socializing and supporting of other Loopers. This last day was just for us. It’s important to do that, too!

Early tomorrow, we will head up the Ohio again and turn right onto the Cumberland, still fighting upstream, to reach our next destination at Green Turtle Bay. It means another early departure and a long day under way. That’s ok, because I’ve had three days to explore. Onward! Photos and captions below. (Don’t miss Harvey and the girls.)

See the marks on the floodwall gate to measure how high the water rose in those years? See the Ohio River beyond, showing the current river level? Astounding. These floodwall “gates” are closed when needed, by heavy equipment.
Padukah’s floodwall murals – at least 20 of them – are a big tourist attraction. For good reason!
A view of the Ohio River and the floodwall murals from the River Discovery Center.
Jeff’s bike is still attached to the cart we used for a grocery run, as Silver Lining looms behind.
Dogs show up a lot on The Loop. This is 14-year-old Harvey, pushed by Cherie from Near Miss. The city dock provided the wheelchair.
From old dog to young kids. Kids show up less frequently on The Loop, and it’s even more uncommon to have two families on the same dock. Trudy Ann from Windward and Violet from Silver Lining built a “fort” on the dock. Kids! 😉

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