Kentucky! (Days 59-60)

On to Kentucky, our fifth state in 60 days. (Life is slow at 8 mph.)

Padukah Municipal Marina

We’re still in the floodplain, and the docks float up with the river.

This leg was less than 40 miles but took us almost seven hours. Going upstream does that. We got underway shortly after 0630 from our anchorage on the banks of the Ohio River while the fog was still lifting, and I was again glad to be accompanied by boats with good electronic visibility of the barges.

We went “over a dam” for the first time. “What?!,” you ask? “Sounds dangerous!” Nope. It just means that we passed over the Olmstead Dam, instead of passing through the adjacent Olmstead Lock. It’s called The Olmstead Lock and Dam. The lock and the dam are side-by-side. If the water is high enough, you can pass over the dam. If it’s low, you must go through through the lock. Obviously, you want to get it right! 🙂

Another first: Being overtaken by a barge. It was surprising, because barges are slow — even slower than us. On the Mississippi, going downstream, we always overtook them. Here on the Ohio, it’s a different story. Fighting upstream is apparently easier to do for barges than for pleasure craft, so those clunky things overtake us. It’s humbling somehow.

So much to learn from the rivers!

Padukah, KY is a nice surprise … a big new dock, nearby town to explore, and very warm energy (and logistical support) from both the municipal dock and from other Loopers. This dock is busy due to the influx of Looper boats, and pretty short-handed, so docked Loopers help the incoming boats. We support each other in other ways, too; when we learned that a woman on an incoming boat had suffered a pretty bad injury, we found a nurse among the Loopers to meet the boat and offer support.

And then there was movie night. One of the Looper boats set up a projector and a sheet on the dock, and we watched the classic “Captain Ron.” They even served popcorn! Sweet.

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The fog lifted as we started our upstream fight against the Ohio River. I wonder how the salmon do it??
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See the river current passing around this green buoy (“can”)? I didn’t take my paddle board out in the river. Didn’t seem smart!
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We spent two days and nights traveling with Free Spirit (behind us) and Freedom (in front), but only met them when we arrived at Padukah. That’s because we anchored out both nights. By the time we met in person, we felt like old friends.
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Passing by (not through) the Olmstead Lock.
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Seven hours under way can get old, and Jeff started to steer with his feet. I told him I could drive more!
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Odd how the river “roiled” here. We guessed this is where an old lock used to be, and there is a deep hole there. We expected something like this when we went over the dam, but there wasn’t much to it other than an immediate but short-lived slowdown in momentum.
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Six Loopers help to move another Looper boat down the dock to make room for the next arrival. With so many boats coming and going on one dock, there’s a lot of adjustments to do. Everyone helps.
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Those black pilings are about 50 feet tall, the same height as the flood wall surrounding the town of Padukah just behind this photo. Yes, the river really does get that high. The docks float up with the river.
Fellow Loopers gather in front of Many Moons for “docktails,” a Looper evening tradition.
On our 2nd night at Padukah Municipal Dock, the “docktails” was much larger and included some kids.
Movie Night at Padukah, thanks to MV Scout.
Fawn (Royal Coachman) catches a line from Kathy (Free Spirit). These women don’t know each other yet. They will. This is what Loopers do; lend a hand without being asked. It’s one of the sweetest things about being on The Loop. — Below, the National Quilt Museum in Padukah is a popular stop. Yes, those are quilts. Actually, fabric art. The 9/11 exhibit was … well. Even in quilts, it brought tears…20 years later, still vivid.

2 thoughts on “Kentucky! (Days 59-60)

  1. It might be perspective, but 5 states in 60 days doesn’t sound slow to me!!! Great photos and descriptions…so glad you’re doing this! ❤


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