August 20-21, 2012 – Paducah, Kentucky
August 20 – I spent the day just lying around doing nothing.
I heard on The Weather Channel that an 11 mile stretch of the Mississippi River near Greensville, Mississippi was closed to river traffic. I guess there is a real log jam of traffic at both ends of that stretch. They are busy dredging trying the get the river open again.
The Missouri River is so low that the wreck of the Montana is now above water. The Montana, along with her 2 sister ships, was the biggest steamboat to ply the Missouri. It was 250’ long, 48.8’ wide and weighed 959 tons excluding cargo. It sank in 1881. There is disagreement as to whether it hit a snag or the bridge over the river at Bridgeton, Missouri.
August 21 – I spent the morning just lazing around, but this afternoon I went to downtown Paducah. I happened to be there when the paddlewheel passenger river boat docked. I met some of the passengers at the River Discovery Center. They were very positive about the experience of traveling on the paddlewheeler.
The River Discovery Center tells the story of life on the Ohio River around Paducah. They have a simulator which lets you drive a speedboat and a tug boat on the river. Since there were so many folks from the riverboat there, I didn’t get a chance to try it, but it looked like fun. One interesting fact that I picked up is that 1 barge is the equivalent of 16 railroad boxcars or 65 semi-trailers! I knew they carried a lot, but I had no idea it was that much. Most tug boats move 15 barges at a time so that is 240 boxcars or 950 semis!
I also re-visited the National Quilt Museum. The quilts on display were beautiful, but the 1st one you saw as you walked in took my eye. It had a black and gold border of about 12” around a red center. Splashed across that red center was a wonderful dragon. After that, the other quilts were just so-so.
In the conference room, they had an interesting quilt. It was made of basswood. It was carved into quilt squares and then painted with watercolors . Here is the website of the artist http://www.gofraser.com/index10.htm It is unbelievable. It looks like material but it is wood.