Sunday, December 29, 2013

Concrete Canvases | Articles | Ohio Magazine

The Ohio Scenic Byway, Route 52 in Ohio, is a beautiful road that follows the Ohio River and passes through so many historic little Villages and Towns. One of the interesting attractions in such towns are the Floodwall Murals. While put in place for obvious protective purposes, the floodwalls blocked the beautiful views of the river and stood as "concrete reminders" of past ravages created by the river. To quell the memories, several towns have turned the blank slates of the floodwalls into giant public art. From Point Pleasant (WV) to Covington (KY) to Portsmouth (OH), the walls provide a visible glimpse into the past commemorating the people, events and landmarks of the Ohio River. The "link" provided is a great article outlining the history and locations of such public works of art.  ENJOY!!

Concrete Canvases | Articles | Ohio Magazine

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Singing Lawyers on the Ohio River....

We stopped down to New Richmond on the Ohio tonight and what did our wondering eyes did appear, but lawyers with guitars, smiling ear to ear......That's right we saw a band at the Green Kayak Market called "Out on Bond."  We learned that several of the band members are lawyers; how cool is that. We heard (don't know if it's true) that the owners husband is also a lawyer who plays/sings at the Kayak....If true--How cool is that! Gotta love the music available for free in New Richmond.

We also took a moment to check out the status of our favorite giant, painted log (aka "LogNess Monster). Despite the rapid rise of the river, the LogNess Monster remains on the shore of the Ohio River in New Richmond. While we heard reports that he had headed south, the reports were a bit exaggerated. LogNess did move south a few hundred feet and now sits closer to the Green Kayak. Here's a pic we found on the Green Kayak facebook page. If you look real close you can still see the head of the Logness amidst the river debris.

The National Weather Service is reporting that the Ohio River level (at Cincinnati) is falling. However, we have a long winter ahead and, as we posted recently, most of the bigger river events are in the early part of the calendar year.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas !!

Merry Christmas!! As we sit back tonight and watch the Ohio River rise, we can't help but wonder about the significance of the "rising"; the rising star that is. To some the rising star stands for Peace. The peace that a paddle down the river brings or the peace brought by sharing the holiday with family and friends. To others the "rising star" stands for Hope. The hope of another new year or the hope gained from sharing thoughts and prayers. But  most  of all, at least to us, the "rising star" stands for Love. Love of family, friends and the great outdoors. So please take the next few days to ponder about how each of us can make the world a little better; each in our own style.

Here at Ohio Kayak we will continue to focus on our mission to encourage folks to "Get Outside and Play." Whether its kayaking, sledding, running, walking or any of the other myriad activities, sharing activities in the great outdoors brings peace, hope and love to so many. So enjoy the season and keep checking with us for fun at, near and on the Ohio River

Don't forget to check out the link below to hear a great song of thankfulness and hope for all the troops away from home for Christmas. Please share the song to raise awareness.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Here Comes the River....

So here we are days from celebrating Christmas and mother nature has been hitting us hard. The rains last night were torrential and lasting. The Ohio River is predicted to crest at near 50 feet (26 feet is pool) later in the week. This level will cause some flooding along the river, but nothing substantial.

December is an unusual time for the river to rise to these levels. The most significant risk of flooding is in the spring, coordinating with the spring thaw of the snows up north. However, we have been experiencing an unusual winter, with lots of early snow followed by this streak of warm weather.  Set out below is a list of the Historical Crests of the Ohio River, as set out on the National Weather Service website. Note that you have to go all the way down to #32 to find a December flood event. Moreover, most of the list predates the construction of the major dams. The placement of the dams has turned the Ohio River into what amounts to a series of "reservoirs."

Historical Crests for Ohio River at Cincinnati(1) 80.00 ft on 01/26/1937
(2) 71.10 ft on 02/14/1884
(3) 69.90 ft on 04/01/1913
(4) 69.20 ft on 03/07/1945
(5) 66.30 ft on 02/15/1883
(6) 66.20 ft on 03/11/1964
(7) 65.20 ft on 01/21/1907
(8) 64.80 ft on 04/18/1948
(9) 64.70 ft on 03/05/1997
(10) 63.60 ft on 03/21/1933
(11) 62.20 ft on 01/14/1913
(12) 62.10 ft on 03/18/1907
(13) 61.80 ft on 02/12/1918
(14) 61.40 ft on 03/29/1898
(15) 61.32 ft on 03/03/1962
(16) 61.27 ft on 03/01/1962
(17) 61.20 ft on 02/01/1918
(18) 61.20 ft on 02/26/1897
(19) 61.00 ft on 03/10/1955
(20) 60.80 ft on 01/04/1943
(21) 60.60 ft on 03/28/1936
(22) 60.04 ft on 04/24/1940
(23) 59.90 ft on 03/23/1943
(24) 59.80 ft on 03/11/1967
(25) 59.70 ft on 04/27/1901
(26) 59.40 ft on 03/10/1963
(27) 59.20 ft on 03/25/1890
(28) 59.10 ft on 01/27/1927
(29) 59.00 ft on 02/05/1950
(30) 58.60 ft on 03/01/1979
(31) 58.60 ft on 02/21/1882
(32) 58.40 ft on 12/12/1978
(33) 58.30 ft on 02/07/1939
(34) 58.10 ft on 04/19/1939
(35) 58.00 ft on 05/10/1958
(36) 57.40 ft on 03/08/1899
(37) 57.40 ft on 02/25/1891
(38) 57.30 ft on 01/24/1996
(39) 57.30 ft on 01/24/1862
(40) 56.90 ft on 03/01/1890
(41) 56.90 ft on 02/02/1952
(42) 56.90 ft on 01/03/1991
(43) 56.80 ft on 05/30/1968
(44) 56.66 ft on 01/11/2005
(45) 56.30 ft on 02/06/1887
(46) 56.20 ft on 03/07/1865
(47) 56.10 ft on 12/27/1921
(48) 56.10 ft on 03/17/1917
(49) 56.00 ft on 12/10/1950
(50) 55.90 ft on 02/07/1915

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The "Titanic" of the Mississippi River.....

Why do you ask that we reference the Mississippi River when we purposefully focus on the Ohio River? It's not because, from a hydrological perspective, the Ohio River is larger at its confluence with the Mississippi thereby making the Mississippi its tributary and no one seems to care. It's not because we've run out of history tied to the Ohio River because the river is flowing with stories. Instead, it's because one the greatest maritime disasters in US maritime history involves a vessel born along the shores of the Ohio River in Ohio.
The SS Sultana exploded, burned and sank in April 1865 on the Mississippi River. However, the Sultana was constructed and began its maritime life in 1863 in Cincinnati, Ohio; a major city on the shores of the Ohio River. The Sultana was a beautiful ship, created by the John Litherbury Shipyard, and was used extensively on the lower Mississippi to transport a variety of items, including Civil War troops. It  was its role as a troop transporter that ultimately led to its fiery demise.
In early April 1865, the Sultana prepared to leave New Orleans but encountered boiler problems shortly into the trip. The steamer stopped in Vicksburg for hasty repair. As fate would have it, scores of Union soldiers released from Confederate prisons were in Vicksburg trying to find a way home. Many were from Ohio. The steamer, with a capacity of just over 350, ultimately left the port stuffed to the brim with approximately 2000 people aboard. So when the poorly maintained boiler exploded shortly into the trip up the Mississippi, the resulting casualties were huge. Between the explosion, fire and icy waters, the chances of survival were grim and it is estimated that 1800 people died, with hundreds of others surviving with significant injuries.
The official cause of the tragedy was the poorly maintained boiler. However, years later a Confederate sympathizer suggested, just prior to his death, that he had planted a "coal torpedo" (a funky device invented by the Confederacy to disable and/or sink Union ships). There does not appear to be many who believe this allegation and the most widely accepted version of the tragedy relates to the overcrowding and poorly maintained boiler.
This era in the United States played out significantly on the Ohio River and surrounding area. While visiting the many Villages, Towns and Hamlets along the Ohio River, we encourage you to take the time to "live" the history. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let The River Rise.....

The last few days has seen a whirlwind of winter along the shores of the Ohio River. From Kentucky to Pennsylvania and all in between, mother nature has dumped piles of beautiful snow. Winter is here!

With the snow and rain also comes the rising of the mighty Ohio River. The base level of the river at Cincinnati is approximately 26 feet. The river now stands at well over 40 feet. The National Weather Service has reported that the river has leveled off and will fall again over the next week or so. However, as the river rose, the folks in New Richmond stand nervous that their wondrous "Logness Monster" would escape down river.

For those not familiar with the Logness Monster, this is a beautiful painted "driftwood art" that ventured onto the shoreline of the Ohio River at New Richmond on the Ohio. This piece of nature's art has brought many a smile to the visitors and residents of the Village, as well as served  as a unique "photo op" location.

Despite the rising river, it appears good ole Logness is holding tight. While she may hiding under the raging river, she's still staying home. We will be stopping down to the Village this weekend  to check on the river status and the good ole "Logness Monster." Hope to see you there!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

And so the river rises....

We are awaiting a big winter storm. The news outlets are flooding the airwaves with warnings about the impending "white death" and people are reacting. But it's not lost  on us the beauty of  a lasting snowfall....... Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

We saw on the Green Kayak Facebook page that  the colorful, fun-filled "LogNess Monster" may whisk away as the river rises. Projections have the Ohio Rivet rising over 20 feet to over 46 feet. We loved thus unique form of "natures art" that brought so many smiles to children and adults alike. The folks in this little Village of New Richmond on the Ohio exhibit a creative streak that will continue to bring people to the Village and result in economic success. We suggest you get in on the growth of this Village now while the prices are still good......

Monday, December 2, 2013

Great Weekend in New Richmond on the Ohio.....

We've been missing for awhile, but not back in action. We went down to New Richmond on the Ohio this past holiday weekend. Fun was had by all!!

From GreenKayak Facebook page
On Friday night we stopped by the Green Kayak and it was PACKED. The Old Lodge Stage was packed with musicians playing a wide variety of exciting music. We stayed for hours and the music simply never stopped. What a cool place.....

The Kayak has changed since our last visit. In addition to the holiday decorations, they added an old-school fireplace mantel, cool looking whiskey barrels and the Market side is set up with several vintage harvest farm tables. This place is so unique and flat-out fun!

We ventured down the street for a bit to the Front Street Café and they too had music. The Café was also decorated for the holidays and full of people. The Café and Kayak really compliment each other and offer a bit of variety when visiting the Village.
From Front Street Facebook Page

We heard that the Village is hosting a Christmas festival the weekend of December 13 and 14. The Kayak will have painting lessons on Friday and the Village has a new Community Theater that will be hosting a show. We will let you know what it is once we learn more. We're sure to visit the Village of New Richmond on the Ohio for the holiday festival and hope you do too!