The next day as I am approaching Selma, I pass the same tow and barge I had met a few days before still making their way up stream. About a quarter mile more I pass under a bridge. There I notice two people with cameras had walked out to mid span and were looking towards the barge. I thought that curious and couldn’t figure out why.
Thirty miles more upstream had me at Robert Henry Lock. As I locked through I talked with the lockmaster. He asked if and where I had passed the barge. He said there were some photographers scheduled to come to the lock to take some photos. I inquired why it was of importance. He said it was the first commercial traffic they had come through the lock in quite a while. Because of that there were rumors of the Corps of Engineers wanting to shut down the operation of all three locks. The automaker Hyundai was building a new plant in Montgomery and the tow was delivering some machinery for the facility. The hope was that they would be using the river to transport raw materials and help justify the locks continued operation.
Lets hope it works. The Alabama River is a real treasure. It may lack some of the glitz of other rivers but in my book it rates as my second favorite for its scenic beauty. Only the Tennessee River have I enjoyed more. It is also interesting that in the 288 miles I traveled that Montgomery and Selma are the only two towns on the river and Selma seems to ignore the river is even there.
I eased into Montgomery Marina about 3:00 pm that afternoon. My trip log revealed I had traveled 846 miles in the five days I was on the water and that places Therapy’s total mileage at over 14,000 miles. Destin had again eluded me but still it was a very nice outing. I crossed another milestone – it was the first time I completed a trip without a single nick or ding on my prop. This was even more rewarding since I had installed a brand new one before I left . I’d like to think it was piloting skill but past performance indicate the likelihood of dumb luck.
And once more Therapy has proven to be a worthy vessel but it is becoming clear she is much more at home on rivers and lakes than coastal areas. Not that she won’t run there but for me it is just not as much fun. And after all, what can really be expected from an 18 ft craft. Looking at the big picture the Cabin Skiff delivers very well for me.
But for now I think I will leave the bigger water to the time ahead when I have a larger boat. There are still plenty of rivers in the Midwest for the two of us to explore. Another month will bring warmer weather and I know the urge will return. I am not sure what it is that keeps pulling me back to the rivers but it is a powerful force in my life that I don’t seem to be able to ignore. And then again, why should I. I can’t think of a better place to escape the challenges of daily life and simply enjoy the moment. On the water is where I love to be.