I explored one more pool of the Kentucky River. Pool #9 didn’t offer the extraordinary landscape like #6 and #7 but still a great run. One point of interest was at the 158-mile marker where the Valley View Ferry is located. It is the oldest operating ferry west of the Appalachian Mountains and the oldest continuous operating business in the State of Kentucky.
It also operated in a different fashion than other ferries I have seen. Propulsion is provided by a small paddlewheel tow attached to the side of the ferry but it does not pivot at the bow to “push” the ferry from shore to shore. Instead the paddlewheel is just placed in forward or reverse. It tow provides the power but does little or no steering. Directional control is mostly maintained by attachment to cables strung from one bank to the other. Time has proven this method as it has been working in this basic form since 1785.
By now the time I had allotted for this trip was running out and it was time to return home. I was facing about a six-hour drive with Therapy in tow but the visions of the time on the water still swirled in my mind and made it seem much shorter. I had taken over a hundred photos during the four days I had spent on the water but somehow the pictures don’t do justice to what I had experienced. It is sort of like taking photos of the Grand Canyon – they provide the image but just don’t convey the depth, the feel or the awe that witnessing it first hand provides.
And Therapy once again delivered me to and brought me home safe and sound without a complaint. It is truly amazing how much pleasure this little wooden boat has brought into my life.
I finally forced myself to check out the bottom where she bounced on the rock but other than the paint being scraped a little she was just fine. A tough old girl. Like me though, she is starting to show a little wear with a scratch here and there and a little minor dock rash but over all not bad. Especially now since she has 15,094 miles and 903 hours running time on her. This trip added 350 miles and 19 hours of those totals.
It was a great trip and I will do it again someday. And although maybe not my “dream river” the Kentucky River is certainly one to remember.