On the Mississippi

We walked around the Gateway Arch National Park this morning hoping to reproduce the photo in our hotel room, showing the Arch and its reflection. We didn’t find exactly the right spot and the water was too rough to give a clean reflection, but I liked the photo I took anyway.

We spent an hour or so in the Gateway Arch Museum before we had to go back to the hotel to join the group for the coach ride to the ship. When we checked in with Mark, the Excursions Coordinator, I joked that we’d’ve walked the ten minutes to the ship but we didn’t want to mess up his bookkeeping.

I shouldn’t have worried about his bookkeeping. We all got on the coach and set out on the short drive to the ship; it should have taken about six minutes – but there were fire engines blocking the way to the ship, so the driver had to park and wait. Twenty minutes later, she announced that she wouldn’t be able to drive to the ship. We had the choice of walking to the ship or waiting for golf carts; we chose to walk (so did most of the passengers who could walk the distance).

Lunch was waiting for us when we got to the ship; we had the mandatory egress drill and then set sail for our first destination – Paducah, Kentucky.

I got one last photo of the Arch from 10 miles downstream.

We had an interesting lecture on Steamships and Paddleboats; our speaker (David Dorsey) talked a lot about the importance of barge traffic on the Mississippi and Ohio over the years. We’ve seen a lot of barges so far, both moving and parked – each barge holds about 58 semi-trailers’ worth of goods, and a towboat typically pushes 15 barges at a time. That’s a lot of stuff!