Aug 12

Today was stormy and windy. Paddled into the wind, only about four miles but it took me all morning. Got to Ashland, spoke with a couple fisherman on the dock who told me a major storm was on its way. I believed them as I could see the dark clouds moving in from the west. Secured my boat and trudged up to the flood wall and entered downtown Ashland.

First thing I found was an AMTRAC depot with a wide sheltered waiting area outside and I got there just as the storm broke. Heaviest rain I have seen here, and plenty of wind. Happy I made it to some safe place and not out on the river. Like most of the storms here, however, it only lasted about an hour, then sunshine and calm. I managed to find a Burger King and had a burger for lunch.

I like Ashland, what I got to see of it. Mostly just a few downtown blocks, older part of the city, but it was evident that they are trying to improve the river side of town. I was impressed with the beautiful park and dock that ran for a quarter mile along the waterfront.

This stretch of the river is busy with power plants and some sort of refinery processes. Also lots of cranes unloading scrap metal from barges into trucks. Lots of barge shuffling along the bank and I had to dodge tug boats several times. Noisy too, trains, barge whistles and the hammering and clanging that comes from those huge warehouses on the bank; no telling what is going on in there but from the noise it makes, it must be important.

I don't think I have ever mentioned the fish. I see plenty of them, lots of jumping, big fish, making big splashes. Then there are these little silver things that seem to run just ahead of my boat, leaping, giving just a glimpse of them, not more than a couple inches long. And of course, lots of dead fish. Big ones. I imagine in an industrial river like this, many fish get run down by the dozens of props that run up and down. One thing though, every time I talk with fishermen, they don't seem to have much luck catching anything.

After the storm, after Ashland, I paddled a couple miles and found one of those nice Ohio boat ramps. Out in the middle of nowhere, which suits me fine. I think Greenup, Kentucky, tomorrow, which may be the final leg of the trip. .