We spent Monday on a little road trip. It was too hot to do much outside and I needed to pick up my check at the Marietta Mall so we stopped there first. The kids loved the mall and browsed around, even buying a few things (and got a freebie each from Granny's booth). We then went to the Ohio River Museum where I told stories at the beginning of the month. It's really a kids' paradise with all sorts of items from the steamboat era and early settlement of the Ohio Valley. The part they seemed to like best was the tour of the WP Snyder JR tugboat. It is not in operation but provides an excellent look into life on the tugs 50 years or more ago.
Stories of steamship disasters and the odds and ends that were once part of the furnishings provided a lot to look at and talk about during our visit.
This is the oldest surviving pilothouse (the place where the Captain and pilot steer and plan the boat's course), on display at the museum. Locked when we were there, and probably usually locked to preserve it.
Inside the WP Snyder, Jr, and walking down the corridor in the crew's quarters.
Outside on the deck the river breezes were cool, but inside the steel structure it was warm. Imagine what it would be like on a summer day with the boilers going. Too hot to think about.
The laundry room
Typical crew members' room. The captain's looked very similar, except had one bed and a desk for reading charts. Windows must have been open quite often even in winter to keep it comfortable.
The kitchen (called that on a freshwater boat, galley on the ocean-going ships)
and the refrigerator. They made their own ice on board, using a system similar to the way our gas refrigerator works.
At the helm! Look at the size of that wheel. The Snyder was in operation on the Monongahela River in northern WV/western PA until the mid-1950's, still burning coal to fuel it's engines.
Girls can do this too!
After the tour, the kids fed the huge carp that hung around the boat waiting for a handout.
We left the museum and drove north to Sistersville and the old cemetery there that is one of my favorite places. More on that later.
What else is going on here:
There is still much unpacking to do from my 10 days away from home and a summer of storytelling. My clothes are mostly unpacked and the dirty ones washed and dried, but not yet put away. The summer reading program suitcase, the Appalachian program suitcase and the books and other things I took to Augusta are still waiting to be sorted out. My workroom is a disaster, full of items bought but not yet inventoried or priced for the booths, receipts that need to be entered and filed, eBay stuff...lots of work to be done in here.
And next on the storytelling schedule: The Three Rivers Storytelling Festival in Pittsburgh! That's this coming weekend and I am so glad to be able to be there to tell stories and reconnect with my Pittsburgh friends. Life is bringing lots of good things our way this summer. I must admit, though, that these days with James and Michaela are about the best of the whole summer--nothing equals spending time with grandchildren.
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