Friday, July 15, 2016

Sistersville Ferry Cruise: Food, Fun, and Fireworks

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows my love affair with the Sistersville Ferry. Located at the river's edge in the pretty Ohio River town of Sistersville, the ferry is the only one operating in West Virginia today, and it's future is constantly in doubt due to funding issues. But the people of Sistersville refuse to let the ferry service end, and have come up with many creative ideas to keep the ferry in operation.

The ferry cruises are one of those ideas. Offered only a few times during the year, the cruises are a leisurely float down the river, skirting an island and offering beautiful scenery along the way.Last weekend we were fortunate to accompany our good friends Barb (the ferry board's current leader) and Greg on an evening cruise that included dinner and fireworks.

The captain, who retired a few years ago from the US Coast Guard, gave us the rules first--where the life jackets were and safety regulations. It was a pretty good crowd, about 65-70 people altogether. the American Legion provided a simple dinner of burgers, hot dogs, and fixin's. No photos of that because, well, I was eating!

There was even a pirate on board. Actually, someone forgot to bring his hat ;)

I was completely relaxed as I watched the water flow by, noticed things on the banks that one never sees from land, and feeling the cool of the evening settle around us. After the past week of activity, this was a welcome break.

The river was almost perfectly calm, the sun was shining and a light breeze kept us comfortable.

The island we circled, with a little bitty baby island beside it--actually a chunk that broke off the big one.

 Boys doing what boys do best--being rowdy and having a great time on the river. I wish this shot had come out better--caught him completely upside down!

Someone's quiet little bonfire place on the river bank. Look how the color differs between the sun (above) and the shade in this photo.

 Barb and Greg, relaxing. (Greg is an amazing photographer, with many published photos, particularly of motor sports/racing. You can check out a few of them here.

A farm wagon waits for hay, high on the riverbank.

 The crumbling of "doctor's house" at Friendly, WV. The front entrance of this place used to face the river, and was really quite grand in its day. Such a shame this place was left to ruin.

A gaggle of geese watch us pass by, not even curious about  the noisy crowd on board.

Sunlight dusted the travelers with its golden light as the sun began to set.

 The Captain, high above, keeping us on a steady course.

And then the show really started...

Pink water!

Smaller craft wait on the river, their running lights on, for the fireworks to begin.

Onshore, someone lit those Japanese candle lanterns, that floated, flaming, into the sky.

But bigger things were yet to come--the annual fireworks show!

Larry and I watching the fireworks. Photo by Greg Gage (c) from the Sistersville Ferry Legacy Facebook page.

It was a fantastic evening, and an experience I highly recommend. Everyone on board remarked on how much they enjoyed the trip, and I know I will want to go again. The next cruise is scheduled for August 13th, loading at 6-6:30 pm. This one will be a karaoke and fun trip, something a little different! But before that, you can ride the ferry during the Second Annual Ohio River Ferryboat Festival on Saturday, July 30th, in Sistersville! Plan to attend, learn about the ferry, listen to the music, enjoy crafters and take a walk around this historic, picturesque town. Become a Facebook friend of the Ferry to see more photos from this remarkable cruise!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Oh my goodness - what an adventure. The photos are fabulous.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

How lovely Sue and I loved seeing all your photos as you travelled on the river.

Brig said...

Great pics and it looks like a great time as well. Kudos to the Sistersville ferry committee.

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