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Old 10-03-2006, 07:53 AM
Judy Patsch Judy Patsch is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,862
Default Tall Stacks Day 1

I should have set this up as a blog, but with the webmeister not online, I'll just have to do regular posts - this will be a behind the scenes look at Tall Stacks. I just read Keith's report and it looks like this week is giving a lot of us steamboating highs... I arrived in Cincy at 3:30 Monday afternoon, some 14 hours after the NATCHEZ did. I was worried about getting close enough to be able to drop off a big box of cookies. Shoot, if the stage were wider, I could have driven aboard! She's docked right below the phony AQ wheel and as you drive down the ramp, it looks like you're going to drive right into her. From the Pete Rose Expressway, its a similar view as of the Belle in Louisville - the pilothouse visible as you buzz along the road. When I went aboard it was break time, a fortuitous chance for the cookies to get eaten. Among the gang catching a few rays on the main deck were Capts. Steve Nicoulin, Don Houghton, and Finley Fraser; President Gordon Stevens, VP Bill Wilson, Chief Scotty Vieagas, Ken LaPorte, Suzi Cobb and several others. The boat, like the BELLE, is resplendent in a new paint job on the decks. In order to seat the 500 capacity for meals, they've set up narrow tables along the railing on the hurricane deck(we only seat 258 inside). An auxiliary gift shop will be outside the dining room. Ken says we have 15,202 hat pins, so if you're not going to be on the boat for a cruise and would like a souvenir, email me. I'll find the price today...After an hour or so of good talk, I thought I'd better get checked into my motel in Newport. I took a detour- a scenic tour of downtown Cincy due to the one-ways, and dropped off 3 crew members at their hotel, the Millenium. The Travelodge is home for several .orgers: Suzanne and Richard Martinez, already checked in, and Pat Carr, Pat Traynor, Franz and Carmen, all of whom were approaching on the BELLE. The Martinezes and I took my River 3 down River Road looking for the BELLE, and we were rewarded a couple of miles below Andersons Ferry. We got a few shots there and proceeded to the ferry landing to await her. Wow! It was sunset and the hills across the river are like at the famous Madison landing. Capt. Bill Ray gave us a whistle salute and the goosebumps are returning as I type this... what a beautiful scene as she glided and whooshed past. On to the public landing, where we sat on the NATCHEZ awaiting the BELLE's arrival. Just as I remembered from my childhood, here came some lights and they just got bigger and bigger as she approached. She landed just below the NATCHEZ with Capt. Kevin on the wingbridge and Capt. Bill in the pilothouse. Apparently the Rabbit Hash Shipyard has been shut down for a couple of days, as a beaming Tom Schiffer disembarked from the two day trip. It looked like they had around 100 on that trip segment. Wonderful photo ops of the NATCHEZ and BELLE side by side at night... it took 2 trips to get the 4 and their baggage over to the Travelodge, but Franz and Carmen certainly didn't mind waiting bythe BELLE... since it was past closing time for most restaurants, we ended up at the Hofbrauhaus in Newport! They've never been to the original one in Munich! Who was there ahead of us but the majority of the NATCHEZ crew. They held forth in the courtyard while we chowed down in the main hall. A great day of fun, fellowship, and fotos on the river. Today the work begins, but what a great feeling to be back on the NATCHEZ with my steamboat family!

Last edited by Judy Patsch; 10-14-2006 at 06:34 PM.
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