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Old 10-11-2006, 06:02 PM
Tom Schiffer Tom Schiffer is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On Flintlock Farm on Gunpowder Road in Boone County, Kentucky
Posts: 777
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The Tall Stacks experience has been observed in our household since the beginning in 1988 when I had "duty" elsewhere, and could only cruise by after hours. For several of them now, we have had house guests from out of town and our experiences have ranged from fair to excellent and don't necessarily reflect the relative quality of the events. For Carol and me, this one was outstanding. I heard lotsa gripes about not getting answers to questions asked off the TS website etc, but we had a great time. This is partly because that, over the years, we have gotten to know how to "do" the event to satisfy OUR interests and our guests...not necessarily those of others. Due to logistics, we spent much of the time on the Kentucky side of the river. One of the best experiences is the People Bridge from which much can be seen...at no charge. Naturally, to get to the three cruises that we took...all on REAL steamers, we were on the Cincy side and there was much to see there, I suppose, that we did not have time or energy for...no music or theater other than what was on the boats. We "did" the cruises during the week to avoid the crush of the weekend leaving the last three days for cruises in MISSIE. But, you don't have to have a steamboat to appreciate the harbor from a small boat. We put in at Wilder, three miles up the Licking River from the Ohio and it takes MISSIE about forty minutes to negotiate that distance...not much current to buck, but, at five mph... The Coast Guard was at TS in FORCE and many of their boats were manned to the point of what appeared to be overkill, but they did their job. My view is that the traffic was well handled in spite of how heavy it appeared at times. I did think that the river ferries were over priced and resulted in a diminished experience for many and an irritating financial drain to others. There was little play on the Kentucky side early on and I think the ferry fee had something to do with that. I have to say that the LST experience was OUTSTANDING in that it was manned by veterans who had made an important part of the history that we all enjoy. In my opinion, the percieved value received for the five dollar LST admission compared to the five dollar ferry fee was not even close! The two dollar parking fee at the Newport On The Levee garage was inexpensive and gave access to a great part of the event if you could walk the bridge which is right there. I am thankful that the event was relatively accident-free as there are many opportunities for big-bad things to occur. I think that the weather was a BIG factor in my enjoyment of the event and know that the overnight rise of four feet in the river stage sent much of the river participants into a mad scramble to accommodate the change. On Friday, I took MISSIE under the second span out of the Big Mac Bridge and set her at no forward speed, at which time the speedometer registered 3.6 mph. By Sunday, this went down to a more or less normal 1.7 mph...that water was headed for New Orleans on Friday! But, after the rain on Wednesday, the rest of the weather was OUTSTANDING. I took hundreds of pictures from several vantage points and times of day and night. I cannot say too much about how much I appreciate the two real steamers being there. The BELL OF LOU is certainly not out of reach all summer for some one who lives in Northern Kentucky, but the NATCHEZ is not... In all, it was a great experience for us. Till next time...
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