I drove from Atlanta to visit the Belle of Louisville. I want all to know that it is well worth making a lengthy trip to visit this living piece of history and her hospitable crew. Captain Mullen, Chief McCoy and the crew were more than willing to share their knowledge about the Belle and the River in general.
Few things live up to expectation, but the Belle is one. I had read a great deal of steamboat lore over the years and had an image fixed in my mind regarding what I hoped to see and experience. The visit exceeded expectation. The steamboat is in fantastic condition. She gives one a real sense of being back in the steamboat era. All of the small details were exactly as I expected.
If you have been thinking about making the trip, don't wait, go ahead and do it. I wish I had done it years ago. It brings everything you are reading into perspective. Send the crew an email, through their website, www.belleoflouisville.org
and let them know you are a river fan and you plan to visit. I assure you, you will be personally welcomed.
Also, the newer book, Legendary Lady
by Ann Jewell and Captain Kevin Mullen is really well done. The printing and paper are beautiful and it is a great read. Order it from the website if you can't get to Louisville.
Congrats to the crew of the Belle for a fantastic job on her condition and for the way you treat the passengers to a great experience.