RiverNotes: FIrst Day Aboard The Theresa Wood
I climbed aboard the M/V Theresa Wood, owned and operated by Marquette Transportation and on charter to AEP River Operations, on July 1 at about 1500 hours.
Moving up the Mississippi at about 5-7 MPH, we've been through three locks, all built during the Great Depression; through the swing span of the Louisiana Railroad Bridge; under the Hannibal Railroad Bridge, in the childhood hometown of Mark Twain; then under two auto bridges; and passed a handful of southbound pushboats with their tows. the Mississippi is high this summer, about five feet above flood stage, but they tell me the summer heat isn't as bad as usual. Still, it's about 30 degrees hotter than when I left Seattle.
So far I've accompanied Captain Rusty Joyner on his daily walk up and down the length of the tow; promised the Mates I'd tell the Lead Man I was a Cincinnati Reds fan just to stoke the flames of their rivalry; know more about the Pilot and Captain's families in one day than I do of people I'd worked with for four years in an office. Which boat I would take from St. Louis up the Mississippi for five days was just the luck of the draw- whichever was leaving at the right time. I can tell my luck was good. The way the Captain talks about his crew- even the crew that's not onboard for this trip- it's like they're his extended family he's so proud of that he's disappointed I won't get to know each and every one of them.