I learned about the Ohio River today, as we traveled from Ohio, and across the southern boundary of Indiana. The Ohio River Scenic Byway covers three states along 967 miles of natural and cultural history. Leaving Casstown this morning, our route took us south toward the river, and we chose to follow the blue dotted line, curves and all, in order to see the countryside. The first part of our route wasn’t too impressive, and I wondered what the “scenic” really meant.
We had been on winding roads so much of the time, and decided to take a bit of a break around Louisville, and followed the Interstate for a time before dropping back down to the river again. It was a great decision, because from the town of Sulphur on state route 66, through Evansville, we followed the river through forests and farmlands and river towns rich with history.
The town of Madison was especially inviting, with 1500 buildings and all 133 blocks of the town listed on the Historic Register. A point of frustration for us, especially on a scenic byway, was the lack of places to stop and park and actually see the river. The road was incredibly narrow and winding, with no shoulders at all, and no place to stop.
But finally at the tiny town of Derby, we found a lovely park along the river, and a big barge happened to pass by at just the right moment. I love the signs telling about the history of what we are seeing, and as silly as it seems, these sign photos really help me to remember the stories of where we have been. This sign was especially good, with a clear panel that made my photo look like something framed rather than an actual scene. Made me laugh.
We followed the barge along the river until we came to the Cannelton Locks, where again there wasn’t any place to park or pull over. High on a hill above the locks, however, is the Eagle Ridge park, and as we walked out to the overlook, we got to see our barge going through the locks.
Today was my 65th birthday, and it was great to spend it exploring some part of the world that is new to me. Sometimes birthdays are strange, and I find myself waiting for the band to come marching through. Most of the time, there is no band, but in this case, since I was traveling, it didn’t matter! I talked to my children and to my dearest friend back in California, and the chance to connect with family and friends was a good thing. Cell phones are an amazing thing.
The rest of the photos for this day are linked here.