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Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen~Level Nice, West Virginia – All Issues Cruise

ON THE OHIO RIVER_Is it Friday already? As cruisers know, it’s simple to lose observe of the times whenever you’re crusing — every day bleeds into the following.

                        American Queen Steamboat

However it’s certainly Friday, and we’re at our second to final port of name, Level Nice, West Virginia. The excursions begin later right now, not till after lunch, so this morning we’re free brokers. For the boat, the primary order of enterprise is docking at a gas depot to tank up — which, based on one of many staff, means a 30,000-gallon fill-up. Discuss ache on the pump.

The primary exercise of the day is the river lecture, the place riverlorian Chris Wistey acquaints us with the historical past behind some widespread riverboat phrases and phrases, which, as an English main myself, I all the time discover attention-grabbing. For instance, “hog wash” was coined by deck staff who needed to clear up after the pigs the boat was transporting. And everyone knows that cabins on cruise ships are referred to as “staterooms.” That happened as a result of cabins had been initially named for states, and the identify caught.

Subsequent up, they assembled the leisure workforce within the Grand Saloon to subject questions from the company. What’s spectacular about this group is their deep stage of expertise and the way they help one another in no matter activity must be carried out.

After lunch, it was time to board the buses for our tour of Level Nice. With intermittent gentle rain falling, we seize an umbrella supplied by American Queen and head for our bus. Like many different small cities alongside the Ohio, artists have painted giant murals all alongside the flood wall. The partitions had been put in place after the disastrous floods of 1937 we’re informed, which should have been catastrophic for your complete area.

It’s a small city — lower than 5,000 residents — based in 1797 and named by George Washington. Positioned on the merger of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, we study it’s the second oldest metropolis on the Ohio River. There are 5 stops deliberate, and we choose to “hop off” on the third: Fort Randolph, a devoted duplicate of the unique, in-built 1776 to guard its residents from the Indians.

Tour guides in genuine garb of the interval are readily available to inform us concerning the numerous buildings, their function and what life was like throughout that point. Main kudos to the townspeople we’ve encountered all through this cruise, who’ve actually rolled out the purple carpet for us.

However in fact, the actual attraction I’m trying ahead to seeing is the Mothman Museum, devoted to the winged creature that allegedly terrorized the city in November, 1966. Eyewitness accounts on the time inform of a one thing six ft tall, with large purple eyes and large wings. It’s even being tied to UFO exercise, the notorious Males in Black and the collapse in 1967 of the Silver Bridge, which killed over 40 folks.

It gained notoriety largely by way of a e book by John Keel, “The Mothman Prophecies,” printed in 1975, and a 2002 film by the identical identify, starring Richard Gere.

No matter you select to consider, consider this: The Mothman Museum is essentially the most occurring place on the town. Pam indulged me as I considered previous newspaper clippings, took selfies with Mothman replicas and did a deep dive into the legendary monster. Bless her coronary heart, she even purchased me a Mothman T-shirt.

Each September, they maintain a Mothman Pageant, which attracts 3 times extra folks than dwell within the city. However sufficient of the Mothman; time to make the quick stroll again to the boat.

One notice about that: Getting on and off the boat simply entails swiping your boat card. There aren’t any metallic detectors or checking luggage and belongings, as they do on most cruises we’ve taken. We’re not used to that.

The late afternoon is off to an excellent begin on the Captain’s Bar, the place the Steamboat Syncopators are doing a set of Duke Ellington jazz, certainly one of our favs. Their variations of “The ‘A’ Prepare,” “In a Sentimental Temper” and “It Don’t Imply a Factor” had company clapping their approval.

Subsequent up was the port speak, detailing our upcoming go to to Marietta, OH., adopted by tonight’s present, “Over the Rainbow,” that includes vocalist Mandy Kerridge and the Steamboat Syncopators. She has an excellent voice, which was showcased on a stirring rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

Our dinner featured pecan-encrusted corvina (excellently ready) and for dessert, Tennessee Whiskey Cake. Whereas we dined, American Queen entered one other lock on the river. It didn’t seem we had lots of room to spare as we went by way of. Our captain is aware of what he’s doing for certain.

Afterwards, we walked the highest deck and had been handled to a good looking sundown, creating golden ripples throughout the river whereas the boat’s paddlewheels threw spray within the air. It was the proper approach to finish the day.

And in case you had been questioning: No signal of the Mothman.

PHOTOS: by Gerry Barker

  • Sundown creates a golden glow on the Ohio River (Cowl Photograph)
  • The Mothman Museum
  • I take a selfie. Is the Mothman smiling or licking his chops?
  • Inside one of many buildings at Fort Randolph. The unique was in-built 1776.

See sailings right here American Queen Voyages Cruises (

See earlier American Queen posts right here

Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen ~Maysville, Kentucky – All Issues Cruise

Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen ~Cincinnati

Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen ~Madison, Indiana: ‘Most Stunning River City in America’

Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen ~Indiana

Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen ~Louisville

Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen

                     American Queen Steamboat



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