Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Mon (Aug 6 to Aug 14)
We started out early again the next day. As we entered our third and final lock for the day bolts of lightning slashed the sky. Once we'd tied up in the lock, the rain began to fall. The lock tender raised us up and opened the door, but said we could stay in the lock to wait out the storm. We took him up on that and were able to get under way again after a short delay.
The trip up the Mon was a mix of nice scenery - tree covered high hills - and industry - mostly huge power plants. One interesting thing about the barge traffic on the Mon and the Ohio is that you see barges of coal going both directions, passing each other. Different types of coal, I guess, but it all looks the same to us.
Next on the agenda was the trip up to Fairmont and the beginning of the Mon - the confluence of the Tygart River and the West Fork. Joe had noticed on the charts that the elevation there is 860 feet above sea level. Back in 2009 when we did the loop our guide book informed us that at Balsam Lake we had reached an elevation of 841 feet above sea level. The claim was that it was the highest elevation in the world a boat can reach by traveling on its bottom from the sea. Now we know it was wrong! Who knows how many of the superlatives we hear are wrong - I'd guess lots - most? - of them.
So Lazy Dolphin and Carolyn Ann (Young America had opted out and started back to Pittsburgh) cruised to the Tygart River, turned around and started back down - or up, because downriver is north.
After a stop at Ventura's dock again, we got back to Station Square in Pittsburgh. We were all ready to start our trip down the Ohio so we left the next morning.
There are more pictures on the picasa site: http://picasaweb.google.com/joseph.pica