Wednesday, October 31, 2007
What's up with all the abandoned riverboats?
Just north of Alton, IL on the mighty Mississippi, sits this aging queen of the river. There's a couple of old tugs and what looks to be a cabin cruiser that's seen better days moored silently beside her. Some equipment and a fence, a car or two, obviously some kind of shipyard. Or salvage operation. I spied the queen and her court back in September, but did not have time to stop. I knew I'd come back. Are they fixing her? Storing her? Tearing her down? There seems to be no difference since we first met. There's doors galore, as if to separate cabins, a back deck, twin smokestacks and an enclosed upper observation deck just behind the wheel house. Was she a decommissioned over-nighter? Did she turn to day-cruising? Did she become a gambler's delight? Or is she just pleading for mercy from the spirits, now her only inhabitants? I wish I knew her secrets, but she won't give them up. She knows I'd tell.