Thursday 10 May 2012

Mississippi Paddlewheel Revival

The big red paddlewheel is turning. Crowds rush to the riverbanks of small towns to whoop and wave. In the pilot house, Capt. John Sutton lowers the twin stacks so American Queen can pass under railroad bridges. Heavily laden coal barges, like long chains of dominoes, chug past.

The double doors of their cabins splayed wide open to the spring breezes, passengers line American Queen’s rails to soak in the ever-changing scenery that varies from a legendary bandits’ cave to locks and dams. As Sutton blows the steam whistle, a ship buff says: ‘Savor that sound. That is not a sound you’ll hear in the United States any more.’

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Read David Ellis's feature at Traveloscopy

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