October 12, 2008

We did not have advance reservations for this Lunch Cruise and it was full.  However, we were told that a couple who made reservations but had not paid in advance still had not shown for the ride.  If they defaulted, we would be able to take their place.   That's just what happened!

The Valley Gem is a modern-day sternwheeler able to carry up to 296 passengers.  It offers a unique look into river history. On this lock tours you can travel up the Muskingum River. 
 Every seat was filled!  It's a popular cruise

 Waiting our table's turn at the Buffet Lunch.

View outside the dining area.  You can see the spray from the paddlewheel!

View from inside the wheelhouse.  There was a long bench seat, elevated, from which you could sit and watch the view with the captain!

It was pretty nice in there!

Interesting sites pointed out along the way.  Very pretty ride and we were the only boat on the water.

Devol's Dam Lock
The Muskingum River is home to the first and last complete hand operated lock system in the United States. The Lock system was originally built in 1841 to increase commerce to the center of the state of Ohio. It was an engineering marvel of its day and still works. The Valley Gem was specifically designed to operate through these locks. 

We slip in through the open lock gates.

Each gate is manually operated.  Here you see one of the men going in circles to close the gate now that we have entered the lock.

Here's the operator of the other gate.  They go round and round in a circle pushing this lever.  This guy had such muscular legs from this job!

Big gates closing and then the water rushed in to fill the lock and lift the boat up to the level of the river on the other side of the dam.

Next, they have to open the gate at the other end of the lock to let us pass through.

And out we go to the upper level of the dam and continue our trip along the river.  See the lockmaster at top right.  There's two levers, one to close gate and one to open.  You can see both levers here.

 Looking back at the lock.

Sunken Sternwheeler!


No comments: