Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Albany, IN breaking down in the lock!

Sean, met us in the morning to lock through with us. This one was tricky. Our radio didn't reach the three miles through the canal to the lock so we had to call. Thankfully John gave us his friend's number at McAlpine lock, the chart didn't have it. Everything good, we motored through the canal. John photographing us the whole time.

A little before we entered the lock the handle of the motor fell off. A bunch of little pieces fell into the water. I held on to it and we entered the chambered. "Lets go to the last pin, so we won't have to paddle as far, I don't think I can start this again"

forty feet down we fiddled with duck tap and glue. Good think my friend Mike is Mcgiver. He talked me through it on the telephone and we got the thing started. The first dock I saw we stopped.

Lucky for us New Albany boat club is Awesome!!!! and right next to a marine parts store. we found all the little parts and put it back together again!

running better than ever.

On our walk to the boat part store we ran into our friend Tim from the Pirate ship in his work truck.

"Are you guys lost or something?"

"As a matter of fact..."

He was able to give us a ride back down to the boat club and help us out. Brought his grandson down the next day.

Some photos! (New and Old)

Vorrasi and I in pittsburgh, boy has the raft changed.

bad head wind, this was the first week, we still have our poor dingy.

wellsburgh, ohio. A friend helped us change gear oil.

beaver river!

New Martinsville, and my Oma and Opa visiting!

THE DUDE. Tim hooked us up at his campsite. Great guy.

My friends in payne hollow, Martin, Averyl, and Adam

This painting is made of fish hooks. Somewhere in Louisville

The Pirate Ship!

This boat is at least 15stories tall. It fixes the locks. (which always need fixing)

Louisville, KT

From the calm of the hollow, we entered the bustle of Lousiville, KT.

Vorrasi, anxious to beat the cold, motored all night. We moored in some creek. When we woke, we realized that it wasn't just any creek. We were parked across the water from a five story yacht and mansion! This creek was yacht central. One side wild life preserve, on the other were several crew of lawn boys keeping everything up to code. The girls let themselves to shore, and we reorganized the boat. In the middle of our breakfast fire, I see little Isabella hen fly over us in the grasp of an OWL! Vorrasi and I start yelling, and the poor little chicken fell from the sky and hit the side of the raft then slid down into the cold water. We scooped her out and she layed an egg. What a bird.

The folks at the fancy boat club drinking espresso gave us the crazy look. "Yes, we came out of there"

Approaching Louisville, we saw tents and people so we pulled up, dropped anchor, and went up to what we found out was the "Peace and Roots festival". We tryed not to get run down by the parade of babies holding dove floats, or the aggressive dentist with her organic apple.

"Want an Organic apple?"
"Sure, but none of the plastic, its not organic in that bag"
"Here's a tooth brush."
"Hey, what are you trying to say? "

We got out of there quick. A storm was brewing. The wind was barely manageable, but somehow we coasted into the public dock next to a pirate ship, and not over the falls of the Ohio. We were lucky to meet to nice fellows on a pontoon who told us about the place earlier. Thanks!

Once we got all the hatches battened, we drank whiskey and ate brots with the pirates. Tim moored on the Kentucky side of the river to avoid all the bridge traffic, and happened to have a first grade reunion the night we arrived. We told stories and braved the worst storm we had yet. 25mph winds! I was so happy to be at a dock next to friends.

Tim, who is normally up at 6, said hello to us at ten, and Bobby from the ship, was going to meet us at 10 and came at noon. It was a good thing too, we had woken up at 11. The ship was a bunch of fun.
Bobby helped us out so much. We manged to get all the tools we needed. We loaded up gas, food, and I bought a bow saw. He gave us the most wonderful present, a Dutch oven! Becoming more and more like payne hollow.

John nation took lots of photos and made us a disk that I can send to mom. We met his daughter and then got a great tour. We drank some great coffee and met sean. I was trying to weave a grass basket the whole time which I gave to Grace.  Thanks!

Sean and Kamila came over to our little raft to share a fire and brought several german army coats that have been keeping us warm since!

Leaving first thing in the morning! (sometime around noon)

Payne Hollow, the home of the hubbards.

We thankfully and gladly dropped colin in Cinncinatti. Sometimes the river just makes people mean. I'm not the kind of person to give up when things are hard, or I would've left the raft a while ago. After trying everything, I can give up on Colin Anderson. Its a shame.

With all that tension gone, we picked up Mike Vorrasi  from the bus and Paul drove the two of us back to madison to meet my friends from Earlam College in Richman, IN. It was so good to see my old freinds of 5 or more years, especially after everything I had to deal with with Colin.  I am so lucky to have such great people in my life.

We headed to the hollow, and beached up a pauls place. Martin drove the raft for a bit, the rest of the crew sipped good ole' kentucky burbon on the front of the deck. After all the harsh words and belittlement of colin, it was good to know that I can drive the boat without him. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to not be the object of blame and his anger. It was even more wonderful to share this moment with familar faces. I'm not alone in this adventure.

We pulled up to paul's house, "Paul, I am never leaving" turning to my friends, "He thinks I'm joking".
Vorrasi and I ended up staying a week, swimming and learning a different way of life. We cooked on the hearth everyday, had lots of time to fix up our raft, and share stories. I learned so much from Paul and am so thankful he took us in.  What a great friend to have.

It was hard to say goodbye to paul and leave the peace of the hollow, but winter is coming. Back to the grind and into the wind we went.  

Madison, IN

The little town of Madison is lovely. Our first day the weather was misty and rainy. Winds were high. In warsaw we had met Jeff who told us of the hollow and Paul, who owns the place now. The boat was worse than it ever had been, due to the storms. There was mud everywhere and all of our things in a jumble. We called up Jeff right before the highway bridge, "They pulled the public dock out of the water" "Where should we go?"

We maneuvered to a paved landing near a campground where Jeff pulled up in a yellow side car, paul following him, and somehow my friend traveling across country from LA followed paul in a mini cooper. We made all the introductions and called the Lighthouse cafe marina then headed down to dock. Evan, my friend coming from californina, braved the mist, while paul and I drove.

"Paul, now I realize why everyone looks and points at us." This was the first time I saw the raft underway with out me! We are this little piece of junk inching down a big stormy river hundreds of miles. 

Evan went on his way back to my home city of Philadelphia, I thought about going with him. BUT here I am still on this drifting dock with my two chickens.

Paul and I went out to lunch and then he gave me a full tour of Madison, including Amy and Jane's barbershop. We had a couple beers as I picked away at the banjo on the wall.

The next day, I packed my little hens a lunch and put them in Jane's coop. First day with other hens! They all ganged up on my poor little sweat hearts and we had to separate them. They were both happy and taken care of once the separate coop was shut. With them taken care of, we headed down to the hollow. There is a slippery mile hike down to Pauls little house on the hillside. No heat, No electric, No running water, but everything you could need or want. His shelves were stacked with useful books, kitchen full of food, tall fire wood pile, and a lovely place to sit and watch the woods. 

The innovation of the place and hard work is what makes payne hollow beautiful. The hubbards are gone, but the way of life is not dead. Payne hollow is alive because of Paul. There is no entrance fee. There is no silk rope and "do not touch" sign. There is a warm hearth and duch oven corn. Stir your soup with Anna hubbard's spoon, because that is what it was made for. The chairs are sat in, and the beautiful wood working is used.

Calmed from the visit to the hollow, we climbed the hill and went over to jane's house.. I let the lady's out to peck in the grass, and with a full belly of jane's jumbulia, went to my little boat proud of the adventure and everything simple river life stands for.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Win a Vorrasi lose a Colin

Friends, the time has come for me to jump ship. Faith is getting the
better end of the deal I think. Losing me and gaining Vorrasi. They
will continue the dream together and we all know they will make it
far. I want to personally thank my friends, family, and everyone I
have met along the way (who is now my friend) for their never ending
support and encouragement. I could not have done this without you. I
look forward to spending the winter designing and building a new boat.
Until then, this is Colin, signing off. I love you all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


We are saddened by the lack of a certain Barbie Robbins but are happy to be in Madison IN. We are at the public library now but sadly I can't figure out how to upload any pictures! Oh well, I'll post some up soon. Tomorrow we will go to Payne Hollow thanks to our new friend Paul who inherited it from Harlan and Anna Hubbard after they past on. For those of you who don't know, Harlan wrote an amazing book called Shantyboat, A River Way of Life in the 40s and Payne Hollow was their home until they died. We are happy to have river friends in Madison.
The weather this week has been unbearable but we have made it as far as we can. We will win a Vorrasi on Saturday, and I will write again then. It may be my last post on this blog. Thank you so much for reading our blog and supporting us along the way. It means the world to us. love. colin

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rising Sun

We are in Rising Sun Indiana. What a beautiful town. Last night we
canoed across river to Rabbit Hash Kentucky, where the mayor is a dog
(seriously), for a music festival they were having. What a cool time
we had! On our way back, some heavy lightning started in and wild
winds came a blowing up stream. We had to abandon the canoe until
today when we went back to pick it up where we left it. We walked in
the pouring rain back to our boat. Oh well, it was worth it to see
Rabbit Hash.
When we were in Dayton Kentucky, just across the river from
Cincinnati, we picked up a third rafter. Her name is Barbie. She is so
lovely. Yesterday she went back home. We miss her so much already.
Tomorrow we will head out for Louisville, but today we will wait out
the storms and spend time with our new friend Barb Anderson at
Anderson`s Riviera Inn. Peace and love. colin and faith