Tuesday, September 1, 2009

JW Hershey Up Bound on the Mississippi River


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Commercial strength 5,000 horse power diesels propel the JW Hershey tug through Lock #16 on Mississippi River. Built in 1965, the 157-foot vessel was seen on August 30th pushing thirteen cargo barges through the Illinois side of Lock and Dam #16 directly across from Muscatine, Iowa. Home port for the JW Hershey is in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
A barge crew works to keep the tug/barge configuration in place within the lock as muddy waters rose to equal the up-river pool. Barge men give the pilot their verbal "ok" once the secure rigging is untied from the lock's side. With a powerful thrust of the engine the JW Hershey slowly pushed her cargo northward as a down bound tug waited to enter the lock. Two days later she continues her journey, and is presently situated at pool 11 on September 1.

Whether you watch these workhorses on the Mississippi River or their bigger brethren slip through the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan or on the Saint Lawrence Seaway in upstate New York there is something captivating about large scale water-based travel. Perhaps it represents the freedom to go many places on this water planet. Know that.

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