Your Wet Friday Is here: Snow White and I took advantage of the nice Thursday and took to the Mighty Ohio River in our sculls. She was convinced there would be lots of boat traffic but I was equally as convinced that no one would be out. I was mostly correct. The river was quiet and, in spite of a decent Southeasterly wind, it was relatively calm. Now, its been some time since we were able to paddle about since out dock has been out of commission, but all is well and the rowing was great. So, why did we do all of that? It’s because I know that the storm will finally get here. It’s going to be quite chilly with highs only in the low to maybe mid 50′s at best and we’ll get a steady rain all day. Football games may be salvaged somewhat in that the rain should be tapering off but its going to be cold and wet and there will probably still be light showers in the area that will hold over into the first part of Saturday. I’m suspecting that Sunday will be our next decent day to row…take that as your cue when our next decent weather will be….its in advance of the next cold system that will drop down on Monday and bring us our first threat of an areawide freeze either Tuesday or Wednesday morning.
On This Date in History: On this date in 1861, the Pony Express, for all intents in purposes, came to an end. What caused the demise was that on October 24, 1861 first transcontinental telegraph was completed. Until that date, the Pony Express was the fastest way to get messages from the east…generally from St. Louis….to the western frontier. The telegraph was a vast improvement. What I find most interesting about this and things like the Transatlantic cable is what it says about the Civil War. There were several
attempts all through the 1860′s at completing the cable, which finally was completed in 1866. In my view, this indicates that the Union had no conception of defeat. While the South was trying to figure out how to feed the people, find
enough troops, supply those troops with armaments and with even basic necessities such as shoes and finance the effort, the Union had enough resources to work on a Transatlantic cable and complete a transcontinental telegraph. And don’t forget, these efforts were already started when the Civil War began. If all that was not enough, Congress authorized the Pacific Railway Act in 1862 which was the beginning of the Transcontinental Railway. What that means is that the Union began another huge project even after the war had started. As I said, no concept of defeat.
Niagara Falls. After all, in 1829 some guy had survived jumping from a cliff into the falls but no one had gone over in a barrel. So, why not try? With her husband dead, she had little hope of being able to live anything more than a meager life for the rest of her days. She hoped the stunt would bring her fame and fortune. Well, she got her 15 minutes of fame but never made much money from the ordeal. But, she did inspire others to do the same thing though.
Throughout the 20th century, 15 people have tried to go over the falls one way or another. Ten have survived. Jesse Sharp went over in a kayak in 1990. He died. In 1995, Robert Overcracker tried to prove technology was the answer when he went over on a jet ski. He died too. Before you get any ideas, its illegal to attempt to go over the falls so even if you live to tell about it you might be telling your story to your cell mates. Besides that, you’d probably just end up like Annie: lost to history and broke, if not broken.