Barges at River Front
An occasional bird and the constant drone of a diesel engine are the only sounds carried on the light breeze this morning. No bass blasting boom boxes or the clatter of motor cycle exhaust from above on River Front Drive. I am out way too early for any of them. It is mid summer and the air is unseasonably cool as the sun breaks the horizon. Much to my pleasure the sun quickly warms my bare arms. It is welcome warmth this time of day, not so in a few hours as the sun rises in the sky and reaches it full “July” intensity.
It is unusual to find two barges “parked” along River Drive. The Mississippi is narrow here and the current heading downstream towards the railroad swing span is treacherous. A tug idling along the shore is just another obstruction to deal with but its mooring is only temporary. They probably docked for the night and now are preparing to get underway, following the barge downstream. The reason for the inactivity of the barge further down stream appears to be a west bound train stopped on the swing span. Evidently there is traffic else where along the line causing this backup that extends from the land on to the water.
After a short while, for me, not necessarily the crew on the barge, I hear the distant sound of a train horn signaling its immanent departure. Soon the train resumes its journey west. I feel the Gods of Commerce smiling on my neck; traffic is back in full swing and all is right in this corner of the world.