Beyond the Bridges chapters.....
Chapter 4..Reading the River This chapter provides valuable information for those interested in traveling or learning about the natural signs that the river provides. Focus is on natural rivers that do not have navigational aides and defined channels. The reader will learn what signs to look for and what they mean. Indicators may be in the water, along the shore, and even the surrounding sound. This chapter is written as a result of the author having given many talks on the subject with audiences being those interested in traveling on non-navigable rivers. Others are interested that want to learn about the dynamics of the rivers. The author includes personal accounts to demonstrate his points.
Chapter 6..Gilligan the Goose
This is the story about a loveable goose that has become an icon on the river. The story begins with the author rescuing the goose, who then follows him to his home on the river. The goose makes many friends and has several adventures that are told in this chapter. They include the rescue, the goose attending a wedding, taking a canoe trip with the author, doing a television interview, and more. The popular goose even has his own children's book published, A Goose Named Gilligan. Readers will laugh at his comical adventures and have their heart warmed by this true story about the bond between a riverman and a goose named Gilligan.
Chapter 7..Rescue from a dock
Most people might think that a river rescue would be helping someone from the water. This hilarious true story is how the author rescued a hap-hazard fishing party from a dock. He was on a canoe trip when he camped near what could best be described as hillbillies, and ends up rescuing them. The events of that evening include a scary first encounter with them, people getting stuck in the mud, the dock splitting in two, a baby in the river, and how the author saved them. The author provides funny profiles of the group and tells an exciting story about a possible disaster that turned into a very humorous series of events. Excerpt: "The barrel went into a forward roll (barrel roll), and Dolly went off the dock, rolled over the barrel and made a not-so-graceful nose-dive into the muddy bank."
Chapter 8..Great Duck Race
A subtitle could be "Best laid plans gone wrong." The local YWCA asked the author to help plan a river event. They would launch rubber ducks into the river with people adopting ducks as a fund-raiser. He made a plan to launch the ducks that would then float to a finish line, with winning duck adopters being given prizes. After a great amount of planning and effort, the day of the great duck race finally arrived. The ducks were launched, the finish line established, and a catch system to retrieve the rented ducks was in place. All seemed well until the ducks approached the finish of the race. The rest of the story tells of how they handled the challenge of 10,000 runaway rubber ducks. The story will bring smiles to the reader's faces as they read about another lesson learned by the author.
Chapter 9..Anatomy of a River
chapter focuses on the
Chapter 10..Language of the river
This is an entertaining look at the origins of words and phrases we use that originated from rivers and riverboats. Explained in detail are: high falutin, well stacked, blow your stack, rock bottom, hogwash, hillbilly, outlandish, letting off steam, fiddlin around, bitter end, dead head, stateroom, hay burner, bushwhacking, stick in the mud, cotton to you, decked out, sold down the river, come hell or high water, hot toddy, towhead, run off at the mouth, and hit a snag. Readers will enjoy this enlightening chapter and be surprised at how these words and terms began.
Chapter 11..Nine Days on a Towboat
what life and work is like on a towboat, the author rode as a guest on one from
Chapter 12..Navigable River Know-How
In chapter 4 the discussion was focused on non-navigable rivers. It is also important to understand navigable rivers. These are rivers that have charts, defined channels, signal lights, and other aids to navigation. To know them, it is enlightening to discover the history of navigation aids. This chapter begins with explaining the conditions on the rivers in the early 1800s and how improvements evolved, both in the rivers and on vessels. The author then goes on to explain how present-day navigation is safely accomplished. This includes charts reading, understanding light signals, mile markers, buoys and much more. It also explains locking procedures. Anyone reading this chapter can travel rivers with more confidence or travel along rivers and have a better understanding of what they are seeing.
Chapter 13..Bizarre River Experiences
not always as they seem. The author shares three short stories of things that
happened to him while traveling rivers. The first one titled "Airplane in the
River", tells about the strangest river sight he ever witnessed. It was a large
passenger plane in the
Chapter 14..The Evolution of Riverboats
flatboats of the 1700s to modern towboats, the reader will learn how they
evolved. The history of riverboats is made interesting by including some of the
legendary characters and some stories. The account of the very first steamboat
is an amazing journey that took place in 1811. The steamboat
Chapter 15..The Restless River
in 1831, some man-made changes were made on the lower
Chapter 16..Steamboat Passengers
While serving as Riverlorian on steamboats, the author has encountered many interesting people. The crew members of the boats are primarily there to entertain the passengers but sometimes the roles are reversed. Even though the author clearly pokes fun at passengers, he often shares these stories with them and has them laughing at themselves. Included is the great butterfly disaster, questions he has been asked, and outrageous suggestions he has heard. Passenger profiles are included that explain various personality types and their predictable behavior. This is a fun chapter that will have the reader laughing out loud.
Chapter 17..The Ghost of Mary Greene
Mary Greene was a legend on the rivers, having been one of the first women to earn a steamboat pilot license in 1896. She was part owner of the Delta Queen, along with her sons Tom and Chris. Mary loved the Delta Queen. She lived on the boat and died on the boat in 1949. There are those who claim that Mary Greene is still aboard the Delta Queen. Sightings of her spirit have often been reported by crew and passengers. The author shares some of his interesting incidents that could be attributed to Mary Greene's presence, and tells of others who have some very compelling stories about the benevolent spirit. Is the ghost of Mary Greene real? One can read this chapter and decide for him or herself. It is a fascinating story of a great woman whose influence continues to prevail on the famous steamboat, whether her ghost is real or not.
Chapter 18..River Royalty
men have contributed to the rivers and river transportation over the past 200
years. In this chapter, the author pays tribute to some of them. They include
Lewis and Clark, James Buchanan Eads, Henry Miller Shreve, Samuel Clemens,
Capt. Isaiah Sellers, Manuel Lisa, and Solomon Smith. An interesting discovery
the author made was that most of these men are buried at the same cemetery in
Chapter 19..Top 10 River Towns
This chapter lists the author's favorite American river towns, along with a list of honorable mention towns. His criteria for selecting the communities are:
1. A pleasant riverfront, which shows pride in their river heritage.
2. Friendly people.
3. Convenient access for boater's supplies and fuel.
4. Historic towns that have maintained their identity.
5. Memorable personal experiences in a town
Excerpt: "Each of us have our own reasons why we prefer one town over another. There are
many great places along
Chapter 20..Canoeing Misadventures
chapter features three difficult canoe trips by the author. The first story
takes place on the
Chapter 21..Grand Excursion 2004
Excursion was the greatest gathering of boats on the
this chapter are six interesting short river stories: "Dover Fisherman", is
about a man who hooked and tried to land a steamboat. "John Deere in the River",
took place on the
Chapter 23..Wit, Wisdom and Prose
This final chapter is a collection of the author's favorite quotes, including some of his own. All the quotes relate to the river or river travel. Also included is a special poem written by poet Ann Wake specifically for the author. At this point in the book, readers will have gained such an understanding and appreciation of the rivers that the quotes will have meaning to them.