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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 2:40 PM
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Cool Urban Kayaking - Cincinnati Paddlest 2010 & bonus shots from Carew Tower

So here is the Cincinnati edition of my continuing urban kayaking adventures. For this one I took part in Paddlefest 2010, the 9th annual running of the event which is billed as the nation’s largest on-water canoe and kayak festival with over 2,000 boats participating. The organizers shut down all river traffic for several hours on a Saturday morning so that we paddlers had about a 9 mile stretch of the Ohio river all to ourselves. Along with exploring the tributaries of the little Miami and Licking Rivers, my total course was probably around 11 miles.

The Ohio river is freaking HUGE! It was a much different urban kayaking experience than my previous forays in Chicago and Milwaukee, which have tiny little cozy urban creeks running through them. On the Ohio everything is big, and cozy it is certainly not. I really got a good sense of the power and majesty that a real river like the Ohio has as it runs past a river city like Cincinnati. And this tour isn’t a pure water tour, as Chris (coldayman) took me on a very extensive tour of the area on Sunday afternoon culminating in a trip up to the top of the carew tower, so there are some bonus non-kayak shots tacked on at the end.

So, without further ado, here’s the tour, and if you dig this urban kayaking thing, be sure to check out my previous threads if you haven’t seen them before:

Chicago River: north branch
Chicago River: south branch
Milwaukee River & other waterways


My Route:





1. the put-in at coney island. For 2,000 boats it was well orchestrated and very non-chaotic.





2. the I-275 bridge crossing the river. Early on there was still some lingering fog hanging out in the bottom of the valley.




3. I-275 close-up.





4. general river scene.





5. a large building, possibly apartments or a hotel, perched high on the bluffs.





6. an odd structure along the bank on the kentuck side. No idea what is/was.





7. homes high on the bluff on the Kentucky side.





8. hundreds of canoes & kayaks dot the riverscape.





9. another riverfront structure whose function I could not discern.





10. paddling up the little Miami river, a tributary to the Ohio. It flows through a wide flat plain absent of the high bluffs found along the Ohio itself.





11. paddling back down the little Miami as it opens up into the ohio in the distance





12. a cozy little nest high above on the Kentucky side





13. Sohio? WTF? I hadn’t seen one of those signs in a while.





14. and old working tug turned party boat.





15. a river bank marina along the Kentucky side.





16. a residential highrise in the Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood.





17. and old paddle wheeler rotting away.





18. east side neighborhoods of Cincinnati finally come into view





19. highrises of edgecliff





20. more city high on the bluffs above.





21. the first glimpse of the skyline as I begin to round the big bend in the ohio east of downtown.





22. still rounding the bend, there’s mount adams.





23. buildings, hills, and trees, trees, trees. Cincy has one hell of a tree canopy covering it’s urban hills.





24. edgecliff highrises





25. the big mac bridge comes into view in the distance.





26. some colorful houses along the riverbank.





27. edgecliff.





28. a cool looking crane.





29. the developing urban waterfront of Bellevue kentucky





30. mount adams, one of my favorite nabes of cincy.





31. unusual architecture atop mount adams.





32. looking back over my shoulder at the east side neighborhoods along the river.





33. the building in the foreground is the boathouse, a satellite restaurant of the famous Montgomery Inn, home of the best ribs I’ve ever eaten.





34. a new highrise condo tower in Bellevue, chris told me it’s planned to get a taller sibling in the future.





35. the beautiful yellow fanasticness of the big mac bridge.






36. big mac again.





37. floating restaurant barges on the Kentucky side.





38. former railroad bridge turned pedestrian bridge known locally as “the purple people eater bridge”.





39. a view of the downtown skyline.





40. queen city square looking good. not much more to go.





41. the skyline of Covington with liebeskind’s recent curvy, swooping addition.





42. I was happy to see the magnificent old Roebling suspension bridge getting some TLC, but I was also frustrated that it meant I wouldn’t get any good shots of it.





43. paul brown stadium, home of the bengals





44. great american ballpark, home of the reds.





45. the licking river, a tributary on the Kentucky side that splits Newport from Covington.





46. millionaire’s row right on the river in Covington, adjacent to the mouth of the licking river.





47. the skyline, front and center





48. carew and PNC, two classics that look great together.





49. and the paddle came to an end with our take-out at the public boat landing next to great American ballpark.





And that ends the on the water tour, here are a few bonus shots, mostly from the top of carew tower.




50. a view of the skyline from a hill in Newport, Kentucky.




51. the oh so cute and quaint and charming neighborhood of mount adams as seen from above.





52. the neighborhood of Pendleton, chris said it’s a ghetto shithole, but it looks nice from up here.





53. over the rhine, what’s not to love. Some of the best 19th century urbanism in the Midwest.





54. more over the rhine





55. Queen city square almost topped out





56. PNC tower in all of its glory





57. bellevue, kentucky





58. Newport, kentucky





59. Covington, kentucky





60. the old sun times building, and art deco treasure





61. city hall





62. one last shot, waiting for megabus, PNC & friends catching the long rays of the setting sun.

Last edited by Steely Dan; Jun 30, 2010 at 2:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 2:41 PM
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and here's a downtown riverscape pano:

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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 2:55 PM
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great tour, thanks.

Lovin' how Queen City is coming out.
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Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 3:09 PM
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Excellent shots.... Queen City Square is looking better than I thought she would.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 3:23 PM
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Great great great shots Dan! Glad you enjoyed the Queen City and Jungle Jim's!
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Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 7:11 PM
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Great tour. So different than what we normally see.
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2010, 3:18 AM
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And just to answer some of your questions Dan:

#5 are apartments
#6 & #9 are intake stations along the Ohio River.
#17 is actually a Haunted House (riverboat) called the USS Nightmare
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2010, 6:27 AM
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Really good and interesting photos from some unusual vantages! Cincinatti looks great.
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Old Posted Jul 2, 2010, 8:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColDayMan View Post
#6 & #9 are intake stations along the Ohio River.
oh, makes sense now, thanks for the info.

and thanks again for the awesome tours of cincy and its environs over the weekend, it was a lot of fun. and the BBQ sauce from jungle jims is friggin delicious, thanks for the recommendation.
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Old Posted Jul 3, 2010, 3:12 PM
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cool tour. i've thought about getting into urban kayaking (since i now live 3/4 a mile from a river dock and there's also a big canal here.) what camera do you use? is it waterproofed? do you own or rent kayaks? if you own, how do you get it around?

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Old Posted Jul 5, 2010, 11:16 PM
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Very cool, I really enjoy your threads offering a new vantage point of Midwestern cities. You should check out Tulsa sometime, we have an industrial riverfront with nice skyline views you would appreciate.
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Old Posted Jul 5, 2010, 11:29 PM
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I thought #5 was Carmel Manor, the retirement home in Fort Thomas?

Total nostalgia trip at the beginning there (used to live in Anderson Township, spent summers at Coney Island). My brother used to call that weird looking building in picture #6 the "boat castle."

Definitely not your usual Cincinnati photo thread. Great perspective from the mighty/murky Ohio

Oh, and 800 Broadway in #60 used to house the Cincinnati Times-Star, not the Sun-Times
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Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 2:25 AM
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That was an outstanding thread! I can't get over how amazing Cincinnati is. My favorite OH city and it gives Pittsburgh in PA a run for best OH river city IMO.
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Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 2:52 AM
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Lovely thread. Cincinnati is such a marvelous city that I continually find myself seeking out information and images that detail it (particularly at its urban peak).

Oh, and I believe you might be interested in this:

Click Here.
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Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 4:25 AM
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I thought #5 was Carmel Manor, the retirement home in Fort Thomas?
Bingo.
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Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 5:15 AM
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Great pictures, and maybe I'll be there next year.
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Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 4:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSyd View Post
what camera do you use?
a little panasonic lumix point and shoot.




Quote:
Originally Posted by LSyd View Post
is it waterproofed?
no.




Quote:
Originally Posted by LSyd View Post
do you own or rent kayaks?
i own my own kayak.





Quote:
Originally Posted by LSyd View Post
if you own, how do you get it around?
i have a folding kayak, and it collapses down into a backpack, which makes it immensely transportable, especially for me considering that i don't own an automobile. i can take it on the el, city buses, metra commuter rail, or even on megabus, as i did for my trip down to cincy. i can hike for miles with it on my back and i've even ridden with it on my bike, though that set-up is a touch top-heavy, with the backpack weighing over 25 pounds. the best part though is that my condo in marina city is wicked tiny, so i can store my kayak in my hall closet, and when i want to go for a paddle, i simply grab the back pack and take the elevator down to the marina level, set-up my boat, and put-in directly to the chicago river. it's a pretty sweet arrangement.


here's the back pack that the boat fits into:






then you build the frame:







and then you slip on the hull and you're ready to paddle:


Last edited by Steely Dan; Jul 6, 2010 at 4:37 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 6:26 PM
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Very very cool. The Ohio looks like such a peaceful river, and I love those hills. I very much hope you sometime get a chance to paddle the Mississippi, perhaps from Alton (about 23 river miles north of downtown) with its amtrak access. The Mississippi has a very different personality (at least I think so) from the Ohio near St. Louis (which you may or may not appreciate, its a changable body of water with massive pools, shoals, sandbars, unstable - even sometimes scary confluences, shallow rapids at the chain of rocks, to a narrow, mean, barge crushing current downtown). Let me reiterate, if you do it, be careful at the chain of rocks. If you need any logistical information let me know. I have yet to paddle it, but i fish for big blue catfish at the sandbars near the confluence (and even downtown) and study the channel of the Mississippi north of and at St. Louis a lot, at least from the shore. Thanks again for this thread!
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Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 9:50 PM
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Cool stuff mate
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2010, 2:16 PM
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The Ohio looks like such a peaceful river, and I love those hills.
i was actually surprised by how tame and well behaved the ohio was. there was a current, but it was not terribly strong at all. i know the ohio can get pretty savage during high water floods, but i must have just hit it at a real peaceful time. it was a joy to paddle on.
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