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09 June 2008 @ 11:43 am
visited the Wabash River and New Harmony, Indiana  
Saturday was very hot but I took a 38-mile round trip on the huge lower Wabash River. There is record flooding occuring just upstream but I checked the gauges and everything was safe that far south.

I am interested in this river here, in the southwest corner of Indiana, just before it flows into the Ohio River, because it is very remote and unpopulated, yet not dangerous. There are no barges or other boats and the current is never strong. The farmlands near the river are wide and lush and beautiful.

There is only one real town on the river this far south, but it is a fantastic place, with a gorgeous little self-sufficient downtown and adjacent shady neighborhoods. It is New Harmony, Indiana, which was founded in the early 1800s as a "utopian" settlement.

I really had a sense of what travelling on a big river on a muggy summer day would have been like then, because the town has been completely preserved, with no sprawl around it, so you float for miles seeing nothing but trees and water and birds and then you see the bridge and you're in downtown New Harmony at the little boat ramp and park. There were no noisy power boats or any houses on the river at all - just one big river and one little 19th Century town.

Here are two nice pictures I found of New Harmony: