We’re Headed to the Ohio River

We are happy to announce that in summer 2019 the…

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River Voices (Unofficial Cut) – 2018 Trailer

A collaboration between artists Wes Modes and Lauren Kincaid-Filbey, as…

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Hazel at the bow of Evan’s boat on the Allegheny [VIDEO]

Hazel at the bow of Evan’s boat on the Allegheny.…

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What I look like after a cross-country drive and repeated visits to Home Despot

What I look like after a cross country drive and…

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When you park right next to the tracks

When you park right next to the tracks you experience…

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For the first time in a week I have a moment to relax

Sunset over the swollen Allegheny River and for the first…

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Hangin with the PGH boat punx on the swollen Allegheny River.

Hangin with the PGH boat punx at Brilliant Marina on…

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Arrived in Pittsburgh to a warm welcome

Arrived in Pittsburgh to a warm welcome by boat punk…

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Welcome to America.

Welcome to America. Apparently, this is the largest cross in…

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Battened Down. Finally.

After 6 years, I finally got tired of all the…

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Big storm over Vandalia, Illinois

Big storm over Vandalia, Illinois #roadtrip #shantyboat #stormacomin

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Accusatory look. I don’t think either Squirlsey or I thought this trip would take six days.

Accusatory look. I don’t think either Squirlsey or I thought…

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Middle of the night truckstop shantyboat repair [VIDEO]

Middle of the night truckstop epoxy work to repair the…

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First real meal of any kind in three days of travel at the Sunnyside Diner in OKC

First real meal of any kind in three days of…

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There are a lot of abandoned places in the American Southwest

There are a lot of abandoned travel service places in…

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Sometimes you move over the same landscape so many times that you get a sense of déjà vu.

Sometimes you move over the same landscape so many times…

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30 minutes out of my way to Lake Havasu City to someplace that had fiberglass supplies

30 minutes out of my way to Lake Havasu City…

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As if we need additional confirmation that I am an idiot. Let’s be clear…

As if we need additional confirmation that I am a…

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Chuvas Senior gets replacement tire and rim. Junior packs new bearings with marine grease.

Chuvas Senior gets replacement tire and rim. Junior packs new…

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: California artist will capture life on the Ohio River in a homemade shantyboat

Pittsburgh Post-Gazetteby Christian Snyder Backyards tell stories, Wes Modes says,…

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Literally lost the tire on the trailer while driving to the tire shop.

Fuuuuck. Literally lost the tire on the trailer while driving…

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Shantyboat Drydock [VIDEO]

In early June, we took the shantyboat to the Santa…

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Hmm. Is that okay? [VIDEO]

I’m not sure it is supposed to be doing that.…

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All ready to go.

All ready to go. #shantyboat #roadtrip

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The annual posting of the punch list ceremony has been completed. Almost everything checked off.

The annual posting of the punch list ceremony has been…

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Squirlsey getting excited for trip.

Squirlsey getting excited for trip. #squirrels #3leggeddog #ToughAsNails

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Rebuilt and refinished the shantyboat’s 5-year old camp stove. New crackle finish.

Rebuilt and refinished the shantyboat’s 5-year old camp stove. New…

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New art in the Shantyboat gallery thanks to our supporters

New art in the Shantyboat gallery thanks to our supporters.…

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Lookin good a few days before we depart

Lookin good a few days before we depart. #shantyboat #boatprep…

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Definitely one of those things that only a boat captain would care about, new hull numbers

Shantyboat paint! You know you’ve made the right decision when…

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There is something strangely comforting about auto shops

There is something strangely comforting about hanging around an auto…

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Secret History at Santa Cruz Ebb & Flow

Thanks to friends who hung out with us and sent…

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Less terror: The shantyboat is fitted for a new winch post [VIDEO]

The Shantyboat takes a field trip down to Watsonville to…

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Michael Swett – Just One Thing at a Time [VIDEO]

This is an excerpt of my interview with Michael Swett.…

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Important work before we put the boat in the water

Important work before we put the boat in the water.…

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Always disconcerting to see a 7000 pound boat hanging in the middle of the air.

Always disconcerting to see a 7000 pound boat hanging in…

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Vrinda Quintero – To Me the River Is [VIDEO]

Excerpt of interview with Vrinda Quintero about growing up in…

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Jefe supervising the workers.

Jefe supervising the workers. #boatrepair #diy #shantyboat #UnionMandatedCoffeeBreak   Jefe…

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Replacing frayed keel knuckles. Easier than we feared.

Replacing frayed keel knuckles. Easier than we feared. #diy #boatrepair…

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Benzy paints the underside of the shantyboat trailer.

Benzy paints the underside of the shantyboat trailer. #boatrepair #boattrailer…

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Jeremiah painting under the boat.

Jeremiah painting under the boat. #secrethistory #shantyboat #boatrepair #hullpaint  …

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Stressful fiberglass work today here at the Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard. Lots of big things got done.

Stressful fiberglass work today here at the Santa Cruz Harbor…

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Filthy filthy Jeremiah who has spent the entire day on his back underneath the boat sanding the hull.

Filthy filthy Jeremiah who has spent the entire day on…

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Want to help? We will be at the Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard all weekend and there are many jobs

Want to help? We will be at the Santa Cruz…

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This weekend the shantyboat is in drydock to do some needed repairs. We put Dottie into the ocean for the

This weekend the shantyboat is in drydock to do some…

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The Secret History Crisis Cam. Thanks for the fundraiser support that will enable us to capture moments of terror.

The Secret History Crisis Cam. Thanks for the fundraiser support…

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Marietta Times: Artist will stop in Marietta on Ohio River journey

The culture of people who have grown up and lived…

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Shantyboat Dotty in Felton Remembers Parade [VIDEO]

Shantyboat Dotty and crew in Felton Remember Parade

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Exploring Our Very Own San Lorenzo River

This year, the folks at the arts council making Ebb…

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Roland Law’s Wildest Dream for the San Lorenzo River [VIDEO]

Roland Law talks about his conservation work along the banks…

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George Ow Jr Tells Us About Chinatowns along the San Lorenzo River [VIDEO]

An interview with George Ow Jr. along the banks of…

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Interview with Leo Cruz along the San Lorenzo River [VIDEO]

Interview with Leo Cruz about growing up near a river…

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Crisis Cam!!

Crisis Cam!!

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Interviewed with Mary Beeson along the San Lorenzo River [VIDEO]

Your browser does not support the video tag. I interviewed…

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Interview with Greg Pepping about San Lorenzo River [VIDEO]

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We Need Your Help

This year, the project is exploring the rich and important American…

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Sea King

This is the new SEA KING outboard motor we bought…

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An Exhibition at Louisville’s Portland Museum

In early February, we staged an exhibition at Portland Museum…

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Insider Louisville: Exhibit on America’s river heritage finds berth at Portland Museum

Ahead of a shantyboat trip down the Ohio River this…

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Interview with shipmate Benzy [VIDEO]

SL Benz has been a shipmate on the Secret History…

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The “Mad” Ohio: the Great Ohio River Flood of 1937

The greatest natural disaster in Tri-State history happened in January-February…

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Flatboatmen of the Frontier 1941 Ohio River Valley Documentary [VIDEO]

Enjoy this charming (and educational) 1941 documentary covers the process…

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Ohio River: Young Man River 1965 US Army Corps of Engineers [VIDEO]

An amazing mid-century educational film by the US Army Corps…

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River Tramps: The Strange Floating Population Found on the Ohio

Where shantyboat history has been hard to come by on…

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Searching for Living Native History in the Ohio River Valley

I've been going crazy all evening looking for native people…

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Remembering Tom Holman creator of Bomfire Pizza in Sabula, Iowa

There simply is not enough that can be said about…

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Honoring Tim Mason and the Floating Shantyboat Library

I just found out that the world has become poorer…

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Small Boats: River People – Shantyboat on the Sacramento River

Wes Modes spent two years building a shantyboat using salvaged…

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A push to remove the homeless from the American River [VIDEO]

To follow up on our visit to the American River…

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Benzy and Hazel in Waterford NY

Benzy and Hazel in Waterford NY #shantyboat

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Old photo of the shantyboat on the Tennessee River

Old photo of the shantyboat on the Tennessee River

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Jeremiah and the ordered chaos of the shantyboat mid-journey

Jeremiah and the ordered chaos of the shantyboat mid-journey. Photo…

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I made it home safe and sound to the hills above Santa Cruz

I made it home safe and sound to the hills…

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Hagan, who is 5, was very taken with the shantyboat

Hagan, who is 5, was very taken with the shantyboat…

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In general, I love alleys, moreso in desert towns

In general, I love alleys, moreso in desert towns

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Truck stop near Holbrook Arizona

Truck stop near Holbrook Arizona #Shantyboat #RoadTrip #Arizona

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Driving a boat through Texas

Driving a boat through Texas

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There is something so beautiful and surreal about truck stops

There is something so beautiful and surreal about truck stops,…

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The friendly people in the diner insisted I sign the wall

The friendly people in the diner insisted I sign the…

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Uh oh. I haven’t had to worry about these tires ever since the good folks Predator Trailer in Omaha replace the trailer suspension, axles, wheels, and tires

Uh oh. I haven’t had to worry about these tires…

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All the way across the country I am passing up Waffle House

All the way across the country I am passing up…

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The Back Rhodes Diner (aka Faye’s Diner), where all the old dudes hang out for their morning coffee and breakfast

The Back Rhodes Diner (aka Faye’s Diner), where all the…

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People often ask us where we stay while we’re on the road. Answer: wherever we damn well please. Truck stops, parking lots, flat areas alongside the road, wherever

People often ask us where we stay while we’re on…

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Going through the Appalachian Mountains in Delaware it is rainy AF

Going through the Appalachian Mountains in Delaware it is rainy…

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The shantyboat trailer started its life with me as part of the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet fleet

The shantyboat trailer started its life with me as part…

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This is a familiar scene going all the way back to 1999 my first year owning this trailer

This is a familiar scene going all the way back…

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Old friend Seanix and his brood put me up in a soft bed in their Colonial farm house for the night after a day of crazy

Old friend Seanix and his brood put me up in…

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Should I worry? By truckers now have app audio for this was “in 3.1 miles, enter tunnel and enter tunnel. Then enter tunnel and enter tunnel”

Should I worry? By truckers now have app audio for…

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Sweet fucking Jesus H Christ. Driving along the expressway into the Bronx across The Whitestone Bridge when suddenly truck and trailer go squirrley

Sweet fucking Jesus H Christ. Driving along the expressway into…

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Rafting up with the Captain D to say hey

Rafting up with the Captain D to say hey #Tugboat…

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College Point barge ruins

College Point barge ruins #nyc #beautifuldecay #collegepoint #nycboatride #flushingbay #Shantyboat

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Prison barge across from Rikers Island

Prison barge across from Rikers Island #Shantyboat #firetotheprisons #carceralstate

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Looking back through Hell Gate. Not so hellish at slack tide with a favorable wind. Onward to Flushing Bay

Looking back through Hell Gate. Not so hellish at slack…

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Our time on the Hudson River and in New York City draws to a close

Our time on the Hudson River and in New York…

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Interview with David Sharps director of the Waterfront Museum on the Lehigh Valley No. 79, one of the last wooden railroad barges

Interview with David Sharps director of the Waterfront Museum on…

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The beautiful chaos of Katz’s Delicatessen

The beautiful chaos of Katz’s Delicatessen #nyc #eastvillage #lowereastside #manhattan

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Manhattan exhibit packed up with the help of fellow Mariner Ron

Manhattan exhibit packed up with the help of fellow Mariner…

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Officer Martinez stopped me after I cross Williamsburg Bridge to remind me with the summons that in New York one cannot hold their cell phone

Officer Martinez stopped me after I cross Williamsburg Bridge to…

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When your houseboat is at low tide far below the top of the bulkhead and you need to bring up the heavy media kit

When your houseboat is at low tide far below the…

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Chicken Shit Bingo at the Bushwick City Farm

Chicken Shit Bingo at the Bushwick City Farm #bushwick #brooklyn…

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