Today’s post will finish up my “tour” of Newport, Kentucky, that I started two weeks ago with the post about the Newport Aquarium. Do you remember me mentioning the Duck ride multiple times? Could you sort of tell that I really enjoyed it and would LOVE to do it again? No, well, I did and I would!
A Duck is a World War II era amphibious vehicle built for the armed forces to use as supply carriers after the soldiers would commandeer an area. These beauties would roll in with the things they need to set up camp, but they had one big downfall. The Ducks are pretty slow, both on water and land, so most of them ended up at the bottom of the ocean. The one we rode in wasn’t finished in time to be sent to the war zone, so it is not, alas, a veteran.
With no further ado, here is the Duck:
We went aboard and was given a “Wacky Quacker” to use during the tour. Here are C & I modeling ours:
It makes a really loud duck sound and we were told to quack at anyone we wanted to, especially Cincinnati police officers because they just loved it! The tour guide, Robert, was awesome. Here he is demonstrating the proper use of the life vests:
He said he was a good German boy, but he had always wanted to be Italian, so we were welcome to call him Rrrroberto complete with rolled Rs and hand gestures. We took off and crossed the bridge into Ohio and the captain took us down a few city streets until we reached the dock. Ours was the second duck in line so we got to watch the first one enter the water. The captain told us we have to hit the water at top speed (which on the road doesn’t feel that fast, but wait until you are heading into a river) or the engine would get wet and stall out. After we watched the first one go in, some teenage girls in the very back seat asked if it was too late to move because they were going to get WET!
Into the water we went uneventfully and started motoring down the river. There are some really beautiful homes and artwork along the river and we tried to take in everything we could.
There is a suspension bridge connecting Kentucky and Ohio and Robert told us a funny story about when the bridge was new. At the time, German immigrants made up most of the population of Newport and Cincinnati and they were very scared of new things. Since the bridge didn’t have any supports underneath it, the people thought that just a few people standing on the bridge would make it collapse. The government had the bright idea of temporarily opening a Bratwurst and beer stand and selling both for a penny. Robert said that this made the Germans get on the bridge, because even though they were afraid for their life, they weren’t going to pass up that kind of bargain. I don’t know if the story is true, but it is funny.
After about a mile on the water, the captain turned the Duck around and headed by showing us the Cincinnati Reds’ relatively new stadium, The Great American Ballpark along with some of the other buildings on the riverfront.
Then our tour took us through part of downtown Cincinnati which included some of the original and beautiful German architecture.
We then crossed back over into Kentucky and saw the World Peace Bell that was erected in Newport after the 9/11 attacks.
After winding up our Duck tour, we decided to check out the Purple People Bridge. It was originally a train trestle, but when it was decommissioned the cities made a pedestrian only bridge out of it. We didn’t walk all the way across though. I think that would be pretty nerve-wracking for me, anyway.
If you have the chance to go to Newport On The Levee, go! It was a lot of fun squeezed into a small amount of space.