Oct 262011

Frankfort to Elkhorn: An imaginative stretch

Editor’s note: The conclusion to the 5-part, dual-author recounting of a 2-night mid-summer float on the Kentucky River. The Slackwater Paddle-venturists have rounded Frankfort, passed through Lock 4 and encamped at Steamboat Hollow, where the current author was visited by the ghost of Colonel George Morgan Chinn.

By Wes Houp

Lyle arose early, started coffee, browned sausage, chopped onions, garlic, and another carmen in the pan.  The smell of sizzling pork wafted through each tent, and by 7:30 the camp was alive.  I sat up in the tent for several minutes and thought it best to sit on last night’s encounter a little longer.  After breakfast, we started to dissemble our constellation of tents, tarps and gear and pack kit and caboodle back into dry bags for the next leg.  In the bottom of my kitchen bag I found a dog-eared copy of Kentucky: Settlement and Statehood, 1750-1800, by George Morgan Chinn.  “Whose book?”  I held it up for all to see.

“Not mine, but I’ll take it if you want.”  Danny examined the cover and opening it to the title page announced, “Hey, man, this is an autographed copy.”  Sure enough, there was Colonel Chinn’s signature.  “A signed copy.  You know, this book is out of print now.  Better take good care.  It looks like someone’s marked the important stuff.”   I stuffed the book back in the bag, chalked its strange appearance and my strange encounter up to too much hootch, hauled my load back down to the canoe, and we pushed off en masse by 10:30. Continue reading »