The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for May 15th, 2023

Rivers of Steel Boat Tour, part 3

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

In the community of Hays, found along the Monongahela River here in Pittsburgh, they’ve got a pack of Bald Eagles nesting in some sort of conservation area. I only had a 300mm lens with me, so a bunch of cropping had to be applied to the above POV. I was onboard a ‘Rivers of Steel’ narrated boat tour of the Monongahela, as described in the two posts preceding this one.

It was somewhat cold out, and the atmosphere was positively churning with moisture and low flying clouds.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The ‘turn around point’ on the boat trip would be the actual Carrie Furnace site, a national historic landmark, which is where the Rivers of Steel outfit is based out of. The still active Mon Valley Works of US Steel is found one town over from the defunct Carrie site, and the corollary industrial ‘stuff’ – rail yards, truck depots, etc. – can be observed as you travel along the river.

I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed that we didn’t travel that extra half mile to observe the still active mill from the water. Next time I guess, but truth be told I’m quite desirous of obtaining that POV.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s the Carrie Furnace. I’ve obtained a ticket for a ‘photo safari’ event they’re holding next month and look forward to exploring the place a bit. It’s meant to be an early evening thing, if I recall correctly, so if it’s not raining it should be a pretty cool shoot for me.

It is overcast or raining at least half of the time here in Pittsburgh.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After the boat turned and began navigating back towards dock, the weather turned misty instead of ‘straight raining.’ This sort of atmosphere is called a ‘precipitating mist’ incidentally, meaning that at any second the low flying cloud can burst and release its moisture.

You need to pay some attention to keeping your lens clean, but this sort of foggy/misty thing always makes for nice photos.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself had purchased several tour and event tickets at the end of the winter. The Rivers of Steel people offer a lot of interesting programming, and there’s also an outfit called Doors Open Pittsburgh which is not unlike the Open House NY operation which I used to produce walking and boat tours with back in NYC. You’ll see the fruit of one of their efforts tomorrow.

You want to get educated about a place? You can read all the books you want (and you should), but there’s nothing like actually going to places with a local guide who knows the where’s and when’s and ‘don’t do that’s.’

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The boat we were riding on docks nearby Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center, and the Mobile Oppression Platform was sitting in a nearby parking lot waiting for our return. $6 for all day parking, if you’re curious.

Back tomorrow with something completely different, at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 15, 2023 at 11:00 am

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