Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What IS It?

Periodically, this blog invites you to ponder some of the odd and unusual things we spot. On Sunday we started a new phase of our voyage when we entered the Tennessee and Tombigbee Waterway, a man-made waterway--not old, like most U.S. canals, but opened in the 1980s--that connects the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers. Running due south, the waterway gives commercial and recreational boats an alternative to cruising down the Mississippi River on the way to the Gulf Coast.

 Anyway, coming around a bend this sunny Sunday, we spotted a field of colorful floats, nearly obstructing the channel.  Each one was about the size of a Coke can, and each was brightly colored: blue, pink, yellow, Kelly green, lavender.  There was no sign to indicate whether it was safe to pass by.

So What IS It? (Or, What ARE They?)

You can use the "comment" function to answer, or, send an email to slowboat@emailias.com. Misleading, facetious, and and tongue-in-cheeks answers are encouraged.  Those who have won recently should sit on their hands and give someone else a chance.

The winner will receive something rarely seen in this era of texts and twitter:  A good old-fashioned U.S. mail-delivered postcard--the tacky kind.

And speaking of winners, Scott Barbara aced the last What IS It?  That was, indeed, a prehistoric mound located in Florence, Alabama, constructed by native Americans during what archaeologists call the Archaic period.  It served as a kind of "boat-up" place of worship--like a drive-in church, only with canoes.  Today it's marooned in a waterfront industrial district, a stone's throw from a fenced yard where forklifts race around as cranes unload lumber and aluminum ingots from barges.

You can climb to the top (up some 1980s-era cement stairs installed by the city). It's very peaceful up there, among the trees.


  1. Janet and Kurt Hobson write:

    Leave it to the Yankees to not know this, In the South, we call those Yalls spots. They are safe to pass with the exception of Saturday nights and holidays. You see, that’s when the partying begins onshore, and when we head out to the middle of the river to tie up and continue our raucous revelry, these markers tell us where “Y’alls” spot is supposed to be. See how organized us Southerners can be??

  2. Wow! Now we know how to find fun on the river on Saturday nites.

    We actually DID find out the correct answer for the particular colorful floats we spotted, and those were NOT y'all spots. Any other guesses?