It’s gotten to the point that when a museum video includes the phrase “Millions of years ago, a vast, shallow, warm sea covered the area now known as (fill in the blank),” Jim rolls his eyes and nudges me. Left to his own devices, Jim might not be going to as many natural history exhibits as I’ve been dragging him to. And around here, that big warm sea gets major billing in every video we see.
The latest one was at “The Falls of the Ohio State Park” in Clarksville, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville.
Boats travel all of the Ohio River’s 931 miles with the help of dams and locks. Back when this area was first being explored, however, travelers had to stop at the Falls of the Ohio. Not because the Falls was anything like Niagara -- it wasn’t. Instead, the Ohio River dropped just 26 feet over two-and-a-half miles, and limestone ledges created impossible-to-navigate rapids and obstacles in the shallow water.
As for the ancient vast, shallow, warm sea: Its ebb and flow helped create the more than 600 types of fossils identified in the local limestone.
|We're still at Deam Lake State Park east of Louisville, Kentucky. Before we visited nearby Falls of Ohio State Park, we walked around the campground's horse camping area.|
|After seeing the horses, we took a hike. Here Jim takes a photo of Deam Lake from a ridge.|
|Falls of the Ohio State Park: When the water is low, limestone ledges -- like the one you can see here at the shore of the Ohio River -- can also be seen in the middle of the River. Fossils are visible in the limestone.|
|Where we heard (again) about the warm, shallow sea: The Interpretive Center at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.|
|When we got back to our rig late Sunday afternoon after visiting the Falls, Deam Lake State Park was almost empty. You can barely see our rig all alone at the back right of the camp road.|