Due to our delayed departure last night for the fireworks and having to go back to the landing to pick up crew members, we were unable to reach Wheeling, WV in time for a stop today. I feel sad for Wheeling not to get a chance to say goodbye to the Delta Queen.

Looking to the positive, this turned today into a cruising day and the weather was perfect. Cool and sunny with a hint of autumn color dotting the rolling hillsides.

This patriotic well-wisher saluted the Delta Queen along with throngs of other fans as the Delta Queen paraded down the last voyage the Delta Queen will make along the upper Ohio River.

This patriotic well-wisher saluted the Delta Queen along with throngs of other fans as the Delta Queen paraded down the last voyage the Delta Queen will make along the upper Ohio River. -- Photo by Jim Williams

This is the last journey for the Delta Queen along the upper Ohio River. From Pittsburgh down to Maysville this is the last time these towns will see the boat. All along our day of cruising, there have been crowds gathering along the river to cheer and wave. Clusters of school children running toward the shoreline to wave and pull their arms down in the official “please blow the whistle” signal. We’ve heard the steam whistle moaning forlornly often today.

Our guest naturalist and Fall Foliage presenter Jim Williams took this wonderful photo. This beautiful image perfectly captures the pride and joy that the Delta Queen instills. A sentiment we were bathed in as we drifted downstream into history.

My heart is aching today but this incredible display of appreciation for mile after mile was so painfully poignant that it reminded me how incredibly blessed I am to experience this journey. I will savor every precious moment.

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