There is something very peaceful and wonderful about traveling on the river. As the Delta Queen enters into what may be her final days, I am savoring these moments with the intensity of a man crawling across the desert as he takes the last drop of water from his canteen.

This “peace like a river” is a phenomenon many have noted:

In Captain Fred Way’s wonderful 1951 book “The Saga of the Delta Queen” he noted that the Delta Queen 

“disconnected herself from civilization every time her gangplanks were hauled in and went away into a dream river world of her own making. There were no telephone connections, no radio…”

In this election season, I am so very grateful to be aboard a boat without televisions or radio!

Letha Greene, president of the Greene Line Steamers and owner of the Delta Queen for 19 years, wrote in her 1973 book “Long Live the Delta Queen”:

“…a river cruise should help one to sift values and allow them to fall into proper perspective. A week of more on the river is great therapy for both body and mind.” 

Even ol’ Mark Twain beautifully captured this in his 1883 “Life on the Mississippi”:

“And then you have the shining river, winding here and there and yonder…it is all as tranquil and reposeful as dreamland, and has nothing this-worldly about it – nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon.”

In the coming days I will try to share with you some of my favorite passages about the river and riding on a steamboat. It is a precious experience that is about to fade into American history. I am so thankful to be here to enjoy it.