Shooting at the port

Maybe that's a bad title considering the level of security at port facilities.  I'll say "photographing" in the future.  I don't need to get the Coast Guard after me... Anyway...

I went to a facility on the Mississippi River to take some pictures for an issue of their Port Log publication.  I love going into industrial facilities of all sorts.  It's sort of like getting a tour of the kitchen in a restaurant;  you normally only see the food that comes out, but you don't get to see the cooks thawing your chicken wings before they toss them into the fryer.  Most people don't get to see barge loads of caustics and acids being delivered that are necessary to make the gas that runs their cars.  In my former jobs in the energy industry I got to have an intimate knowledge of the purchase, transportation, handling, and uses of all sorts of fun things that I can't even pronounce properly anymore.  Knowing a little bit about these base level industries gives one a greater appreciation for just how complex everything is, and how amazing it is that we make things work.

This particular day at the port they had a few ships and barges coming and going.  A barge was unloading some stone aggregates that probably ended up as foundations for roads or buildings.  I actually got to climb aboard a larger ship to get a better view.  I could've climbed around the ship all day, but while the Polish guy taking me around only spoke a few words of English, his looks alone let me know that we were done after about 10 minutes.  Overall, not a bad morning to throw on a hard hat and take pictures of big cranes and dump trucks and other equipment that lets any kid that played with Tonka trucks relive their childhood.