The Mighty Mississippi-2002

Beginning near the confluence of the Mighty Mississippi River and the Scenic St. Croix River, a party of four embarked on a three-day adventure to savor gifts of land and sea, fresh air and friendship.  The second weekend of August, 2002, provided those gifts and more ...

The female part of the party included Jan Flora (in the red) and the editor (in the purple).  Don't remind me that when I am old I shall wear purple!

The male part of the party included the editor's husband Allan (with the leaves) and John Flora (with the sunburn).

Bridges never got between us, only above us.  Some were waving flags, like this one over the St. Croix River near Prescott, Wisconsin.

Barges often drifted side by side with us.  Some were full (of grain?).  Some were empty.

Tugboats must be very powerful in order to push and maneuver the barges.

Looming high above the bluffs, these power poles seem meant for each other.

Rooms, and other good things, were awaiting us that evening at the Thorwood Bed and Breakfast located in the Mississippi river town of Hastings, Minnesota.  Each guest room is uniquely inspired.  Do you see the rubber ducky?  The delicious breakfast included hot and homemade plum pudding.

We spied many stick birds along the river's shoreline.  The crane (or is it a Great Blue Heron?) stands still as a stick until a fish comes along and then …. Yup, he has his breakfast, too.

Hi, Jan and John!  You two are quite a match!  Wanna play checkers? 

The docks at Treasure Island Casino are spacious.  We didn't win much and we didn't play much, but the diversion was interesting.

John thought it was hot and humid in Lock and Dam #3. 

The girls didn't mind the heat and humidity, and we absolutely delighted in the conversation.

For a nostalgic moment, I thought we were on the Rhine.  Then I simply admired the church.  Only to discover it's a correctional building just south of Red Wing.

And right below that castle, I mean correctional building, was the pier for our docking for the night.

Shuttle service from the St. James Hotel at Red Wing didn't show up, so we begged a ride from a fellow whose pickup truck was very empty.

The nice man, John Howe by name, gave us a scenic tour and brought us to an overlook of the river and river city ...

… and then brought us directly to the door of the St. James where chocolates were waiting on our pillows and luxurious bathrobes were monogrammed "His" and "Hers."

On our way to an outdoor dinner on the patio of the hotel, we spied a photographic moment ...

… and took advantage of it.

After Mass the next morning, we packed our bags and put on boat clothes.  The hotel was fabulous and first class in every way ...

… and the driver of the shuttle service accommodated our picture taking on the hotel steps.

As we rounded the corner of the river, we had one more chance to say goodbye and thank you to the St. James in downtown Red Wing.

Another glorious day in paradise was waiting for us.  Did you ever hear of Sunday drivers?  Well, there's also Sunday flyers.  It was fun watching the glider get towed and released.  We watched it until the prevailing winds took it from us.

Sunday is a very good day for boating on the river.  This time we had to wait for a large barge to depart from the lock and damn before we could enter it and take our turn moving upstream.

Do you see what I see?  Yes, indeed, it was time for another summer song.  "Raindrops keep falling on our heads…."

… but we didn't even mind.  It gave us a chance to snack on my salmon-cream cheese-red onion-and caper canapes.  Mmmmm!

What through yonder window breaks?  Yes, the blue sky returneth in less than 30 minutes.  Thank you, Big River Sky, for big and little gifts.

Another haunting river sound was the toot and chug of trains, one after the other, both going and coming.  They probably enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed them.

The river's perspective also catches scenery above the train, like huge homes built into cliffs ...

… and twin towers that remind me once again of castles.  Sing with me:   "I dreamt I dwelled in marble halls, with castles and serfs at my side …." 

Returning to original waters, this time we were able to catch the black lift bridge and green draw bridge near Prescott doing their tricks simultaneously.

The difference in color between the dirty Mississippi  River and the clean St. Croix River is awesomely evident at their meeting point.  When the brown changed to blue, we hopped in with our noodles.  Refreshing!

Another tune comes to mind … "From the land of sky blue water …."  Are there bears around here?

"Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon …"  Darn.  It's the homeward channel into the marina.  Where did the three days go?

The time went into my soul, the part that's called "memory."

The End

Love, Sue