It’s another post featuring the only featureable feature worth featuring in MY Town. Sorry. Get over it.
The good news is this isn’t going to be just another story of me riding my bike and taking pictures along the river. Nope, I’m going to delve into the HISTORY of America’s greatest river.
Lest you think I’m just some crackpot with a keyboard who passed a 9th-grade history class, I’ll fill you in on my academic credentials. I graduated from college. History was my Minor. I got “A’s” in some of my history classes.
Of course, that was back in the late 1970’s when I thought research and scholarly activities were pretty fun. I’m too lazy for that now. Therefore you get THIS comprehensive history of “Old Man River”
The Mississippi River has existed for something like 45-million years, though there is some controversy about that. Some say 20-million years, some say 70-million years. Historical expert that I am, I’ll split the difference and call it good.
Then came some kind of melting glacier period where the river grew enormously.
Then millions of years later, some Siouxian tribe named it “Mis’sippi,” or something like that, which meant “Great Father of Waters,” or something like that.
Then a French priest named Father Jacques Marquette, along with Louis Joliet, explored and mapped the river. That was in the late 1600’s. Pretty cool huh?
Some 20 decades later, a dude named Mark Twain wrote a book about his experiences as a riverboat captain on the river. The book was filled with interesting facts and hilarious anecdotes.
Then, in the year 2015 a.d., another Frenchman, Monsieur Garceau, rode a bicycle along the Mighty Mississippi. He may or may not have been the first person in history to accomplish that incredible feat. Hard to say.
The following year, two bicycle tourists named G. and G-2, were the first explorers of European origin to discover the source of the Muddy Mississippi. Much to their surprise, many native Americans were bathing in the healing waters of the first few meters of the river.
Then something was observed in modern times on the river. The date was November 2, 2020. The location was the boat landing in MY Town, where pick-up trucks normally back a trailer into the water to launch a fishing boat. That day, a huge crane lifted a much bigger boat off a flatbed truck, swung around, and set it down into the Father of Waters.
Fast forward in history to today, November 5, 2020. While biking along the river for the 1,444th time, the author saw that same big boat across the river. It was dredging the silt out of the channel that leads to the marina over there. Okay.
Further upriver, the author observed some other commotion. A large barge was passing through Lock and Dam #2. Our Mississippi River historian took it upon himself to investigate.
That brings us to the end of this comprehensive history. Except for a song. Here comes a song that was recorded way back in (I think) the sixties. Normally, I don’t much care for Rod Stewart, but some of his work with Jeff Beck is good. “Ol’ Man River” is better than good.