Life On The Mississippi

Mark Twain wrote a book called Life on the Mississippi and this post is called Life on the Mississippi.  Both are outstanding works of American literature.  But that’s where the similarities end.

Mark Twain’s book was written in the 1860’s.  My story is written in the 2010’s.  Twain’s book is about three years of his life in which he was a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River.  This story is about two hours of my life in which I was a bicycle rider along the Mississippi River.  His journey covered the entire 1500 (or so) navigable miles of the great river.  My story covers the entire Hastings, MN portion of the river and 10 (or so) miles beyond.  His book is several hundred pages long.  My post is one page long.  His book contains exactly zero photographs for your viewing pleasure.  My post contains several photographs for your viewing pleasure.

I guess it’s up to you which one you want to read right now.  Personally, I’ve read both versions of Life on the Mississippi and, while Twain’s book has stood the test of time and has many funny anecdotes, mine is right here in front of you and it won’t take nearly as long to read.  Again, it’s up to you–but I’d choose ME.

Anyway, I rode my bike down to the river.  We’ve had a very snowy winter here in Minnesota, and now that it has warmed up very quickly in the last week or so, the river is running high.  It’s not at flood stage or anything, but the water level is creeping up on MY Town.

I should mention that this bridge photo is NOT part of Old Grumbleface’s May Bridge Challenge (OGMBC). I just wanted to show how the river is rising several feet above normal.

 

 

I’m not a fisherman, but I’m guessing this is a hot spot right now.

 

Looking upriver from a viewing platform, you can see the U.S. Corp of Engineers Lock and Dam #2, and a train running alongside the far side.

 

Normally those trees are not in the water. (And the bridge in the distance is not part of the OGMBC either. I have other plans for that.)

 

A close-up view of Lock and Dam #2.

 

Those white things on the far side of the lock are pelicans. On a less windy day one can see them flying together on the wind current and then they land together with a huge splash in the river.

 

From river level, I rode about five miles back into the bluffs and I took this picture.

 

There is a picnic table near that overlook.  Two women and two young children were having a little picnic there and a big bird flew overhead.

“Look!” shouted one of the women, “An eagle!”

The kids were so excited.  They were pointing and shouting with glee.

I decided not to tell them it was a turkey vulture.

 

I continued on back down to river level and then I decided to take a new route out of the river valley.  I’m glad I did.  It was pretty, it was quiet, and it provided a little workout–the winning trifecta.

 

A nice little country road.

 

A combination of more new roads also led me to this. Is it art?

 

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

2 response to "Life On The Mississippi"

  1. By: The Navigator Posted: May 4, 2018

    Beautiful, sunny clear day – but still looks cold… and maybe a bit soggy. A good groundsheet would be a must at the moment, but I’m glad to see it looks like things may have finally started to turn toward spring for you.

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