Saturday, June 6, 2009

Up, down and sideways

Last Sunday, after the baseball game, I headed for the Mississippi River. For some reason, the parking in Tom Lee Park was closed off, so I drove to the top of the bluffs and hiked down.

Shown above: The boat in the foreground is loaded and moving downriver. The second boat is moving upriver, and the truck is on I-40. Even though it was bright and sunny, the photo is fairly drab. I believe it has to do with the way the light reflects off the water (or doesn't).

It's hard to appreciate how big each individual tow barge is. One barge can hold the equivalent of 20 railroad cars or 75 semi-trucks. One boat (called a tow) can push 20 or more barges. In fact they can be in groups of up to 45 barges, and are often longer than an aircraft carrier. See here. If you want more river factoids, click here or here.


  1. Your photos today bring back some childhood memories of growing up in Quincy Illinois. We used to go down the river quite often to watch the barges and we especially enjoyed watching them go through the lock and dam.

    Thanks for stopping at my site today. I agree that the "horrible" comment must be a cultural thing. I thought of the drumming as a cultural thing, attracting people from all walks of life all together enjoying each other's company. It was fun!

  2. I grew up in Illinois, also. When in collage (Carbondale), on a nice day, we would make a picnic lunch, travel over to the river and sit up high and watch the river traffic.

  3. Nice pics, as usual, mojo. Really looking forward to your Vegas pics. I'm sure they'll be great.