Adventure on the Mississippi!

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Greg
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Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by Greg » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:33 pm

So yesterday we decided to have a little bit of an adventure.

First we went to visit the lock and dam complex on the Mississippi, near Alton, IL. There's a little museum there and they give tours. And it's free. It was pretty cool though when we were up on top of the complex on the walkway over the locks and spillways, I was having a little trouble with the heights.

After that, we drove through Alton and along the river on the Illinois side to the Brussels ferry and took that across the Illinois river. Just caught that ferry, bit of luck. It was fun. Then we drove through some very rural bits of Illinois surprisingly close to the big city (Calhoun County) to catch the Golden Eagle ferry across the Mississippi to home.

We just missed the boat, by seconds. So we were first in line with a ringside seat to what happened next.

The ferry was fucked. More seriously, it apparently had an engineering casualty. It made it most of the way across, seemed like it tried and failed to dock on the other (St Charles County, MO) side, then things started to happen. It drifted downstream, went way upstream, lined up really oddly to try to dock again, turned away, and was maneuvering erratically. At one point it did a complete 360. Another time it did a 180 in one direction, then a 180 in the other direction. While all this was happening, it kind of wound up in the middle of the river, and started drifting downstream a bit.

Then a pair of pickup trucks came screaming up to the dock, parked by the other (unused) ferry, the crew of the other ferry got out and in one hell of a hurry fired it up and cut loose. It then went out to the other ferry, the crews lashed them together, and the working ferry pushed the broken one back to the IL side. Docked the busted ferry at the spare berth (that was some tricky small boat handling, I am certain), disconnected, then the good ferry came over to the primary berth and picked up a load of cars - including the cars that had been on the broken ferry during its wild ride.

Our trip across on the working ferry was quick and uneventful, and the ride home from where we disembarked was really surprisingly short. Where the ferry disembarked looked like it was utterly remote from civilization, but was pretty close to 370 and a used office furniture place we knew because we bought a filing cabinet there. Small world.

This area is an amazing mix of city and country really closely side by side. Well some places more than others. And our Mississippi River adventure was pretty cool.
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Weetabix
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Re: Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by Weetabix » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:52 pm

That's pretty cool. You can see the ferries in the water on Google Earth. I need to try those some day.
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Darrell
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Re: Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by Darrell » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:18 pm

"We call that a Missouri boat ride."--Josie Wales

;)
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Greg
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Re: Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by Greg » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:02 pm

Weetabix wrote:That's pretty cool. You can see the ferries in the water on Google Earth. I need to try those some day.
The ferries were rather smaller and more intimate than I expected - just a deck barge and a very small tug. I guess you don't really need (or really want) more on the river.

I learned that the Corps of Engineers goes to very great lengths to keep the upper Mississippi as deep as 9' for navigation.

Oh and the Brussels ferry is free, the Golden Eagle ferry is $8 one way, $15 round trip.
Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive. -Ennesby

If you know what you're doing, you're not learning anything. -Unknown
Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr

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PawPaw
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Re: Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by PawPaw » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:35 pm

I'm surprised that they haven't bridged it up there. Here in Louisiana we still have several ferries across the Mississippi, but it's a lot wider down here. Googling around, I was surprised to see how many ferries we have operating on the lower river, especially in the NOLA metro area.
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Greg
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Re: Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by Greg » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:55 pm

PawPaw wrote:I'm surprised that they haven't bridged it up there. Here in Louisiana we still have several ferries across the Mississippi, but it's a lot wider down here. Googling around, I was surprised to see how many ferries we have operating on the lower river, especially in the NOLA metro area.
No need, no point. There are adequate river crossings in general, you'd only spend the money if you wanted to open that particular area to development and there are still plenty of areas available for development that don't require expensive new infrastructure to open up.

Anyway Illinois is out of money. They can't even pay out on their lottery, not to mention their larger obligations.

And I like to think Missouri has enough sense than to spend buckets of money on bridges to nowhere.
Maybe we're just jaded, but your villainy is not particularly impressive. -Ennesby

If you know what you're doing, you're not learning anything. -Unknown
Sanity is the process by which you continually adjust your beliefs so they are predictively sound. -esr

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SoupOrMan
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Re: Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by SoupOrMan » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:18 am

The Brussels ferry has always been pretty nice. I like that part of Illinois. Grafton is supposed to have decent restaurants, and Elsah used to, if they're around at all.
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evan price
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Re: Adventure on the Mississippi!

Post by evan price » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:57 am

Failure of the bow thruster, or steering engine possibly?
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