For someone who spends a great deal of time on dry land, there is a water intrigue in me also. I go over the the Mississippi quite often just to sit spellbound watching all around. In the winter the eagles are thick and fun to watch wrestle for the same little fish. I used to go to Victory and get a new Mississippi River Rat t-shirt every year as part of a tradition. Along the many towns people often have a boat over a second car and many a cabin set out in the middle of nowhere.
I have camped on the many islands, thinking sometimes I may have been the only one to find that particular spot in the backwaters, only to hear the rumble of a boat coming past where I was at. I was married on a bluff high above this mighty river. When the minister showed he was shocked I wasn't in waders, but had a suit on he had never seen me in.
Each time I go over, I find something old and something new. It is about eighty miles from my present home to get me over the the Great River Road, a scenic highway designated to show you the rivers best. The boats pushing the barges are fun for me to watch, I always think of being in a kayak or canoe right alongside wondering where they were headed. Once going upstream all loaded down with a weeks worth of gear, a father and son walked throwing rocks about as fast as we were moving on the main channel.The strength and power it has is amazing.
This often is the drawing line of East and West for the United States. that places me in the west when I actually am in the Midwest. I have been to both ends of this mighty river, what a change it makes. Many are surprised we have the Coast Guard maintaining all the buoys and lights to control shipping. I marvel at these nomads who spend weeks out along with the tug crews traveling this river. It is the Gathering Waters, Old Man River, The Father of Waters, Old Muddy, Big River or just the Mighty Mississippi that calls me in.