Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's Be A Nerd Saturday

There is a new a park on the Missouri side where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers come together -- the Edward "Ted" and Pat Jones-Confluence Point State Park (and, yes, they put all of that on all the signs). As you can see in the two photographs above, however, the rivers might conflux but they do not mingle and mix very much. The brownish water from the Big Muddy Missouri stays to the west, while the clearer water of the Mississippi stays to the east. The flows of the two rivers do not actually fully intermingle until they are well past St. Louis. On their way to that point, what the two rivers really want to do is form islands to separate the two flows. The Corp of Engineers takes a dim of this, however, and tries to force the water back into a single main channel. The most famous of the islands was Bloody Island in middle of the river between St. Louis and what is now East St. Louis. Dueling was illegal in Missouri so all interested parties would row over to Bloody Island and shoot away. When the main flow of the river decided it would rather be between the island and the Illinois shore, and leave the St. Louis shore, none other that Major Robert E. Lee was sent to close off the east channel and force the river back to the Missouri side of the island. The I-55, I-64, I-70, US 40, IL 3 ramps to the Poplar Street Bridge and a riverboat casino occupy the site of the former island.

MSN/TerraServer Map <== Keep clicking SOUTH and you can easily follow the darker appearing water from the Upper Mississippi all the way to the Arch. [If the link will not work, use Longitude -90.15 and Latitude 38.82.]

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