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I had to leave the Missouri way too early, and will return as soon as possible.  For my last set from the roads of eastern Nebraska, let’s start with friendly boaters zipping downstream. 

Barges loaded with Iowa and Nebraska grain head south for the lower Mississippi and export.

Note the red floats on either side, safety lines I suspect in case of runaway.

Morning I stopped at a boat ramp near Brownville, population less than 500, where 

I stopped to see Captain Merriwether Lewis, a USACE dredge

one of the last surviving vessels from the (relative) straightening of the Missouri beginning in the 1930s.

She was the result of a 1920s infrastructure project we still benefit from today, and is currently a museum I could not wait around to see.  Well, next time.

Driving back to the Phelps City MO side of the river, I saw the perfect illustration of the advantage of barging.  The white trailer extreme right below is 

the first white trailer to the left here below . . . .   All those trucks headed to the elevator would

NOT fill even half a Missouri/Mississippi River barge.

All photos/choices/sentiments, WVD, who needs to get back here.  Events compelled me back over the Mississippi too soon and back to NYS.

 

My goal was familiarization, not veni vidi vici, or exploration of the 2300+ miles of river crossing parts of seven states, beginning in SW Montana.

Barge traffic is possible there now because of the work of the USACE.  More on that in a later post.

Here was my top-priority destination:  the current northernmost aka upriver port.  more on that later too. 

The above port is 50 miles north of Omaha and on the Iowa side.  So is Omaha connected to salt water . . .  indeed.

There’s a story here and here. . .  about a beaver and a business opportunity.

Now in the sixth boro, boats like the one above never worked, not so on the Missouri.  If you’ve ever following the Missouri and see a sign about the “steamboat exhibit” at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, by all means, check it out. 

 

250,000 artifacts including 1860s steam technology have been excavated, cleaned/preserved, and nicely displayed.

It turns out there’s another steamboat wreck exhibit in Kansas City, which I took no time to check out, but I will next trip. Of note, both Bertrand and Arabia were built along the Ohio river, far to the east.

As to the question of current commercial activity north of Kansas City . . . it’s there.

If you’ve never read River Horse, a boat trip from the sixth boro’s Elizabeth NJ to Astoria OR, check it out.  I’m eager to re-read Moon’s account of his navigation of his boat through this geography.  Recently, I re-read his account of transiting the Erie Canal and encountering tug Urger and its erstwhile captain Meyer.

By the way, Urger will be featured in tomorrow’s post.

All photos, observations, WVD, who is back east of the Mississippi and catching up.

Again . .  greatly abridged . . . it took the two-lane most of the way across Iowa–included a fuel stop in Pella— from the Mississippi to the Missouri, although from Des Moines westward, I did take I-80, where a fleet of windmill parts was parked in a long rest area. 

 

I got back on the two-lane again to get to my river port destination.  The high-rises here are grain elevators, and small towns sometimes grow up with services around them. 

I got as far north as Sioux City, when I needed to turn south again.  The rest of this long river has to be postponed for the next trip, since what drove this trip is work, which I’ll hold off on explaining.  

But you can’t be here without countless references to the Lewis and Clark gallivant, a wandering westward at the behest and on the payroll of the United States.  

Near Blue Lake, a state park features a set of replicas of the vessels of the expedition.  

The centerpiece is their keeled boat/barge/mothership Best Friend.  Can you imagine poling, rowing, and towing this behemoth?!!

 

As I said, earlier, the northern areas of this river, South Dakota upstream to Montana, must wait for the next expedition/gallivant.

All photos, WVD. 

 

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