A few weeks back (before the road trip actually ) I took a walk down along the Mississippi River which is basically out the back door of my studio (see previous blog entry 'A Tale of Two Studios Part II: http://stevebankspunchingholesintherah-rah.blogspot.com/2012/05/tale-of-two-studios-part-ii.html ).
Every few years we get some media attention due to whatever Flood-Du-Jour has invaded the downtown. Here is the side of a hot dog stand that has the level of various noteworthy floods. When I say hot dog stand, I mean that it has a menu on the side of the building, and I've heard of people reminiscing about getting hot dogs from there. I have never actually seen a hot dog dispensed from there.
Well, this year we're having a wee bit of a drought. As evidenced by the photos below. These rocks are usually hidden under several feet of muddy water,
and this sandbar, shelf, beach, -whatever you want to call it, is a popular fishing spot unseen under several feet of water.
Back in '93 (I now officially old enough that I can have a 'back-in-my-day old-timer story'). This is how high the water got. I helped put gravel bags (filled with gravel instead of sand) around the upstream side of Lindsay Harbor. I will never forget how it was way too hot and muggy on that day to wear long sleeves to protect my arms, so my forearms were bloody and abraded from catching gravel bags all day.
I tried to shoot the above image so the arrow would be at eye level so you can kinda extend the line and imagine how high the water was.
Some portion of this seawall ladder is usually hidden. In case you're curious, it's there so if you fall into the river, you have some way to climb up the seawall.
Out in the distance you can see a whole bunch of 'landmasses' peeking out of the water. Some of them a fairly geometric, and I suspect some form of structure long submerged. In fact, The Putnam Museum (http://www.putnam.org/) has an old map of Davenport that shows very little of what current citizens of the Quad Cities would recognize as the riverfront area. It used to be the town garbage dump and basically increased the land area along the river. Put some grass on it and call it good.....
On my 'short distance walks' I normally turn around at the train bridge just after the boat landing. This next bit occurs between the two arrows I drew in on the image below.
I started seeing a profusion of tires, so I back-tracked to the boat landing, re-walked my path, and intentionally started counting all of the tires in the water.
Shall we count them? Sure! One....
....Three submerged tires! Aht. Aht. Aht.
In that little stretch of the river I counted 28 tires. 28! Really? Unless there were alot of zany, mad-capped tire changing misadventures which culminated in someone desperately running downhill after their escaped tire only to perform a last-minute dive for the vulcanized beauty as it bounced into the river with a 'nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh noise', there are roughly.....I don't know......maybe 28 knuckle-draggin' six-toothed jerkweeds who like to throw tires into the river.
I would like to close with something from the 'Great-Googly-Moogley Files' Below, circled on the left is what what remains of a Mississippi catfish. To the right of the image (also circled) is a cement block.
Wanna go swimming?