Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Confluence

“The Mississippi, as if astonished at the boldness of an intruder, for a moment recoils … and views in silent majesty the progress of the stranger.” – Major Amos Stoddard, War of 1812.

“ … through a vast unknown of barbarism, poured its turbid floods into the bosom of its gentle sister.” – Father Jacques Marquette, 1673

Finally, today, we saw the “confluence” – the place where the Missouri River flows into the Mississippi. For some time, I have noted the relative “excitement” of the Missouri compared to the more sedate Mississippi. The place of confluence is a quiet, gentle place, just as Fr. Marquette and Major Stoddard describe it.

We followed the Mississippi from the south (rather than the north), and were able to drive through the Columbia Bottom Conservation area to the Confluence. I think that this is the most beautiful and peaceful place in Missouri, with great expanses of grasslands. We didn’t see a lot of birds, though. Perhaps it is still too soon.

Today was also the first time that we’ve actually been on the Mississippi River. We took the car ferry to Grafton ($8 one way). It was a glorious autumn day. The little town of Grafton was inundated with sightseers, like us, so we didn’t stay long. More photos on the Flickr site.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Thank you for your lovely photos. I saw the confluence of the Rhein and Mosel once, but not this great confluence so steeped in OUR history. You could just imagine the voyageurs, priests and trappers, canoeing down these great rivers! All the French names around St. Louis (the flag of the city and its name, too) echo this discovery.