Fourth of July 2014

Mississippi River Valley

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We spent the Fourth of July this year at Wyalusing State Park in Wisconsin.  One of the things we really love about this park is the view from the campground, as well as the hiking trails that wrap around the hills and bluffs.

This year, the Mississippi River was extremely high and the one thing I noticed was that there was hardly any boat traffic.  Usually on and around the Fourth of July, the river is packed, but people were taking the boating advisories seriously and the river was nearly void of traffic.  This included commercial shipping as well.

High Water on St. Feriole Island

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One our our usual stops, when visiting Prairie du Chien, is St. Feriole Island and the water front.  This year was very interesting because of the high water. We have never visited the island when the river had been so high, and we were surprised by how much of it was covered.  The water front drive, that runs in front of the old hotel, is usually a one way street, but do to most of the roads being flooded they had to make it a temporary two way street.  Most of the buildings were above water, but a few smaller structures and shelter houses were not.

The most interesting fact about the water at this time was that this was not the highest the river has risen.  This used to be a regular occurrence when there was a booming community living on the island, hence why it migrated to the location of modern day Prairie du Chien.  The power and size of the Mississippi River continues to amaze me.  If you would like to see what the water level usually looks like, please visit the St. Feriole Island Photo Album from 2010 and 2011

High Water at Lock and Dam Number 9

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We also made it up to Lock and Dam Number 9 just a few miles north of Prairie du Chien.  I have spent many years on and around the Mississippi River and do not recall a time seeing all of the rollers up on a dam with the water so high at its base.  If you look at the second picture in the series above, between the first five big rollers, there is a platform with a door on it.  If you look closely, you may be able to see that it was nearly submerged.  You can see the water level from previous years on the Wyalusing 2011 Photo Album.