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Boating, travel to Mardi Gras

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Julia belle Swain cruise the Mississippi in Lacrosse, Wisconsin

Julia Belle Swain
Home Port, River Town La Crosse, WI   Last SteamBoat manufactured by
Diamond Jo Boat Co. in Dubuque, IA.         Visit Boat Shows.Marinas and Boat Ramps

Wisconsin Marinas and Boat Ramps

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Boat Dealers

Mississippi River Water Safety
Water Safety

Mississippi River Adventure's Site Map
Mississippi River Site Map

Be Prepared for Your Great River Travel Adventure!

Be prepared For Your MISSISSIPPI RIVER Vacations!

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Mississippi River Cities: Events, Arts, Antiques, and Restaurants

Boating on Big River, Wisconsin

Mississippi River People and Places
for More River Fun

Home made boat barge cruising down Mississippi River near Cassville, WI.

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Fishing and Business in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

Shopping in River Cities

Unique Gifts, Arts, Crafts, Quilting, General Stores, Taxidermy, Iron Works,
Grocery, Meats and Wisconsin Cheese

Lots of Shopping. Did I say shopping?

Valley Fish & Cheese - Take a Peak!

Lansing Iowa Bridge brings shopping to river cities

Mississippi River Cities

Bluffs on Mighty Mississippi
Who wouldn't want to be here?

Antiques, Quilting, Arts, Taxidermy, River Cruises, Great Restaurants,
Easy Access Boat Harbor, Museums,
Comfortable Lodging

Visit Lansing, IA

Eagles in early spring along Illinois river banks

Mississippi River Birding

An Eagle Family Reunion?

Birding is not just summer fun.
Come see the birds in all of the river towns, from Wabasha, MN to Guttenberg, IA.

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Fishing events near Wisconsin river

Great River Fishing

The Mighty Mississippi is Fishing Heaven.

Hot Spots are . . . . . .
Did you know fishermen keep the best secrets?

Find your own secret fishing spot.

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Boating and barge traffic from Louisiana to Minnesota

Locks and Dams

Tow Traffic and Commerce on the River.

Vacation AND Education.

Travel to Lock and Dams to see barges lock up and down the Mississippi.

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Restaurants and Dining is fantastic in Lansing, Iowa

River Restaurants and Pubs

From Fine Dining to a Casual Beer.

Come by boat or car

or bike, or motorcyle.

Visit TJ Hunters Pub

Great River Road Restaurants offer unique dining experience with great river views.

Restaurants and Pubs

From Italian to Mexican

From German to good old fashioned American

Visit the Great River Road House

Boating races to Hannibal, Missouri

Great River Boating

Are they racing to the next Lock?

How Fast does your boat go?

Visit Boat Dealers, Boat Rentals and Boat Shows.

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Motorcycle poker run from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois

Mississippi River Fall Tour - Ride

Every autumn they tour the

Great River Road

The bikes provide great views of the Fall Colors.

Visit God's Country - Mighty Mississippi style.

Travel to Mississippi River cities for great Hotels and Lodging Adventure

Mississippi River Lodging

Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, Bed & Baths
Cabins, Lodges, Campgrounds

Mississippi River Towns have it all!

Visit Hotels, Bed & Baths

Real Estate, Waterfront property along the Upper Mississippi
Real Estate

Hotels, Cabins, Lodging, Bed and Breakfasts

Antiques, Gifts, Shops, Arts, Crafts, Shopping

Mississippi River Fun and Facts

  • The Mississippi River is the 4th largest river system in the world.

  • River begins at Lake Itasca in Minnesota, and will travel about 2,350 miles before reaching the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Will travel through 10 states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

  • At the headwaters of the Mississippi, the average surface speed of the water is near 1.2 miles per hour - roughly one-third as fast as people walk. At New Orleans, on 2/24/2003, the speed of the river was 3 miles per hour.

  • A raindrop falling in Lake Itasca would arrive at the Gulf of Mexico in about 90 days.

  • The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area maintains its length at 2,350 miles.

  • At Lake Itasca, the river is between 20-30 feet wide, the narrowest stretch for its entire length. The Mississippi is more than four miles wide at Lake Onalaska. Near LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Mississippi water held behind Lock and Dam #7 and water held back by damming the Black River combine to form this broad reach of the Mississippi River.*

  • At its headwaters, the Mississippi is less than 3 feet deep. The river's deepest section is between Governor Nicholls Wharf and Algiers Point in New Orleans where it is 200 feet deep.

  • The elevation of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca is 1,475 feet above sea level. It drops to 0 feet above sea level at the Gulf of Mexico. More than half of that drop in elevation occurs within the state of Minnesota.*

  • As a major conduit of a vast interior waterway, the Mississippi River has been the object of wars, the provider for the heartland of a nation, and a cradle for cultures and communities that have grown, prospered, and died on its banks. The river remains an enduring dimension of American culture and an integral part of the American mystique.*

  • Jonathan H. Green makes one of the earliest written references to Poker in 1834. In his writing, Green mentions rules to what he called the "cheating game," which was then being played on Mississippi riverboats. He soon realized that his was the first such reference to the game, and since it was not mentioned in the current American Hoyle, he chose to call the game Poker.           -

  • * Facts provided from the National Park Service web site.
  • The Mississippi is well worth reading about. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable. Las Aventuras De Tom Sawyer, classic novel by Mark Twain shares early American adventures on the Mississippi River.

  • Travel Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri for Upper Mississippi fun. Travel Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana for a new experience on the lower Great River.

  • News:  
  • Weekend Getaway

    Davenport: Visit with da Vinci

    Posted: Jan. 12, 2008

    When you think of wings over the Quad Cities, you might think of the many bald eagles that live in the area, soaring over the Mississippi River. They make this area their home, even in winter.

    But visit the area now and you'll encounter wings of a totally different sort: a replica of a glider designed by Leonardo da Vinci is among the many flying machines and models that greet visitors as they enter Davenport's Putnam Museum.

    The Quad Cities straddle the Mississippi River; Davenport is the largest of the four, which also include Bettendorf in Iowa, and on the Illinois side, Moline and Rock Island. Davenport has a population similar to Green Bay.

  • News:
    Quincy, Ill., looks to the mighty Mississippi for power

  • QUINCY, Ill. — In the early days, the ribbon of muddy water hugging this city's western edge carried steamboat traffic that served as an engine for growth. In 1993, the river swelled beyond its banks and threatened to wash the city away.

    Today, officials see new potential in the Mississippi River — cleaner energy.

    Initiated by a desire to reduce its own electricity bills and cut pollution, the city of Quincy is pursuing plans to build hydroelectric plants at three existing Mississippi River locks and dams owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In total, they would be able to generate enough electricity to light all of the city's 16,000 homes.

    "The river has always been an integral part of this city," Mayor John A. Spring said in an interview at City Hall. "We all take it for granted, but it has the power to produce a commodity that will help us."

    The effort seems to be well timed. In 2005, Illinois enacted a law requiring that 8 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable resources by 2013. And last year's steep rise in electric rates makes such projects more appealing, both economically and in terms of public support.

    It's unusual for a city to look at developing hydro plants, especially one that doesn't already operate a municipal utility. But developers are showing a renewed interest in projects from Minneapolis to New Orleans as energy demand and prices continue rise along with concerns over emissions of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas emitted from coal-fired power plants, factories and automobile tailpipes.

    The city began pursuing the idea not long into Spring's term as mayor when an engineer friend approached him with a 1983 Army Corps of Engineers report that identified Mississippi Lock and Dam No. 20 in Canton, Mo., No. 21 in Quincy and 22 in Saverton, Mo., as promising sites for hydropower projects.

    Spring, a former science teacher at Parkway North High School in Creve Coeur, saw the potential to both cut the city's electric bill and make money by selling surplus power to local utilities. He persuaded the City Council to seek preliminary permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which the city received in late 2006, and to hire engineers to update the 25-year-old Corps of Engineers study.

    The project would take almost a decade to complete and retrofit existing dams with turbines that would cost an estimated $180 million plus $3 million to prepare the license applications, Spring said. The next major steps are obtaining approval from the Corps of Engineers and an operating license from FERC, which regulates most of the nation's hydropower projects.

    If it obtains a federal license, Quincy has a range of options that include developing the project on its own or selling one or more licenses to private developers.

    The Corps of Engineers, in general, supports hydropower projects as they don't affect river navigation, said spokesman Ron Fournier of the Corps' Rock Island District.

    "Every single dam we have is being looked at for that sort of thing," said Fournier. "But the idea comes up and it usually fades away."

    Harnessing the Mississippi's flow to generate electricity isn't new. AmerenUE's 134-megawatt hydropower plant at Keokuk, Iowa, began operating in 1913. But its history dates back to 1836, when Robert E. Lee did a survey for the War Department that called attention to the power potential of that section of the Mississippi.

    The upper Mississippi has relatively few hydroelectric plants. Permitting a new hydroelectric plant takes years, and efforts frequently are opposed by groups concerned about fish and wildlife habitat.

    The geology of the Midwest also is an obstacle: River beds are flat enough that the force of flowing water may not be adequate to generate sufficient electricity to justify construction costs.

    LeClaire, Iowa, a city of about 3,000 residents just north of the Quad Cities, set out in 1980 to develop a hydropower project at Mississippi Lock and Dam No. 14, just north of Davenport, Iowa. The city obtained a license in 1993, but the project never advanced because costs ballooned to a point where the city couldn't find a buyer for the electricity.

    Specifically, the need to install a fish screen at the dam would have reduced efficiency of the plant and increased the costs by almost 60 percent to $110 million — too expensive even given today's energy prices.

    "The thing is still not economically viable," said Edwin ­Choate, LeClaire's city administrator. "I just don't see it happening on this site."

    Despite the challenges, a confluence of factors — rising power prices, renewable energy mandates in Illinois and elsewhere, and a growing likelihood that the federal government will regulate carbon dioxide emissions — has developers taking another look at dozens of potential sites on the upper Mississippi River.

    Brookfield Power, a unit of Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc., identified more than 30 sites at existing Army Corps of Engineers locks and dams in the Mississippi Valley and other rivers with hydropower potential, said Jeff Auser, vice president of generation development for the eastern United States. The company, which owns 3,600 megawatts of hydroelectric generation in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, will spend the next 10 months taking a closer look at each one to determine which projects to pursue.

    "We'll continue doing our homework," Auser said, "and some of those may fall out."

    St. Louis-based AmerenUE has considered adding more hydroelectric generating capacity at existing locks and dams to meet rising energy demand, but the utility must do further study to see if it's economically and technically feasible, spokeswoman Susan Gallagher said.

    Back in Quincy, the city's efforts are backed by a majority of residents and there's been strong interest from utilities in the region, including more than a dozen that sent representatives to a meeting last year, Spring said.

    Some of the utilities already have expressed interest in purchasing power or even taking a stake in the project, he said.

    The mayor knows the process of developing a hydroelectric plant on the Mississippi is as long and winding as the river itself. But he's taking it one step at a time.

    "The licenses are the next huge objective," he said.

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