Thursday, March 29, 2012

Following Rivers home

Jacksonville Illinois is actually not far from the Mississippi River.  We cross at Hannibal going east toward Jacksonville.  I like that crossing, the bridge is nice.  Looking down the river at that point makes me think of Huck & Jim. 

On our return, however, we decided to drive south, following  the Illinois River until it meets the Mississippi.   On the map, I could see a river road  on the west side of the Illinois river just south of Hwy 36, not too many miles out of Jacksonville.  The map was right, there was a road.  And it did follow the river.  Only, the road turned from paved, to gravel getting narrower as we went until finally it was only one lane.  We went by this “subdivision” next to the river so we thought all was well.

IMG_3459 Twice we crossed streams once on a low water bridge and once just through the stream.  Finally, we saw traffic ahead and headed that way.  Just as we were merging onto a better, although still gravel road, I looked back and saw a “road closed” sign.  Something they failed to post from the other direction.

Even though  at that point we weren’t close to the river, we continued on because we (maybe it was more I) wanted to see the conjunction of the Illinois with the Mississippi north of St. Louis.   On studying the map, however,  the area between the two rivers before they meet might not be a good place to be at 5:00 pm on a weekday afternoon.  There are no bridges, just ferries. 

So, we crossed the Illinois from west to east, seemingly going the wrong direction to get home and found a pleasant surprise.  After crossing the Illinois at Harden, we followed Illinois Hwy 100 south through Pere Marquette State Park, cities of Grafton, Elsah and finally Alton.  This route followed right by first the Illinois and then the Mississippi after the two rivers joined.  This would be a beautiful fall drive.


At Alton, we crossed back over now the Mississippi, wound around to St Charles Missouri and home on I70, roughly following the Missouri River.  At Kansas City we broke away from the Missouri to follow the Kansas or Kaw River.  Then at Lawrence, the Wakarusa home. 

There are those who love the ocean.  And they are majestic.  However,  I still find rivers fascinating as are the people, bridges and towns near and over them.

IMG_3468 Bridge across the Mississippi at Alton.


Pablo said...

I suppose the hour of the day was not right, but Elsah is a very nice little town to linger in. And I've crossed those ferries near there many times, winding up in St. Charles, which is another nice place to linger.

Linda said...

Pablo, good to know about the ferries. We seem to end up in eastern Missouri often & am sure we'll be back to check out Elsah as well.