Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Woes Along the River - vacation day 2

Saturday was our first real day of vacation, first day to relax and unwind, to sleep in and not have anywhere to go. If you know me at all, you know it didn’t really work out that way. I had a full schedule planned for every day.

The first day, however, I actually thought we could take it easy, check out our surroundings and the little town closest to our resort.

The Mississippi River town of Clarksville boasts a population of 547. Lock and Dam number 24 is right on the doorstep of town, so we spent much of the first morning watching a barge go through. Why is that so fascinating? Probably because to my simple mind it is a major feat of engineering.

When we finally tore ourselves away from the Lock, we walked along the river front and the hubby started up a conversation with a woman who was checking to see how far the River had risen since the day before. Turns out she was the mayor, JoAnne Smiley. Leave it to my husband to meet the mayor.  

We had a long conversation with her regarding flooding in her little town. Clarksville is the last town in Missouri whose downtown district faces the Mississippi River. Other towns either are set far enough back from the River or they built permanent levies so that they don’t have to worry about flooding. Cute little Clarksville doesn’t have the money (half a million dollars) to build a levy, plus the little shops along the River are so quaint it would be a shame to shield them with a wall of dirt. When it looks like flood waters are moving in, the town rallies with their sandbags and defends their little downtown.  According to the mayor, because of this they have never had losses from flooding, and because of that the federal government won’t give them any money to prevent disaster.  

 A few days later I was sharing the woes of Clarksville with a local from a town up River, and she didn’t have any sympathy for her neighbors to the south. She just thought they should build a levy, and didn’t believe me when I said it sounded like it was cost-prohibitive.

On our way home the end of the week, I told my brother-in-law all of this. He works for the Army Corps of Engineers which deals yearly with flooding of the Mississippi. He had yet another view of this problem.

Because my little pea-brain doesn’t want to hear the facts and figures, only wants to take in what is beautiful, I have no solutions for anyone. All I have is more pictures from our first day. 
Didn't eat here. Sorry, Tubby. 
The old episcopal church which is now the beautiful art studio of Mary O. We spent probably an hour talking with her and touring her home.  
Water fowl at the Clarence Cannon Wildlife Refuge.  I thought the sign said "canyon" so I was hoping for some great scenery. Water fowl is ok though too.  
At Cuivre River State Park near Troy. We didn't stay long. We were getting tired by then and headed into Troy for Dairy Queen and to get the car washed. 

1 comment:

Denise said...

I'm with you Chris, what ever happened to sentimental memories. Do we all have to become sterile looking downtowns with no personality? Hurrah for them for trying to keep it as it has been.