Indian Summer in Full Glory… Come Out to Play!

Today and the week to follow is a great time to explore the coulees, streams and river valleys, bluffs and trails of the Driftless Region of Western Wisconsin, NW Illinois, SE Minnesota and and NE Iowa!

Pelicans are mobbing up into great clusters of pristine white on the Mississippi River. Bald Eagles are abundant… we saw several pairs just hanging out in nests, enjoying the day as much as we were!  Can’t say I’ve seen Tundra Swans as yet…which is fine with me as they remind us a frozen river is not far behind!!

The river has finally dropped a bit, so fishing has picked up. Fishing Barges and boat landings we saw were busy.

The Fishing repFun for the whole familyort from Clements Fishing Barge: “November 3rd: Fishing has been pretty good for walleye and sauger.  White bass are done and the perch scarce.  Most fish are coming in on minnows or hair jigs.  Guys are still using 1 oz jigs, water is still higher than normal, but fish are in.”

Enjoy the weekend!

SHOP Great River Publishing/Great River Arts

Welcome!  IT’S A GREAT RIVER! and a GREAT GIFT… for your favorite Mississippi or Missouri River Buff, Retiree, or Armchair Traveler!

 Order Securely Online TODAY!

 Please visit our new Great River Shopping Cart for Artisan maps, Historic Maps, and Custom Designed Maps by Map Artist, Lisa Middleton. Click Image
below and enter key word in SEARCH BOX. Several Hundred maps!!

Pike's map of the upper Mississippi River with Eagle


We believe we have the most extensive collection of eye-popping interpretive river cards available!!

Please call 888-255-7726!

Books, Books!

Click Image below to see Mississippi River Guides!

Discover! America's Great River Road is the indispensible guidebook to the Upper Mississippi River ... heritage, natural history and recreation. Since 1987!   

 “We just traveled 5829 miles along the Mississippi River; from Baton Rouge, LA to Lake Itasca, MN up thwest side of the river and back down to Interstate 80 on the east side. Your DISCOVER! guidebooks are wonderful. We are going back next year to go the rest of the way to the end in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks!”    ~ Faith

Click Image below to see ALL our Steamboat and Railroad Books!

 To order any of our products, call Great River Publishing
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Stoddard, WI 54658
Please include $7 shipping with your order.

Happy Holidays to All!
Return to Greatriver.com

 

Historic River Ribbon Maps Tell a LONG Story!


Mississippi River Ribbon Maps
Ribbon map with Winder, The image is printed on matte archival photographic paper with no border. The paper measures 60 inches on the longest side and is variable on the shorter side according to the shape of the photograph.

Story is adapted by Pat Middleton, www.greatriver.com, from an article by Bob Mullen, for The Paddlewheel newsletter published by the Golden Eagle River Museum, St. Louis, Missouri

(Left) Authentic Historic Ribbon map with Winder, sized for use on the boat. 


 

Imagine a map of the Mississippi River that shows all of the cities and towns along the river and all the landings where a steamboat might stop.

Make the map about three inches wide and in one continuous strip showing the entire river from the Gulf of Mexico to its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. If you imagined correctly, you would have a map that is about eleven feet in length, like a long streamer or ribbon. Now roll up the map to a couple of inches in diameter and put into a wooden cylindrical container that can easily fit into your pocket!

 

Continue reading

Drainage Map of the Mississippi River and its Tributaries. Some Facts and Figures

QUESTIONS! QUESTIONS!
For Jack, who wants to know more about all the tributaries of the Mississippi River: how many there are,  their names, and how long they are!

NPS.gov watershed tributaries

There are some 250 tributaries of the Mississippi which drain a total area of more than 1,247,000 square miles–one third of the nation’s landmass–extending from the Allegheny Mountains in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west!

Remember the Mississippi River Flood of 1993? It wasn’t just the Mississippi River flooding that wreaked havoc, it was that all those tributaries flooded as well! At one point, the volume of water flowing past St. Louis was eleven times the volume of Niagara Falls!!

We start here with quick facts on the Mississippi River and several navigable tributaries! Please follow links for a little more depth of historical interest and to see our collection of hand-painted maps!

The Mississippi River, from its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico, is approximately 2,348 miles long. The combined reach of the Missouri-Mississippi Rivers is 3,741 miles–a length exceeded only by the Amazon and Nile rivers. The Mississippi River has shortened by several hundred miles since the days of Mark Twain. Even today it varies 30-50 miles each year.

The widest navigable part of the Mississippi is Lake Pepin, on the Upper Mississippi, where it is approximately 2 miles wide. The average current flows from 1.2 miles per hour nearer Lake Itasca, and about 3 mi per hour nearer New Orleans.

Our Mississippi River Ribbon Map has been a best-selling Gift for many years. Lisa now offers her own custom ribbon map designs of both the OHIO RIVER and the Missouri River. Please click on any map image for more info on the map or the tributary. Or PHONE 888-255-7726 to order any map. Mention you saw it on greatriver.com for a one time 10% discount!   Click on map images for more info on the tributaries.

 

 

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Preview Fall Color Routes with a Phone Call!

 


Fall Foliage Hot Lines from greatriver.com

Mid-October seems to be the month when Fall Foliage really POPS along the Upper Mississippi River. You can follow its southward march with the contacts below. Weather is perfect, enjoy the drive!

Arkansas. 800-628-8725; www.1800natural.com (late October to early November)

Illinois.  800-226-6632; www.enjoyillinois.com (early October)

Kentucky. 800-225-8747;  (late October)

Minnesota. 800-657-3700; www.exploreminnesota.com (late September to mid-October)

Missouri. 800-778-1234; www.missouritourism.org (mid-to-late October)

Tennessee. 800-697-4200; www.state.tn.us/tourdev/ (early November)

Wisconsin. 800-432-8747; www.travelwisconsin.com (early through mid-October)


And don’t leave home without the indispensable guides to Mississippi River and Great River Road travel! Every volume of DISCOVER! America’s Great River Road is filled with a variety of fascinating Mississippi River fact and lore.  Photos, maps, charts!  All Volumes contain info on birding, wildlife viewing hotspots. Each highlights Geography, interpretive history and natural history attractions along the Great River Road.  SAVE $10!!!   Purchase ALL FOUR VOLUMES of Discover! America’s Great River Road… St. Paul, Minnesota, to Venice, Louisiana, individually signed by the author.   Four guides for $62.

 

 

Landslides, Floods are Frequent Threats in Bluff Lands along the Upper Mississippi River

© Pat Middleton… To see picture captions, hold your cursor over photos.

Recent landslides after rains of 9-11 inches have many of us reminiscing about past experiences of landslides, rockslides, and flooding along the Mississippi River. Below is my own memory from very similar flooding in 2007.

Enter FLOOD in the Search button to bring up an interactive map that shows flooding at any moment along America’s major waterways as well as stats and Chronologies from previous years..

August 20, 2007

“Mom, you missed the HUUUgest Storm!”
“Mom, you have to hear what’s happening. I’ll read it right from the newspaper!”

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Happy 168th Birthday, Wisconsin!

Let us celebrate with historic French maps! Click on the maps to read detailed histories from Great River Arts… Lisa Middleton, Map Artist.Pause the curser over the map image and a magnifying glass with allow you to study the maps!!

We will do a different century through this coming week! First, the 18th Century.

Les Etats Unis  1765 (approx)

chief map on deerskin

Iowa/Wisconsin Territory

Les Etats Unis cropped

Les, Etats Unis, detail of Upper Mississippi River… “The Source of the River is Unknown..”

Ft Beauharnois pencil sketch

Ft Beauharnois near today’s Frontenac Minn

image

1731, De L’Isle’s CARTE DE LA LOUISIANE… With Lake Pepin Named on the Upper Mississippi River…. name requested by King Louis 14th!

Decorah Eagles Cam Rich with Data

Many of us have been watching the Decorah eagle cam for several years as we get an intimate look at life in the eagle’s nest. That site again is http://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/

The two eagles born this year are just about ready to take flight, but years of observation and study at the nest has resulted in several detailed reports posted to the site on the Eagles we have watched grow up there.

For example, here is an eagle’s eye view of how our adult eagles differ in appearance, with a U Tube commentary from the Raptor Resource Center: https://youtu.be/5lARYcL5A50  Click to have a look. See also the history of Eaglets fledged in the last year, nesting behavior, and more!

 

 Railroad Trespass Hearings by Greg Koelker

Thank you, Greg Koelker for detailed report on Mississippi River Railroad Trespass Hearings. This is a significant issue for all of us along the Upper Mississippi River. If folks are not allowed to cross the railroad tracks. the trains which rattle our countryside constantly will also become a FENCE to separate us from the recreational resources we ALL love most about the river. It is worth paying attention to the discussions. ~Pat

Railroad Trespass Hearings  by Greg Koelker

Some 200 hunters, fishermen, trappers, birders, snowmobilers, business owners, community leaders, government employees and other concerned Mississippi River recreation enthusiasts showed up to be heard by State Senator Jennifer Shilling, Tim Yager from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Railroad Commissioner of Wisconsin, Yash Wadhwa at the De Soto Community Center and Stoddard Legion on April 22.

After introductions, Tim Yager informed the group that there has been investigation into 17 to 18 additional rail crossings along the Mississippi with good line of sight.  He added that these could cost between $15,000 and $250,000 each. He said that the position of the USFW is that they want safe and adequate access to the over 240,000 acres of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge.  The river is bordered by railroad tracks on both shores.

Dan Knapek of De Soto asked what percent of the railroad’s profit would it take to create the needed rail crossings.  Commissioner Wadwa said there were already 26 possible crossings being investigated.  They are looking to define all options and look into shared cost.

Long time member of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Bill Howe of Prairie du Chien said, “The railroad’s desire to limit access entirely impacts the entire rail system in this country.”  Howe called the railroad’s position, “…a great threat.”  He added that 15 to 20% of railroads are not on their own lands.

Dan Trawicke of Waukesha, representing the Safari Club, said, “This is not just a Western Wisconsin problem.”  He said that safety is a number one concern, but he added that it takes common sense.  “Additional crossings are not the answer,” said Trawicke, “we have a constitutional right” to access those lands.

Greg Koelker of Stoddard said, “Safely crossing a railroad track is no different that safely crossing a highway.  Look both ways and listen.  Then cross if it is safe.  Every first grader knows that.”  He added, “. . .  no amount of legislation will change the minds of suicidal people, drunks, idiots trying to beat a train, protesters of whatever, and especially not terrorists.”  Koelker brought up the long tradition of using the tracks to access the river. “I grew up near Cassville and my dad and I would walk the tracks to access ice fishing sports on Bertram Lake. For years, our family members crossed the tracks to trap and hunt ducks and deer and even morel mushrooms.  I used to cross the tracks at Shady Maple to ice fish with my family.  I have friends who cross the tracks to hunt ducks out on peninsulas along the river. There is no other way to get to those waters for much of the year.”  Koelker said he hears from legitimate sources that at least 50% of our legislators already support the change.  He added that, “I understand that the Railroad Commissioner has the power to order placement of railroad crossings.  I urge you to consider directing more pedestrian railroad crossings and to support changing the trespass law to allow direct crossing of the tracks.”

Click this link to continue reading Greg’s report.