Riverlands Conservation Area

Student: Happy Martin Luther King Day!
Teacher: That was Monday.
Student: Every school day is Martin Luther King Day.
Teacher: Okay … Glad you enjoyed it, because it’s time to go home.
Student: Three at Last!  Three at Last!  – Frazz, by Jeff Mallet

Monday was the Martin Luther King holiday.  Anne had it off.  I had to go to work.  Tuesday we both went to work.  It has been grey, cloudy and very foggy here for almost a week.  Tuesday was no exception.  Tuesday morning on my way into work, I pass under the airport’s approach path.  The airport’s approach lighting system, the so-called running rabbit, was not turned on.   This sequenced series of flashing lights gives the landing pilots much needed depth perception cues.  This meant that the airport was closed and Saint Louis was socked in. 

On Monday, Anne and Joanie went on a road trip.  They drove up to the Riverlands Conservation Area near Alton.  They went there in Joanie’s brand new Toyota Rav-4.  The weather was rather grey, but above freezing.  Both Anne and Joanie had problems with their cameras, so there weren’t a lot of good photos taken.  Anne took today’s header.  It shows four Trumpeter Swans.  The three to the right are juveniles.  The fourth, the one on the left is an adult.  It is also sporting some bling-bling, a conservation tag about its neck.  Anne got close enough to confirm that the mysterious water fowl of last month, were indeed Goldeneyes.  They did spot a few returning pelicans.

The picture with this post is of the Clark Bridge.  This picture is from my last visit to the Riverlands.  The Clark Bridge spans the Mississippi from Riverlands Conservation Area in Missouri to Alton, Illinois.  The Clark Bridge was named after William Clark who, with Meriwether Lewis in 1804, commanded exploration of the Louisiana Purchase territory up the Missouri River to the Pacific Northwest. The Lewis and Clark Expedition set off just a few miles south of the bridge near Hartford, Illinois.

The Clark Bridge is a cable-stayed type bridge.  Cable-stayed bridges look like suspension bridges, with both having roadways that hang from cables and towers. But the two bridges support the load of the roadway differently. In suspension bridges, the cables ride freely across the towers, transmitting the load to the anchorages at either end. In cable-stayed bridges, the cables are attached to the towers that bear the load.

1 thought on “Riverlands Conservation Area

  1. When one of Carl’s kids turns 3 he will search for a MLK card so he can write, “Three at last, three at last, thank God almighty, you are three at last.”

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