Friday, May 25, 2007

#212 Missouri versus Mississippi

Rivers are cool. On this trip, we’ve enjoyed some good river time. Yesterday’s list of our top 10 drives has us wondering if we could come up with a list of our top 10 rivers. That’s a little tricky, but we’ll try to work that discussion into our car time.

We played in the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park, MN.
420f MN K at Mississippi headwaters

We admired the natural beauty of the Missouri River north of Bismarck.
505f ND MO River north of Bismarck 

And today, we visited the headwaters of the Missouri River near Three Forks, MT. If you floated downstream in an inner tube from here, you would reach the Gulf of Mexico in 10 weeks.
711f MT K at MO Headwaters

Here the Madison and Jefferson Rivers collide to form what Lewis and Clark deemed the beginning of the Missouri River. More recent explorers point to Brower’s Spring 298 miles upstream as the true source of the Missouri. From this source, the Missouri River is clearly the longest river in North America. So an argument could be made that from the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers just north of St. Louis, the combined river should be called the Missouri all the way to New Orleans.

Yours in renaming rivers,

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