Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Minneapolis to Clinton, IA

This was a fast trip. I didn't stop for much since I got a late start this morning. The good side of that is everything is relatively close to home and Bev and I can take our time checking out some cool things along the Mississippi.

One place I did stop was the National Eagle Center in Wabasha Minnesota. It is in an area of the River that stays open all winter and attracts a lot of Bald Eagles. But, my luck struck again. Yesterday was sunny and perfect for Eagle soaring (using the thermals caused by the Sun heating the ground. So they got their fill of flying and fishing. Today was cloudy--no thermals. So today, they just relaxed and digested their meals from yesterday. But I did see six eagles overhead on my way down the river. The picture is of a Golden Eagle that has a broken wing that didn't heal properly. His name is Donald.

The geography is interesting. In the upper Mississippi, the river is in a rather deep valley starting in St. Paul (in Minneapolis it is in a ravine). As you get to southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and that part of Wisconsin, it is what is called a driftless area. For some reason, during all the glacial events during the Ice Ages, this area was never covered by a glacier. No glacial drift was deposited and the tops of the bluffs were not cut off. So there are some great limestone bluffs all along the river.

Still in the snow. In fact, Southern Wisconsin along the river looks like they had huge drifts. Places higher than my car.

Time to stop. I managed to leave my laptop's power supply in Minneapolis so I'm trying to conserve battery power.

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