Friday, September 9, 2011

Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 4 - Alma, Wisconsin

Lock and Dam No. 4 on the Mississippi River at Alma, WI

A couple weeks ago, one of our granddaughters spent a week with us. What a delight she was to have around! Always a good sense of humor, always willing to put up with us, she gave her grandma and grandpa a fun week. Among the things we did while she was here was take a trip to Westby, WI (subject of a future post). Along the way, we stopped at Alma at the lock and dam on the Mississippi River.

The lock as it is filling with water, raising the north-bound boats in the lock to the level of the water beyond. I'm probably going to delete some of these photos as I'm writing this, for possibly not another soul on earth is as fascinated by this stuff as I am.

Water level raised, ready to let the boats pass through.

I see I'm not the only one who likes puns.
'Noah Genda' passing through. You can see the other boats going south, lined up and waiting to get into the lock to be lowered to the water level south of the lock.

I have absolutely no idea who those people are, but thought it might seem rude to ask them to step aside so I could get a better shot of the bridge that goes over the railroad tracks. ;-) You can see Alma, built on the hillside, in the background.

Lydia and Kevin looking at the map of the river with its locks and dams

The lock (and Mississippi River) is just to the left of that red-roofed building.

You can't imagine how long I stood on that bridge, waiting for the train that 'comes really often,' we were told. I love trains and bridges, but didn't get to see this train. I'm sure that the minute we drove off, after spending more than an hour there, the train came. Oh well, I'll catch it again, for I plan on making the trip to Alma more frequently. The place is fascinating!

A tug, pushing a barge into the lock from the south (power plant in the background). 

I have no idea why it's called a 'tug' when it doesn't tug anything - it pushes! The barge was so long it couldn't all get into the lock at the same time, so they had to do it in installments!

Coal, a reliable source of energy.

The Tug - a closer look

Okay, maybe you're thinking that all these photos are starting to look the same. 

Little ole' Alma, WI, where there's always something interesting happening.
All those houses have a view of the great Mississippi River, as well as the trains and barges as they go past.

After leaving the lock area, we walked down the street - until Lydia found a kitty on the sidewalk. She tried awfully hard to get a photo of that silly cat.

I wondered how Lionel would feel if I brought home this huge tabby.
It wasn't really a consideration, since it obviously belonged to someone, but...
isn't he gorgeous!

(We hope you'll spend a week again soon!
We enjoyed every minute of it, Lydia!♥)


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Unknown said...

The ol' Mississippi river... we used to go canoeing down it when I was in my teens. :)
Thanks for sharing the always!!

Candace said...

Until I met you, I had no idea that Wisconsin was so interesting or beautiful! Thank you for sharing that with me. I want to visit....and eat at your house. :)

Lydia is beautiful and as a Granna, I know how much you enjoyed having her visit. Have a beautiful weekend, Candace

Caution/Lisa said...

My daughter's name is Lydia!

Your pictures look so similar to the lock and dam on the Ohio River just up the road from my parents' house. Tugs, barges, train tracks and all. I recently heard many stories about how the lock and dam changed everything about the river. It made it too deep to swim and now keeps the river from freezing. Interesting things I learn when I stop long enough to listen :/

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Wow! Lydia goes to great lengths to get a photo, but it really paid off. What a cutie (can't compete with Lionel, of course). Again, your gorgeous photos have made me want to visit a place I had never thought of.

Ruth Kelly said...

The only lock that I've seen was in Seattle. They are very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Judy~ how fun to have such a week with your granddaughter! Glad you have so many photos to document the visit & the fun!

I've never seen the Mississippi. Your photos make me want to take a trip west! (We always go east or south!)

Judy S. said...

Wisconsin has so many interesting towns I've never heard of and I grew up there! Locks are fun to watch, aren't they? We have some here between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Seals like to pick off the salmon from the fish ladders too much to the dismay of salmon lovers.

Paulette said...

I'm so glad you made a visit to my blog, I am so happy to become one of your followers. I also live in Wisconsin and am always looking for wonderful cities in our state to visit. Very nice blog.

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Okay, now I'm just pure fascinated with the lock! I had no idea! We don't see any of those in Missouri! Lol! How fun having Lydia for the week!

Deborah said...

The photos are wonderful. The cat was gorgeous and so is Lydia. What a wonderful week for all of you. :)

Mama Hen said...

It is wonderful that she stayed with you! It looked like a beautiful day to have spent outside. The pictures are great! I hope she visits you soon. Have a great weekend!

Mama Hen

laurie said...

Very interesting! I only live miles from Itasca..the source of the Mississippi!

Empty Nester said...

You really live in a beautiful state! Who knew? LOL I loved the pictures- we don't have any locks here that I know of but they are fascinating. I could swear I've seen our tugs pulling not pushing the big boys...I'm gonna have to check this out!

J_on_tour said...

It is interesting to see some of the scenery in your state. I've never seen a lock gate that wide before as Noah Genda (fantastic name & respect to the person that thought of that). It,s always the way when you waiting for something with the camera, it never happens until you decide to move on.


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