where daniel ryan adler writes

The Mississippi River: A Starter Course

the Mississippi River

The Main Tributary: Missouri River One morning I woke up early in Kansas City and walked to the banks of the Missouri River. It was October and the river was not as wide as it had been earlier in the year, though it moved quickly, brownly to its mother about two hundred miles away. I looked at the walnuts and maples, at the orange sunshine flooding the plain, and felt at a crossroads, in the middle of a vast tract of land that extended for a thousand miles in every direction, and that rapidly-moving brown water below me was headed to a destination with a purpose. With names like Cairo and Memphis, our forebears knew the greatness of the North American mother river. It ranks with the world's greatest rivers, which we will come to later on, this monstrous snake, carrying away the sediment of the American continent in serpentine draws to the Delta, the cotton-heavy, thick-aired Delta. All of that dirt is belched out into the Gulf of Mexico to create the bayous and swamps of Louisiana, the shallow riverways and watersheds home to gap-toothed Creoles and gator-wrestlers, a subtropical amalgamation of slave songs and barges, crescent moons and slow drawls. The History of The Mississippi River And the suffering! My god, how that river breeds suffering. The human pain it has seen in its history of dividing the American continent from … Continue reading »

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The Mississippi River: A Starter Course

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