The Mississippi River is one of the great rivers of the planet, draining all of North America from the Appalacian Mountains in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. Periodic flooding in the areas near the Mississippi River are a way of life.
Route 66 was the great cross-country highway of the mid 1900’s, the primary route from Chicago to Los Angeles before the interstate highway system was built after World War II. Route 66 has been idealized in stories, songs, and movies, an icon of American lore from that era.
Where Route 66 crosses the Mississippi River, you’ll find Chain Of Rocks Bridge. It’s unusual in that it has a 30° bend in the middle. While it was later abandoned and neglected following the building of the interstates, it’s now been restored as a key link in a network of walking and bicycle paths along the Illinois and Missouri shores north of St. Louis, Missouri.
This panoramic picture was taken in September, 2008. (Click to enlarge.) I was visiting my son, who was stationed nearby at Scott Air Force Base. This particular viewpoint is from about the middle of the bridge, where the bend is. In the river you can see two water intake towers for the local pumping station. In the distance you can see St. Louis. Off to both sides there was some minor flooding going on as the river level was up, but not up anywhere near the catastrophic levels that it is capable of reaching.
This panorama comes from seventeen images of 3456 x 2304 pixels (8 megapixels each) taken with a Canon Rebel XT DSLR, combined into a trimmed image of 26,450 x 2165 pixels (57.2 megapixels).
It was warm and muggy, as this part of the country often can be in summer, but nowhere near as bad as it could have been that day. In addition to the bridge, the river, and the scenes of flooding along the river banks, what I enjoyed seeing the most were the thousands of wild birds, dozens of different species, whole flocks of hundreds of cranes circling overhead.