These northbound towboats pushing a string of barges were off Marquette Island south of Cape Girardeau when I shot them sometime around 1964. The white smoke at the top left is from the cement plant.
Click on the photo to make it larger.
Like running in molasses
I’m still recovering from the data drive that went south. The backup restoration has been running for more than 24 hours and has recovered all but about 10,000 files out of 487,776. It’s still churning away, but because the rebuild is taking 99% of the CPU cycles, memory and disk access, everything else is running like that nightmare I have from time time time: the one where the bad guys are chasing me, but I’m running like I’m in a swimming pool full of molasses. I think I’d prefer that to a slow, non-responsive computer.
I hope things will be back to normal by Tuesday morning.
The parking lot at the foot of Cape Rock had more cars than usual. They were checking out two barges that had run aground and sunk right in front of the water intake structure north of Cape Rock. One, loaded with rock, grounded parallel to the bank. One that was either empty or had dumped its load was sticking out in the river with a floating drum marking its stern.
Low water causing problems
I searched the paper and TV station websites for information about the barges, but came up dry. Someone at the scene said a southbound tow with 25 barges didn’t get set up right for the turn and ran aground, dropping these two and sending others drifting downstream where they had to be caught.
I was also told that 20 was the maximum string under these conditions, but I couldn’t confirm that. I thought doing a search for Coast Guard Upper Mississippi notice to mariners would give me everything I needed to know, but navigating the river on a dark, stormy night would be easier than trying to find that information.
My barge quest put me onto another adventure that you’ll hear about later.
Sunken barge photo gallery
Here are some other photos of the scene, including some rocks that are normally under water. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.