Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Marquette Park, Grafton, and the mighty Mississippi

Hello, everyone.

We did a little driving, both to see relatives and to see some sights.

It seems to break into three or four subjects, at least that there are pictures of. Today I thought I'd talk about Marquette Park, in southern Illinois, the nearby town of Grafton, and of course the mighty Mississippi.

In the early spring, once the ice on the river breaks, there is a blessing of the fleet at the feet of Our Lady of the Waters. Fittingly, she looks out over the waters and the fishermen, tugboat pilots, recreational boaters, and whoever else floats on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. This orientation of the statue makes photography somewhat challenging. I shot the photo from the opposite side of the river, while briefly stopped on the River Road (Illinois state highway 3, I think) and the clouds were somewhat lowering and the mist was trying to start falling again. Zoom is my friend.

Our Lady of the Waters
 On our first morning in the area we drove up to Pere Marquette State Park, which is up the River Road from the Pere Marquette memorial statue at the side of the road, and did a little walking. This time we walked the Goat Cliff Trail and connected to some other trail near the top and followed that one down to the visitor's center and parking lot.
Cave along one of the trails at Marquette State Park
 From one of the viewing points, we looked down and saw some duck blinds in the river.
We were pretty sure this was a duck blind. Just thinking about hiding in that cold, cold
water under the cover for hours in duck season makes me cold.

Driving along the River Road--large tree-covered blob in river is a new island that has formed from drifting mud.

After our walk, we were hungry, and since it was not the wrong day of the week, stopped at the famous Beasley Fish Market in Grafton for fried buffalo (fish, not mammal) sandwiches.

This is THE place to get a fried fish sandwich. I prefer carp to buffalo (no tough skin inside the curled up fish)
but either has a fine flavor!
Not pictured, because I can't figure out where the photo file went, we had arrived in the area before reasonable check-in time the day before, and along with taking the top photo of Our Lady of the Waters, we'd gone to the Grafton Winery for a little taste. They had a fine warm dip that we'd never tasted before. Spinach and artichoke, with creamy cheeses and maybe some garlic. Really good on soft pita wedges!