A few miles upstream from the Arch, the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers blend into one another at The Confluence, the main junction of one of the world's great river systems. Together, they and their tributaries drain about 40% of the lower 48 states into the Gulf of Mexico.
In the first picture, the Missouri, full of ice swirled into circles by the river's currents, washes into the nearly ice-free Mississippi at a point recently converted into a Missouri state park. We took a side trip there during our eagle watching day trip. The Mississippi has plenty of ice above the big lock and dam at Alton, Illinois, which blocks its flow southward.
TOMORROW: Eagles? No. Pelicans? Yes.