Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Crashed the Barge

Always be alert for interesting things in unexpected places. When my wife and were out searching for eagles along the icy Mississippi a few weekends ago, we stopped at a huge lock and dam where the birds were reported to hang out. It had a fascinating museum about the river and inland transportation systems. One of the cool things was a video game in which you had to steer a big barge flotilla safely into the lock. There were three controls: left and right engines, variable for power as well as forward and reverse; and the rudder. These things were not engineered by BMW. They were tough to control. You had 300 seconds to get the barge into the lock from a bit upstream. As you can see, I crashed it into the left bank in 68 desperate, clumsy seconds.

TOMORROW: Thursday Arch Series


Fredrik said...

Guess you better keep on to that law degree then and not try a career in naval transport!

Gregg said...

My wife and I "discovered" this museum a little over a year ago. We went in October and it was pretty deserted. We had great fun stearing the barges, but the displays about the river and wildlife were even better.

I picked up two great books in their bookstore about unknown interesting things in Missouri and Illinois, as a bonus!

We also found a pretty nice antique shop in Alton that sold great honey. We bought a pretty big canning jar full of the stuff and are now out. We are willing to return just to pick up more honey.