Across the Mississippi

Across the Mississippi © 2010 Bo Mackison

Once I cross the Mississippi, I know it’s true.

It’s time for another trip to the land I love to visit – the western and southwestern regions of the United States. We crossed the Mississippi just after sunrise, and the sunlight made that Minnesota shore sparkle like gold.

That’s Lock and Dam #5 – located on Mississippi River about ten miles northwest of Winona, Minnesota. It was built in 1935 and underwent major renovation in 1987-98. The locks and dams control the flow of the Mississippi.

From its origin to St. Louis, the Mississippi is controlled by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and generate electrical power and provide a great recreational resource. The other 29 dams start in downtown Minneapolis and contain locks which were constructed to permit commercial navigation of the upper river.

These 43 dams shape the geography of this huge river, the largest river system in the United States. The length of the Mississippi, from its origin in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to where it flows into the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles south of New Orleans is about 2,320 miles.

I lived in a river city on the Mississippi for the first 18 years of my life, and I’ve always lived in a state that borders the river, so I consider the Mississippi “my” river.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I love the first morning light. You have captured it so beautifully here Bo. Great picture of “your” river.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Wendy. When you grow up next to the Mississippi, the love of the river just stays with you. At least, it worked out that way for me.

  2. Anna Surface says:

    Mississippi is a mighty river and I have lived by it in two different cities. Lovely photo in colors and depth revealing the bridge.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I’ve only lived near the upper Mississippi, but I’ve seen a lot of her. From her origins in Lake Itasca to where she ends in the Gulf. (I took a cruise from New Orleans , followed the River all the way ’til she was no more a river. Amazing ride!) And many, many cities in between.

  3. It looks like such a beautiful day!

    Have a great trip, Bo. 🙂

  4. You’ve captured a perfect fall day, Bo. You might roll the calendar back a few weeks as you move South. But then you’ll get to experience fall days again and again!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      As fall is my favorite season of the year (well, one of them) I’ll be happy to prolong my autumn days. Sounds like a winner.

  5. That’s beautiful, Bo! There is so much history, adventure and romance connected to that river!

  6. You’re on your way! Enjoy your trip out west… looking forward to viewing all that you see.

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