January-February 2015Search our site
Read stories from past issues of Big River
Weather forecast for Upper Mississippi cities
River levels on the Upper Mississippi
Towboat-watching resource: Boats in pools and queued in locks.
Dreaming of a trip down the river? Read about boaters taking a voyage of a lifetime down the Mississippi on River Trips.
Bringing an Old Boat Back to Life
Capt. Carl Henry
"I got it at a fair price, but it was definitely a fixer-upper. I didn't know if anything worked – if the two 130-hp engines even ran. It was the dead of winter, and there was a foot of water and ice in the bilges. Some machinery was underwater and ruined. The ceiling was collapsing from water damage. It was rough, but it was a solid boat with a lot of potential and character, just the project I was looking for at the time."
Read the whole story in the January-February Big River.
Last Towboat Ride
In early November, I was a guest of Captain Kelsey Rohr and his crew aboard the motor vessel Patrick Gannaway on their daily run from St. Paul to north Minneapolis. Kelsey has piloted this towboat for the last 20 years, pushing loads of sand and gravel upriver. From 1997 through 2000, I was a part of the crew. I wanted to make the run one more time before the Upper St. Anthony Lock is shut down to halt the advancement of Asian carp up the Mississippi River.
By Capt. Bob Deck
When "Big Mama" Ruled the Rivers
Remains of the world’s largest steam-powered sternwheeler towboat lie abandoned in Vicksburg, Miss.
Listen to the Sprague's steam whistle
People who paddle the length of the river find help from folks who come to be known as "river angels."
Read these stories
Jan-Feb website links
Contact Big River
What's it like to work on a towboat? Deck on Deck is a first-hand account of life on river towboats in the 1970s and 80s. These stories will entertain you as Bob Deck recalls his days as a deckhand on the Mississippi River.
Read More from Big River
River Travel Map
See complete issues from 2006 and 2007 online (PDFs). Select issues here
Volunteer groups on the river - a nine-part series about non-profit groups making a difference on the Upper Mississippi
Take a look back at our April Foolishness river stories.
Troubled Waters Ñ 30 Years in the River Business by Jack Lambert For sale in the Big River Bookstore. Listen to Jack's July 1st talk with Tommy Mischke on The Nite Show - Mischke Til Midnite,WCCO NewsRadio online.