Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bridge over Troubled Water

While the politicians and elected (did we really?) representatives of Illinois are making national headlines and getting air time in Leno's and Letterman's monologues, life goes on in the Land of Lincoln. (Is Abe rolling over?)

The Chicago River bisects the downtown area of the city in an unusual way, as the river runs east/west from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point where the three river branches converge. Then the river turns south and flows into the Illinois and Michigan Canal and Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. From there the water flows into the Des Plaines River and eventually reaches the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River.

Legend has it that the name of the first American settlement site arose because that is where a wolf was last sighted in Chicago. Fact or fiction? Originally the river emptied into Lake Michigan, and it is fact that the flow was reversed in an engineering feat that rivaled the building of the Panama Canal.

Many movable bridges crisscross the river including the one pictured here.

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