Flood Below The Dam

Rotten ice, Keokuk - Hamilton Dam.    The River below the dam is a mess every spring at flood time.  It was early though, and ice still covered most of the shallow areas.  The impulse adventure of the day involved reaching the farthest man made hi-tension tower island possible, as I made my way to the last island, the ice had begun to shift and heave and rising waters fought against the crust.

    Yes I made the final island and then realized that was not the real test.  I was 1/2 mile into the river and it was rising!  The return was not over friendly ice, but now was a hunt and step on a rip-rap trail obscured by the raising waters.  Some possible escape routes became dead ends as the rocky path disappeared in the swirling waters.  Five buckle goulashes served their purpose for the most part, offering secure footing, but numerous missteps began taking their toll and the boots became heavy with cold water spilling in over their tops.  The going was slow, the choices vital and the nerves frazzled.

    This wasn't working.  The water rose relentlessly.  Path after path failed.  Steps were retraced.

    Finally, after seeming hours and hours, the right combination was found and the last sand bar crossed to return to dry ground and firm footing.

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