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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Dream Factory: More Floods

 Toledo, Ohio: I-280 Bridge Over The Maumee River

Last night, I finally had the first good sleep in three nights, so of course, I dreamt about floods, high water, and watery locales. Not Hawaii or Tahiti, but just good old US of A type quasi-rural, quasi-urban, semi-industrial waters and their riparian scenery.

I was on Harsens Island, Michigan, and we were driving or walking down by the golf course. I think we were driving, and that turned into walking, like the director had done the shot both ways, and the continuity person and the editor were on drugs.

Again, it was one of those interminably sunny days we had this year, filled with a coolish breeze, a sun gleaming like a polished aviator's button, few clouds, and more blue in the sky than all the Dutchmen's pantaloons in Holland itself.

The water was encroaching onto the east side of the road. It was on our left as we were headed south. It sometimes reached over the road and covered the neighboring flanks of the golf course, leaving small pools behind as it withdrew.
Of course, we wondered how this was all possible in low water time. It was more like 1984, when waters did cover many of the roads. What was happening?

At the end of the road was a point where some houses were. It was at this location that the golf course ended and the road took a slow turn to the west, and created an isolated triangle point where these houses had been built. As we arrived there, we saw a new house building in the upper end of the wooded triangle, and immediately south there was what seemed to be an abandoned house whose yard showed some signs of erosion distress.
Yet the new house seemed to be high and dry.

We thought that more trees would be helpful to hold the land against the water, and looked at a some tall trees that were very dark, and we said that it was too bad they had died from black cherry disease.
I thought prairie cordgrass should be planted to resist erosion.

Quick-like we were swimming in the St. Clair River beside a very odd freighter that was docked at the island, a freighter that seemed articulated and had large extensions that dug into the river like a back hoe. The freighter had a black hull, and the extensions were grey. We were aware that we best stay our distance from that freighter, in case it began digging down into the river.
Then I think we were swimming and the freighter was digging.
I thought it might be a sand boat. Some freighters used to dig sand from Lake St. Clair and transport it to Detroit back in the old, old days. I believe Construction Aggregates in Chicago used to do this in Lake Michigan, and Erie Sand and Gravel did it in Lake Erie.

Soon the freighter left its dock, and it looked very much to be articulated. We had talked about this strange appearance, because we had, of course, never seen such a freighter in the Great Lakes; never a boat that bent in the middle or aft section.
The extension were not visible, and must have been pulled in and collapsed into a berth below the deck which we could see... or maybe we just left them out of this variation of the dream sequence. The freighter was very black, and we clearly saw the hinged portion in the aft, and we realized that it was indeed articulated.
Then we saw that this aft section was actually a barge being pulled by cables, and there was no real joint within the hull...

And at this point we pretty much lost interest in the whole matter.

However, let me point out that within the past 2 weeks I had driven to Washington, D.C., and as we went through Toledo, Ohio on the I-280, I saw an Erie Sand And Gravel freighter tied up to the eastern side of the river.
We were on the new bridge, the Fantail bridge, as I call it, because it resembles a bird's fantail, but not the aft section of a  battleship.

The freighter was very clean looking... ship-shape and Bristol fashion, and I wondered if it were some permanent exhibit, because working vessels do not usually look quite so made-up bravo zulu, not to say magna cum snazzy, at this time of year nearing the end of the summer shipping season.

There have been many floods this year, many mortal deluges. I have not studied them, but I think the severity of many has been due to man made constructions and modifications to the natural flood area of rivers and creeks. Certainly a washed out road or bridge falls into that category, not having been designed for that once in a hundred year flood... or maybe it was designed for that hundred year flood back in 1906... or was designed in 1942 using engineering from 1906...

I do not know why I dream so much of water... other than rivers are the portals of wonders


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