Changing States

For the second day in a row Scott and I were in the right place at the right time. Today as we were walking along the river all of the ice between the 6th Street Bridge and the Leonard Street bridge (about a quarter-mile of river) let go and thundered over the dam.

river_melt_3

It was quite impressive. Some of the pieces were more than twenty feet across and about a foot thick, and must have weighed well over a ton.

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The entire ice pack took half an hour or so to clear the dam. The turbulence at the foot was filled with huge ice chunks and tree trunks and old shoes and pop bottles and a single soccer ball. The local ducks like to camp out at the top of the fish ladder and some of them were doing small-scale reinterpretations of the Titanic, getting bumped around and generally pushed toward the dam. A heart-stopping moment occurred when a duck hopped up on one of the ice floes just before it want over, but the duck took to the air in plenty of time to escape.

Sooner or later one of them will be a little slow on the uptake and Grand Rapids will find itself a duck short.