Other Rivers

Some of the people viewing this site have shared tales about the rivers they live along or enjoy visiting. I love hearing this kind of news and have included their stories below. To include an entry for your favorite river, go to yakity-yak and e-mail me.

Big Thompson River, Colorado, United States

Carlee from Colorado writes:

I would like to tell you about a river I'm rather fond of . . . the Big Thompson River in Colorado. I have lived in Colorado all my life, but never have I had a river play so many tricks on me! I went on a field trip with my school in middle school, and we went up to Estes, then to the river.

The first thing that happened was that I managed to get completely and entirely lost. It's pretty bare area, but I still managed to get lost, almost as if the river were purposely hiding things from me.

The next thing to happen was the perfect action shot. This field trip was a trip with my school's photography club, and we were taking film photos, when I just happened to accidentally take a picture (I didn't even mean to press the button!), and it perfectly captured a photo of my friend, who looked as though she were standing in the river! In actuality, she was standing on a rock, but just as the photo was taken, the water rushed up to cover the rock, and she looked as though she were floating on the water. It was incredible!

The final thing I can remember, although I'm sure there was more, was when the river decided I belonged in the water. I was standing on a smooth, dry rock, taking a photo, when suddenly, I slipped on seemingly nothing! Just, down I went! I fell in the water, and I was completely soaked! And if that weren't enough, when I tried to stand back up, I slipped and fell again! When I finally managed to get back to my group, none of them could understand exactly what had happened. But no matter what anyone believes, I believe I experienced a little bit of, if nothing else, river trickery that day.

American River, California, United States

American River, North Fork

Sam from California writes:

I haven't had the fortune to go to any rivers except the American Confluence River. It features a long (but not Mississippi long) stride of beautiful, clear water that goes quite fast, and along the gravely beaches there are a few shrubs of some kind. Whenever I go I always see another family or two playing in the water. My sister is afraid of heights, and whenever we go on the humongous bridge that goes over a ravine, she always grips her seat and holds her breath. It is always a blast to take a trip down there, and it's only about an hour to an hour and half getting there.

Nile River, Africa

Dhows sailing on the Nile

Eszter writes from Hungary

My favorite river is the Nile. The Nile is considered the world’s longest river and is found in northeast Africa. It is approximately 4132 miles long (6650 km approx). There is a beautiful landscape all around it, which is one top reason why I like the Nile. You can always hear the water moving smoothly next to you. The birds around it make it feel really moody. The Nile drains into the Mediterranean Sea after flowing through Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. The name ‘Nile’ is derived from the Greek word ‘neilos’, which means valley or a river valley. There were several accidents that happened near the Nile, but it doesn’t stop me from loving the river Nile.

The Nile as it passes through Cairo, Egypt

Elbe River, Europe

Blue Wonder Bridge
Dresden Germany

From Sharon Larner; Dresden International School; Dresden, Germany

Dresden's Elbe River has some weird links with the Mississippi riverboat culture. Did you know that Dresden has a fleet of the oldest paddle wheel river boats running in the world? Even weirder, there's a huge Dixieland music festival held here every summer. I was somewhat surprise to witness this when I first arrived in former East Germany! Where does it come from? Was there a music tradition celebrated on the riverboats back then or did they just adopt yours? Intriguing.

Now, I've got a sad story to tell about bridges and life on the river. The Dresden Elbe Valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 and lost it 2009 because the city pushed the construction of a giant 4 lane bridge right in the middle of the site. This put Dresden on the map as the second place in the world to lose the title, the first to purposefully lose a title by destroying a cultural heritage site was the Taliban when they blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas. Despite massive protests the bridge construction was pushed through, alternative crossing measures like a tunnel were rejected, attempts to streamline the look of the bridge were blocked and the arch was erected in December.

Note from Joe: The 4 lane bridge that Sharon's describing is not the Blue Wonder Bridge pictured above. The Blue Wonder was built in 1893, barely survived being bombed in World War II, and today is a historic landmark.

Tana River, Africa

Tana River, Kenya
photo by Christopher Grandt

From an anonymous river lover who grew up on the Tana River

When I was growing up on the Tana River in Kenya, the days were hot and the river was the best way to cool off. The faster you ran into the river, the faster you cooled off. But one day when I dashed into the water, I had to put my brakes on hard! A hippopotamus reared up in front of me, mouth wide open. Wheeling about, I tore for shore. Once there, I grabbed a handful of sand, for an old myth said that if you didn't, you would stumble and fall when the hippo reached shore. They were fast on land, so you didn't want to ignore that kind of advice. And if they got sand on their feet before you grabbed sand--watch out!! They were especially fast then, as you stumbled about. Today when I think of that river, I always see that enormous mouth rising up out of it, spraying water everywhere.

The other thing that comes to mind about the Tana is the way we used sandals (flipflops) to fish. We punched a hole in the bottom of the flipflop, threaded a fishing line though it, baited the hook with a juicy grasshopper, and tossed the line into the water. Then we watched flipflop floating atop the river. When the flipflop dipped under the water, we knew a fish was nibbling.

Tana River

Big Thompson River, Colorado, U.S.

78 Miles Long (123 km)

Starts in Rocky Mountain National Park

Empties into the South Platte River, which empties into the Missouri River, which empties into the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

Some of its water is diverted from the western slope of the Rocky Mountains through a man-made tunnel that is 13 miles long and goes under the continental divide. This is water that would have flowed into the Colorado River and eventually the Pacific Ocean. The tunnel was built in the 1940s during World War II to bring water to the dry areas east of the Rocky Mountains.

It's a great trout fishing stream.

A closer look at the Big Thompson.

Building the tunnel that brings water from the western slope to the Big Thompson.

American River, California, U.S.

119 Miles Long (192 km)

Starts in Sierra Nevada Mountains, near Lake Tahoe

Empties into the Sacramento River, which empties into San Francisco Bay

Famous as the site of Sutter's Mill, where the California gold rush started

Today a popular white water river

Foresthill Bridge over North Fork of the American River

Gold miner on the American River in mid 1800s

Nile River

Blue Nile Falls, Ethiopia

Ferry crossing in Uganda

Nile in Egypt

Elbe River

Starts in the Czech Republic

680 miles (1094 KM) long

Flows through Czech Republic and Germany

Empties into North Sea

Tana River

Kenya's longest river

Length: 440 miles or 708 km

Empties in the Indian Ocean