#River May 30

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I did not know that the U.S. has some 250,000 rivers. That is a lot of water in fact the rivers cover some 3.5 million miles.

The ten longest rivers include names you might recognize like the Missouri, Mississippi, Colorado, Rio Grande, and Ohio River. One top ten RIVER I didn’t realize was the Yukon. It borders both Canada and the US. The longest RIVER is the Missouri it measures 2,341 miles some 140 miles longer than the Mississippi.


Rivers are like each of us in that no two rivers are exactly the same but they do share a lot of commonalities.

Each RIVER has a beginning which is called headwaters and each RIVER has an end called the mouth. Each of us has a beginning and an end.

Rivers have flow. There are two things about flow that in many ways mirror our lives.

  • How much water is in the RIVER-some get enough water from headwaters and tributaries to flow all year long. Some go thru cycles where they are raging to slow moving trickle this can be based on snow melt. Sometimes we go thru these same cycles of energy often in each day.
  • Is the RIVER confined and contained or allow to run free. When a RIVER flow is stopped or slowed by external factors (like a dam) it impacts it. As humans we often have external factors take away our natural flow also.

If a river is large, there’s a good chance that much of its water comes from tributaries. How do geographers decide which river is the “main” river and which is the “tributary” when they’re naming rivers? Usually the bigger river gets to be the “main” river, but sometimes history or other factors come into play.

Sometimes are lives are filled with accomplishments and awards but often those successes are similar to a large RIVER being fed by many tributaries. We should not forget that the mighty Mississippi has over 7,000 RIVERS feed into it.

There are also hundreds of songs with the word RIVER in its title. Here is a list of the 50 best according to ranker.com

Those songs and their lyrics often give us some things to ponder.

Hungry Heart-Bruce Springsteen

Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

The River of Dreams-Billy Joel

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To a river so deep

I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross

And even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
And try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for



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