A place that once was and a river that still is

I've spent quite a bit of time lately researching ghost towns in the area. Most of these came into being around the time the first homesteaders came to start anew and flourished for a short time before dying away. Now, almost a century later, there is very little left to mark the existence of any sort of settlement or activity. Just an obscure name and a little history.

Rock Bluff, Nebraska is one of these places. Once an important location for those crossing the Missouri River and even home to a college, the town disappeared early in the 20th century. Now all that remains is the gravel Rock Bluff Road and a makeshift park where the steamboats once docked along the river.

The Missouri River has been far above flood stage since May and is finally starting to recede back into its banks, although you wouldn't know it from the water surrounding U.S. Highway 34 in western Iowa. I stood on the edge of a closed gravel road and watched the flooding for a few minutes. A strong wind from the north made waves in the flood water not unlike what occurs on a large lake. It's certainly been a strange summer.

Rock Bluff, Nebraska

Cass County, Nebraska

along US Highway 34 near Pacific Junction, Iowa

Waubonsie Church, Iowa