One of the few exciting things about living on the Mississippi River as a kid was the docking of the occasional paddle boat. The American Queen docked at my town earlier this week and it was a pretty spectacular sight to behold. I have never seen such a big and fancy paddle boat docked at the humble downtown “port”. Unfortunately, you can’t visit the boat, but you can admire it from the shore. In normal times the muddy Mississippi is just that, big and brown, slowly meandering its way down to the Gulf. On the other side of the river is the state of Illinois and a lot of farm land.