The City of Eau Claire was founded in the 1850s by lumbermen who saw the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers as a perfect spot for setting up sawmills and sending logs floating downstream. The spring rains (and late spring snow!) have the rivers up and rolling along. The picture above is of the Chippewa River in front of Katherine Thomas Hall on UW-EC campus where the interns are residing. When we were hosted by Eau Claire County Government in 2007, the summer was an early one, and hot. The river was low, and most days it looked like a waterpark with people floating on inner tubes and enjoying the slow current. We're wondering if we will get to see that sight again; as of now, it doesn't look promising!
The picture below is from the footbridge that connects the downtown to the area just in front of the County Government Building. The confluence can be seen in the background.