Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday’s wanderings

We headed to Bagnell Dam at the Lake of the Ozarks in search of Eagles to watch.

In the midst of the Great Depression, the creation of Bagnell Dam in 1929 was the only major construction project in the nation, drawing workers from all over the country.

Bagnell Dam, Lake of the Ozarks

Bagnell Dam from Conservation Lookout Point

It was very thoughtful of the Department of Conservation to construct resting boxes, but it would have been nicer if the big guys would have been using them.


We couldn’t decide about these two.  The photo does not come close to showing the enormous size of these birds.  We’re pretty sure they are not vultures.  We finally decided they could maybe be juvenile Eagles.  That is probably just wishful thinking.

two very large birds on a pole

As we drove the back hills of the Ozarks, we happened onto a rustic lodge area.  It turned out to be Willmore Lodge, owned by the Lake of the Ozarks Chamber of Commerce.  Dating back to the early 1900’s, it had been beautifully restored.

Inside we were greeted by a charming, white haired, elderly lady.  What a wealth of information.  She told us stories about how the nearest town during the building of Bagnell Dam was Eldon and that workers were often known to work from dawn to dusk and then walk the 8 miles it took to get to Eldon.  The irony of the contrast between this kind of work ethics and the work ethics of today was not lost on any of us.

After an hour of laughing and chatting, we headed back out to check on some swinging bridges in Brumley that she told us about.  Who can pass up a little history?

Willmore Lodge, Lake of the Ozarks


Swinging bridges are amazing.  According to our sweet old lady back at the Lodge, the bridges were designed and constructed by an individual who had no formal education.  He just did what made sense to him. 

After a few twists and turns and a bridge closed sign, we finally came to the first bridge.   This bridge was not closed, so we bravely headed across to our next destination.

small swinging bridge

According to a local who happened to be out walking, this bridge will be reopened next month.  They are restoring it, reinforcing the platform.  He said it was originally built to provide a means of transporting goods to build Bagnell Dam.   The weight limit say 5 tons.  And here I was scared to walk on it.  I am such a wimp.



Our Lodge lady friend (why didn’t I ask her what her name was?), told us that up until recently the school bus would stop at one end of the bridge and let the kids off, then drive across.  The children would then walk across the bridge and get back on the bus.  She wouldn’t make something like that up, now, would she?  I believe her.

IMGP5350  view from the middle of the bridge

Jim walking across swinging bridge        Jim trotted right across this platform of boards spaced anywhere from 1 inch to 4 inches wide.  I clung to the side about 25 feet in, as I enviously watched him. 


One of these days I WILL overcome my acrophobia!



April Mechelle said...

I sure enjoyed this post. I love anything with any history to it. Your pictures and the stories are great !!!

~Tonia said...

My mom and dad have been to those bridges.. A regular bridges gives me the Heebee Jeebees!! I sure wouldnt DRIVE on one of those.. Sounds like a good day. We saw an eagle yesterday driving to a firends house. We saw one in the same area last year. Its a good year around flowing creek with bluffs along it. Perfect for the eagles.
We had one out behind our house last year too. We have a river a fork of the Gasconade just over the hill. Awesome pics!

Queenie Jeannie said...

Sounds like a lovely trip the two of you had. I love doing those kinds of things too!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved this post and I loved all the pictures especially the one of the dam itself I would love to be there in person. That is just too funny about the school bus and the kids and I can just picture it in my mind now LOL Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us I sure hope your Sunday is a nice one also HUGS

Rita said...

What a great post and loved the pictures to go with the fascinating stories! I'm afraid of heights--don't know if I could walk across that bridge. So does that mean I would never have made it to school? Or would have had to take my chances with the bus driver? ROFL!! :):)

AliceKay said...

I loved these pictures. The dam looks like a great place to visit and those old bridges look fascinating. When we were kids, we used to walk across a couple of old railroad bridges around here and those planks were spaced much further apart. Not sure if I'd want to do it now, tho. LOL

It looks like you had a good day, although the weather probably could have been a bit more sunny for you while you were out traveling. Sorry you didn't see an eagle (one that had a white head) but those two birds are probably just what you think they are...juvenile eagles.

Thanks for the great pics. :)

Steve Skinner said...

The view from the bridge looks incredible even if it does give you white knuckles!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

That old lodge is beautiful from your pictures. I can understand why you and hubby were drawn to it.
Is that the Boeckmann Bridge? If so been there done that!

Deanna said...

Thanks for the comments all.

Rita, I had the same thought about having to walk across the bridge. I would have had to become a drop out statistic.

Patti, this bridge is quite a bit longer than Boeckman bridge. Jim thinks Boeckman may have been replace by a conventional bridge some time back.

Funny in My Mind said...

I always say I am going to go see the eagles and always forget, you should have driven a little further for breakfast (I know, I dissed you last time...soo sorry)
Great bridge photos!

AliceKay said...

I forgot to mention in my first comment that I liked how they "patched" the hole in the deck in your last photo. :)

Nezzy said...

We had a couple of these swingin' bridges 'round Stockton that my Driver's Ed teacher would always make me drive across. He knew they scared the bejabbers outta me.

That lodge is just amazing girl...just exactly is it???

God bless ya and have a marvelous week sweetiel

(I just returned from TX from my Dad's memorial service.)

Intense Guy said...

Those are beautiful pictures. I too, stand at the railing in terror on wobbly (and even not so wobbly) bridges. I keep telling myself, its not the long dropping fall that's the problem... its the sudden stop at the end but that doesn't seem to help any.


Toriz said...

Sounds like a nice outing!

junyah said...

You have a very interesting state to travel though. Thats a BIG damm when you can have traffic drive across it.Those bridges look like the same kind this state mandates the snowmobile associations to build.They have to be wide enough for a pickup to drive over.Thanks for sharing this story . Y. O. P . Junyah

tattytiara said...

I'd probably have been nervous myself, but it's so cool I think I could have talked myself into crossing.