Thursday, February 9, 2017

Kearney Street Survey

Here's to the city listening to what the local citizens want with the Kearney Street corridor. So many great ideas for a street that has a lot of potential.

Stockton Lake Area

On Tuesday, with afternoon temps in the low 70s, and my work schedule having me working until 1 in the afternoon, I took advantage and went bridge hunting. After going home, opening a few windows, and making a couple of sandwiches for lunch, I took off North on highway 13 and headed towards Stockton Lake. I brought along my Missouri Passport book in the hopes of getting a new stamp with my visit to Stockton Lake State Park.

My first stop of the afternoon was to be Bear Creek Bridge. After finding my turn off from Hwy 32, a little service station caught my eye instantly.

I pulled off the road and started to take pictures when an older gentlemen in a pickup truck pulled up along side of me and told me a little about the community of Bearcreek, his home and that his uncle had built it after his previous home disappeared under the water of Stockton Lake, and his childhood in the 60s getting candy and soda from the service station. After talking for a while, he welcomed me to take as many pictures as I wanted and went on his way. I stuck around for another couple of minutes, then took of myself towards my destination.

A couple of miles down a dirt road from Bearcreek lies Bear Creek Bridge. Before I go any further, the little community of Bearcreek is named after, yeah you guessed it, Bear Creek. And its not a typo.. lol

Bear Creek Bridge is a still functioning bridge that was built in 1917 by the Canton Bridge Builders Company, a very popular bridge company for these older bridges around the area at the time.

My next stop was to be Stockton Lake SP, but it was to be a little out of my way, and wanted to hit a couple of more bridges before it started to get dark. From Stockton, I took the very rural Highway 39 to Caplinger Mills. The drive up that way was beautiful to me, and very quiet. I recommend it.

Caplinger Mills, Missouri was settled in 1849, and was named for Samuel Caplinger, the proprietor of a local mill. The Caplinger Mills Bridge that crosses the Sac River was built in 1895. and no longer drive able. From the pictures I've seen of the bridge, the area is a very popular fishing spot to the locals. I may have to take my dad out here and give it a try this year.

Once you get to the other side of this photogenic bridge lies the shell of a small hydro power plant.

My last stop of the day was Cowan Bridge, just a bit further North off Highway 39. After taking a couple of dirt roads a couple of miles off the highway lies this old bridge that was built in 1919. As you can see, it's no longer drive able.

After getting back onto Highway 39, I continued North to US Highway 54. While taking 54 East and seeing all of the great photo opportunities along the road, another road trip up this way is a must in the near future! Once 54 intersects with Highway 13, I took 13 South and headed back to Springfield, Missouri, then on wards home to Ozark. As you head South from Bolivar, the rural Midwest feel gets less and less and replaced with a more fast pace urban feel with the higher traffic as you inch closer to Springfield. 

With my road trips lately around the Four Corner States, I've noticed how US Highway 60 seems to be the cutoff line to where the South begins, or where the Midwest begins. Depending on which direction you're heading of course. And Springfield seems to be in that no mans land in the middle without a true identity. Once you head South of the city, it becomes more Southern. Especially by the time you make it to Branson, just 40 miles away. And going just North of Springfield, you get the feel instantly you are in the Midwest, like the majority of Missouri. I love living in an area where you can go just a short drive in either direction and get a taste of both worlds.
I'm thinking in a future blog post, showing a bit more detail about this with pictures and see what you might think. But yeah, that will be another day.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ha Ha Tonka State Park - Bagnell Dam Strip

My first official travel blog of 2017. Awwwww Yissssss!

I kind of wished I had started this at the start of the year. I've been to Oklahoma and Kansas via Route 66 just last week. I have also explored Picher, Oklahoma for the second time in as many months earlier in the week. And to add one more, the tri-state corner marker of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

But it's time I move forward.
Yesterday, my wife and I took a afternoon trip to the Lake of the Ozarks to do some hiking at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. I have been there hundreds of times. No really, I have! I used to go 2 to 3 times a week to hike and take pictures when I lived just 20 miles away years ago. Sadly, I don't get to go as often as I want to, but it's always nice when the opportunity arises.

Ha Ha Tonka is one of my favorite places in the state of Missouri. And I'm not the only one who feels the same way. Back in 2015, the park was voted as a top 10 state park in the country via readers of USA Today.

When I went to college many years ago, the last paper I was to write was of a location with a lot of history, and Ha Ha Tonka SP was my choice. I won't bore you with what was written on the paper, but I did get a A on it. So yeah, I really really like this park.

With the afternoon being in the upper 60s, it seemed as if half the citizens of Missouri was also there to enjoy the nice weather. We parked near the post office, and took the trail that winds around the Whispering Dell, past the stone water tower, and onward towards the castle. The trail was quite busy with hikers getting exercise, or new comers in awe with the park. As we neared the castle, dozens of people was at the castle looking inside from the many open windows. For those who have never been, the castle isn't really a castle, but a stone mansion that's just in ruins now. A fire in 1942 gutted the entire interior when sparks from a chimney ignited the roof.  The nearby carriage house burned that same day and in 1976, the stone water tower was burned by vandals.

When you're at the castle ruins, there is also look out areas that overlooks the Lake of the Ozarks, but also a spot to look down upon the spring and water tower.

We spent about thirty minutes around the castle before making our way back around to the car. The hoards of people there kind of takes the enjoyment out of it for us. Before getting back to our car, I took a few pictures of the post office that served the area up until 1937.

The parking lot was full down below near the spring, so we took off to Osage Beach/ Lake Ozark instead to get a bite to eat, and stop at the Bagnell Dam Strip.
The strip was created along side Bagnell Dam back in the early 1930s. Today, the strip (Business Hwy 54) has shops of all types, restaurants and bars, arcades, and hotels. Along side one of the old arcades is one of two iconic muffler men. One being a recently refurbished Indian, and the other a Hillbilly, who I believe is still being refurbished elsewhere, and will soon return.

Before heading back home, we stopped at The Golden Door Motel in Osage Beach to take a few pictures of the cool rotating door the sign for the motel has. I have always loved seeing the sign since I was a kid, and never took the time to photograph it until yesterday.


Tuesday, I'm off work, and the weather is supposed to be in the upper 60s once again, so another road trip somewhere is in the works, as well as a new blog post.

A New Beginning

Talk about a long break from blogging! Getting back on to this account today, I haven't updated in over 8 years!

 Sooooo.... How ya been blog? Long time no see... We're practically strangers. Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Jonathan Sharp, a.k.a Localozarkian. I go on a lot of road trips with the camera to take pictures, hike, explore, and see new things that I've never seen before. I took you along a few times years ago. Are you starting to remember me now? Awesome.

 With the start of a new website displaying my photography, I would like to include you more in sharing with others about my road trips again.
What do ya say? You in? Nice!!

 Here's to a busy 2017, blog!