This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

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Events for the week of September 14, 2015-September 20, 2015

Welcome To The Following Groups:
169th Engineer Reunion

September 18- PCSW’s Farmers Market
What: Farmers Market
Where: Colyer Park, Fort Leonard Wood
When: 4:30-8:30 pm
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Pulaski County Sheltered Workshop (Samantha Kramer)- 573.765.2500

September 18 & 19- Cow Days
What: Family friendly street festival.
Where: Downtown Dixon
When: Friday activities start at 5:30 pm, Saturday activities begin at 10:00 am
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Dixon Chamber of Commerce (Tommy Nichols)- 573.528.1159

Dixon's Cow Days takes place September 18th & 19th!

Dixon’s Cow Days takes place September 18th & 19th!

September 18 & 19- Haunted River Float
What: Thrilling haunted river float on the Big Piney River
Where: 23455 Teak Lane, Saint Robert
When: 7:00-10:00 pm
Cost: $25, Kids 5 and under FREE
Contact: Lay Z Day Canoes & Camping- 573.336.8639

Take a thrilling float trip on the Big Piney in Pulaski County USA!

Take a thrilling float trip on the Big Piney in Pulaski County USA!

September 19- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Year- round Farmer’s Market
Where: Downtown Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmer's Market is held year round in downtown Waynesville!

Pulaski County Farmer’s Market is held year round in downtown Waynesville!

September 19- 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum
What: One of only two remaining Route 66 period courthouses in Missouri. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society (Denise Seevers)-573.855.3644

Visit the Museums On The Square in downtown Waynesville! On the National Register of Historic Places!

Visit the Museums On The Square in downtown Waynesville! On the National Register of Historic Places!

September 19- Old Stagecoach Stop Museum
What: Pulaski County’s oldest building has served as a private residence, a stagecoach stop, a Civil War hospital, and a hotel on Historic Route 66. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

September 19- Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House
What: Supervised paranormal investigation of one of Waynesville’s oldest homes.
Where: 405 North Street, Waynesville
When: Investigations start at dusk. Call for exact time.
Cost: $25 per person, reservations required.
Contact: Crocker’s Optimistic Paranormal Society (Dawnmarie Cecora)- 573.528.2149

An evening that you won't soon forget!

An evening that you won’t soon forget!

Pumpkin Patches:
BSC Outdoors Pumpkin Patch- 573.759.7294
Storie’s Pumpkin Patch- 573.433.4375

Looking Ahead:
September 25- Women’s Expo
September 25 & 26- Southern Gospel Reunion
September 25 & 26- Haunted Hill
September 25, & 26- Haunted River Float
September 26- Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House
September 26 & 27- BSC Outdoors Pumpkin Patch
September 26 & 27- Storie’s Pumpkin Patch

Take a pumpkin patch tour in Pulaski County with your family!

Take a pumpkin patch tour in Pulaski County with your family!

Harvest some memories this Autumn in Pulaski County USA!
Full event/attraction listing at: http://www.visitpulaskicounty.org/fall2015/

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This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

Events for the week of August 31, 2015-September 6, 2015

Welcome To The Following Groups:
Widow’s Sons National Gathering

September 4 & 5- Haunted River Float
What: Thrilling haunted river float on the Big Piney River
Where: 23455 Teak Lane, Saint Robert
When: 7:00-10:00 pm
Cost: $25, Kids 5 and under FREE
Contact: Lay Z Day Canoes & Camping- 573.336.8639

Haunted River Floats

September 5- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Year- round Farmer’s Market
Where: Downtown Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmer's Market is held year round in downtown Waynesville!

Pulaski County Farmer’s Market is held year round in downtown Waynesville!

September 5- Railroad Days
What: Family friendly street festival celebrating Crocker’s railroad roots
Where: Downtown Crocker
When: 9:30 am- 9:00 pm
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Crocker City Hall- 573.736.5327

September 5 Railroad Days Tagged

September 5- 1903 Route 66 Courthouse Museum
What: One of only two remaining Route 66 period courthouses in Missouri. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society (Denise Seevers)-573.855.3644

Visit the Museums On The Square in downtown Waynesville! On the National Register of Historic Places!

Visit the Museums On The Square in downtown Waynesville! On the National Register of Historic Places!

September 5- Old Stagecoach Stop Museum
What: Pulaski County’s oldest building has served as a private residence, a stagecoach stop, a Civil War hospital, and a hotel on Historic Route 66. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Where: On The Square, Waynesville
When: 10 am until 4 pm
Cost: FREE admission, donations accepted
Contact: Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (Jan Primas)- 573.435.6766

September 5- Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House
What: Supervised paranormal investigation of one of Waynesville’s oldest homes.
Where: 405 North Street, Waynesville
When: Investigations start at dusk. Call for exact time.
Cost: $25 per person, reservations required.
Contact: Crocker’s Optimistic Paranormal Society (Dawnmarie Cecora)- 573.528.2149

Paranormal Investigations of Historic Talbot House

Looking Ahead:
September 12, 19, & 26- Paranormal Investigations of the Historic Talbot House
September 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, & 26- Haunted River Float
September 12- Cannon Range Air Show
September 18- PCSW Farmer’s Market at Fort Leonard Wood
September 18 & 19- Dixon’s Cow Days
September 19, 20, 26 & 27- Storie’s Pumpkin Patch
September 19 & 26- Boiling Spring Campground Pumpkin Patch
September 25- Women’s Expo
September 25 & 26- Southern Gospel Reunion
September 25 & 26- The Haunted Hill

Create lifelong memories with your family in Pulaski County USA!

Create lifelong memories with your family in Pulaski County USA!

Harvest some memories this Autumn in Pulaski County USA!
Full event/attraction listing at: www.visitpulaskicounty.org/fall2015

Eagle Watching In Pulaski County USA

by Katie Dreadfulwater
Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center
Visitor Services Representative

I have always loved bird watching and enjoy nature whenever I can, so I guess I could be called a nature nerd. Our family had recently heard about Eagle Watching Days at several locations throughout Missouri, and since I love to bird watch, we loaded up the car and took a drive in search of our nation’s official mascot, the bald eagle. It was about an hour away and we saw live captive birds and educational demonstrations, but were only able to see the eagles from very far away. After driving all that way and only viewing them from inside a building, it made me want to see bald eagles up close and in their natural environment. After watching these majestic birds soaring in the sky, it really made me want to see them again, and right here where I live. Why should I have to drive an hour away from home? After doing a little bit of research, I learned that bald eagles visit Missouri during the winter months. They migrate south in search of food when waterways and lakes north of us freeze, making their main food source difficult to access. There are some eagles that reside in Missouri all year round, but most bald eagles seen in the winter months are only temporary residents until they begin moving back north in February. I was thinking why would these birds just stick to visiting the places where the Eagle Days festivities were being held? Fish composes a majority of their diet, so why wouldn’t they be here in Pulaski County, where there is excellent fishing from two major rivers, natural springs, and streams. I put on my thinking cap and decided search out these majestic birds right here where I live.

Bald eagle near the Big Piney River in southern Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Terry Primas.

Bald eagle near the Big Piney River in southern Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Terry Primas.

I got up early on a cold Saturday morning, made some coffee and ventured out. Since my youngest daughter was awake as I was planning to leave, I invited her along and boy was I glad I did. I decided to search out an open, larger section of water where there is good fishing for my first attempt. We only ventured out to one place that morning, a local boating access point on the Gasconade River. When we arrived at the Missouri Department of Conservation Riddle Bridge Access area, we immediately spotted a large falcon very close to the parking lot and stopped to watch it as it was resting on the branches of a nearby tree. I knew if there was another predatory bird nearby, it was sure to be a good spot for eagles too. After the first bird flew away, I looked all around me to notice that the foliage closer to the bluff and along the river was completely covered with ice crystals. It was an absolute winter wonderland! I had not experienced this since moving to Missouri more than 7 years ago and I was in awe. I stopped to take some pictures wishing my camera would capture the real beauty all around me the same way I was seeing it. I then looked up and all around in the trees, and there it was, a beautiful mature bald eagle perched right across the river from us. We stayed in our vehicle and just watched it for a few minutes enjoying the moment before trying to get a closer view. We crossed the bridge and were able to get a bit closer, but still stayed in the car to watch under cover. My daughter just viewed her first bald eagle up close with both her own eyes and with the assistance of binoculars. It was amazing! We both looked at the bird up close with my scope and admired the details of its yellow hooked beak, white head and tail feathers, and the details of its sharp talons. After a few minutes and as more cars started to travel around in the area, the eagle decided there was too much company and flew away. It was truly a special moment, watching bald eagles right here where we live in Pulaski County. No more driving far away for me, I was now enthralled in this new expanded bird watching hobby.

Riddle Bridge Public Fishing Access on the Gasconade River near Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, MO. Photo by Laura Huffman

Riddle Bridge Public Fishing Access on the Gasconade River near Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, MO. Photo by Laura Huffman

A few days later, I decided to take a chance and go on another adventure. I was eager to see more eagles and I wanted to share it with another one of my kids. I love to fish and was near a trout stream, so I figured if it is a good fishing spot for me, it should be for eagles too. We arrived in the late afternoon at Stone Mill Spring. As we exited the car to walk the trail to the spring, I knew it was a great place to seek out viewing eagles because we immediately heard one calling and it sounded really close. We did see two eagles flying along the Big Piney River as we walked closer to the spring, but when we arrived three herons immediately flew away right out of the spring. We stopped walking before continuing any further into the fishing area, and saw a large mature bald eagle perched up in a tree very close by. We got out our binoculars and scope for a closer view, but made little movement for fear of scaring it away. We were out in the open, under no cover, and were very fortunate to watch and hear it call for about 30 minutes. When the eagle flew away, it was followed by another immature eagle we hadn’t even seen that was perched behind us.

The trout at Stone Mill Spring on Fort Leonard Wood are popular with anglers of all ages, as well as bald eagles. U.S. Forest Service photo.

The trout at Stone Mill Spring on Fort Leonard Wood are popular with anglers of all ages, as well as bald eagles. U.S. Forest Service photo.

The next weekend, it was time to go seek out more eagles. I am so excited to be watching these awesome birds here where I live that I just can’t get enough. My husband joined me this time and we headed back to the Big Piney River where I had seen some before. This time we stopped in a different area and were very successful in finding plenty to view. As we stopped along the river, we spotted one just across the river from us back in the trees a bit. As we were enjoying the view, we saw a couple more bald eagles were flying up river. These birds are just wonderful to watch fly, their wingspan is larger than any I have ever seen. We then headed to the spring in search of more sightings, but saw none at Stone Mill, but did see more perched along the river. We finished up our eagle viewing with a hike up to the bluff above the spring. The view from above the spring was wonderful, and it was the perfect way to end a great morning.

Eagle watching above Stone Mill Spring on the Big Piney River on Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Katie Dreadfulwater.

Eagle watching above Stone Mill Spring on the Big Piney River on Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by Katie Dreadfulwater.

The next day I was itching to go out and watch again! I had one more person to show the eagles to, my oldest daughter. I convinced her to come along even though she is not much of an outdoors person. We first headed out towards the Big Piney River in search of great views of bald eagles and did not see any along the river this time, so we headed toward the spring. On the way there, we stopped by another good fishing area on the river and spotted an immature bald eagle perched in a tree above a larger pool of water. It was a beautiful bird, large and stout. My daughter was the one who spotted it and had the best view. We continued searching all the way there, not really seeing any more eagles as we drove. We parked and walked back to the spring, and upon our arrival we immediately saw a large mature bald eagle perching in the trees along the stream. We enjoyed watching it only for a few minutes before it flew away. We walked around the fishing area and did not see any more eagles that morning, but did see a pair of pileated wood peckers and a great assortment of smaller birds. It was a rather chilly morning, but we decided to hike the trail behind the spring for a better view. As we were reached the top of the trail, I saw a bald eagle fly directly overhead and it was the best view ever! We both appreciated the sunshine and enjoyed our morning watching for eagles and being outdoors in the magnificent Ozarks.

There is so much to do away from all the hustle and bustle of activities, especially outdoors right here at home in Pulaski County. I was quite content spending a few hours outside with my family away from all the noise: the video games, the television and all the electronic gadgets we seem to think are essential to everyday life. I still am excited at how my one of my kids reacted after seeing the eagles. I heard her say, “I am amazed that we saw that eagle up so close!” and to continue to hear her say all day long, “Mom, I am still amazed.” It just made my heart sing. I am going to do this more often, take my kids outdoors to feel, see, smell and just be with nature. I have seen those bumper stickers that say, “Take a Kid Fishing.” I think I am going to make one that says, “Take a Kid Outdoors and Enjoy Nature.”

Pulaski County is a short drive for most of Central Missouri- and is the perfect place to eagle watch, without the crowds. To plan your eagle watching and birding outings order your FREE Visitors Guide at http://visitpulaskicounty.org/contact_us.htm.

Tweet your Pulaski County bald eagle and wild bird photos to us at @PulCoUSA! #PulaskiCountyUSA

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

Tweet your wild bird pictures that were taken in #PulaskiCountyUSA to us! @PulCoUSA #BirdPulaski

The Historic Route 66 Bridges of Pulaski County, Missouri

Compiled by Laura Huffman for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau

The recent closing of the Hazelgreen Bridge on Route 66 in Laclede County, between Waynesville and Lebanon has brought massive amounts of attention from across the globe to the historic river crossings of the Mother Road.

This vintage postcard of Hazelgreen Bridge on Route 66 between Waynesville and Lebanon, MO is undated. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

This vintage postcard of Hazelgreen Bridge on Route 66 between Waynesville and Lebanon, MO is undated. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

The Hazelgreen Ridge on Route 66 over the Gasconade River was closed to traffic indefinitely December 18, 2014. A rally, organized by Route 66 enthusiast “Roamin” Rich Dinkela was held at the bridge December 23, 2014. Those in attendance asked for MODOT to seek out ways to rehabilitate and repair the bridge. Photo courtesy of Pics By Jax.

Pulaski County is a not-so-hidden gem on the crown of Route 66 bridges. Three bridges are distinct ties to the promise and heyday of Route 66- the 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge (which pre-dates Route 66), the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge, and the 1923 Roubidoux Bridge (also pre-dating Route 66) in Waynesville.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Concrete Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Concrete Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the 1923 Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66 in Waynesville, MO. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the 1923 Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66 in Waynesville, MO. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

The fate of the 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge was questioned for years. This crossing is unique in the fact that it was bypassed by a new bridge on a later alignment of Route 66 in 1942. Missouri Department of Transportation relinquished control of the bridge to Pulaski County. Drawing mainly local traffic and Route 66 enthusiasts the bridge continued to deteriorate until a solid plan to rehabilitate the bridge was finalized. The 1923 Devils Elbow bridge closed to all traffic October 2013 and re-opened May 2014. Today, the bridge is like new- strong, sturdy, and safe and ready to carry travelers from around the globe across the river. The refurbished bridge has reenergized the village of Devils Elbow.

Residents of Devils Elbow have decorated the recently rehabilitated Devils Elbow Bridge for the holidays. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Residents of Devils Elbow have decorated the recently rehabilitated Devils Elbow Bridge for the holidays. Photo by Pics By Jax.

The 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge, was designed by the Missouri State Highway Commission. Composed of three open spandrel arches and five arched girder approach spans, it was constructed by Maxwell Construction Company. Maxwell Construction Company constructed almost a dozen, if not more, bridges in Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri between 1912 and 1942. They were also the company that constructed the Pikes Peak through truss bridge between Waynesville and Crocker on Highway 17 in 1932. Pikes Peak Bridge was demolished October, 2009. After completing the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge the company was paid $47,707.00. Federal financial sources played an important role in the construction of this bridge- money was made available through the Strategic Highway Fund and the Emergency Relief Fund, both byproducts of World War II. The open spandrel design was used frequently by the Missouri State Highway Department between 1920 and the early 1940’s. According to HAER Inventory- Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory, regarding the open spandrel bridges this bridge has “one of the longest spans of those identified by the statewide bridge inventory.” The report also states that that due to the late construction date that the bridge has “no noteworthy technological significance”. However, in a National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form prepared by Ruth Keenoy and Terri Foley they state that “concrete open spandrel arch bridges signify one of the great engineering accomplishments of early twentieth century bridge construction” and further states that “the Big Piney River Bridge is an excellent example”. The 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge is unchanged from its original construction.

A rare image of the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge during construction. MODOT photo.

A rare image of the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge during construction. MODOT photo.

1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on the 4 lane alignment of Route 66 between Rolla and Lebanon as seen in 2014. Photo by David Harbaugh.

1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on the 4 lane alignment of Route 66 between Rolla and Lebanon as seen in 2014. Photo by David Harbaugh.

The 1923 Roubidoux Bridge was also designed by the Missouri State Highway Commission in 1922 to carry traffic across the Roubidoux on Missouri State Highway 14. Missouri Highway 14 was later designated as Highway 66. Builder Koss Construction Company of Des Moines, Iowa was paid $44,035.00 for their work after completion. Koss Construction Company constructed almost a dozen, if not more, bridges in Missouri, Iowa, Alabama, Minnesota, and Michigan. At least two of their bridges, Galena Y Bridge in Stone County, Missouri and Mendota Bridge over the Minnesota River in Dakota County, Minnesota have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. This bridge is a closed, or filled concrete spandrel bridge, a variation of the concrete bridge design that was often used by Missouri State Highway Department in the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s. This bridge, along with the Meramec River Bridge in Crawford County were the only two remaining examples of this bridge type in a five span formation when the Historic American Engineering Record completed its Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory. The Meramec River Bridge on Highway 19 was lost in 2000. The 1923 Roubidoux Bridge was widened in 1939 when the bridge was 16 years old and has had no further alterations in the following 75 years.

Vintage postcard of Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville on Missouri State Highway 14, later Route 66. Image courtesy of Steve Rider and 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville on Missouri State Highway 14, later Route 66. Image courtesy of Steve Rider and 66postcards.com.

Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66  in Waynesville as seen in 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66 in Waynesville as seen in 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

The historic bridges on Route 66 in Pulaski County are more than just bridges. These bridges are links, connecting Chicago to Los Angeles and also connecting travelers from around the world to tangible Americana in the largest open air-museum in the United States.

*Thank You to Jim Ross, author of “Route 66 Crossings: Historic Bridges of the Mother Road”; Terry Primas of the Old Stagecoach Stop, and http://www.bridgehunter.com for their contributions to this article.

See Yourself Floating Pulaski County USA!

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blog entry imagePulaski County USA, centrally located in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, is the perfect destination for your family fun getaway. Float our gentle rivers, the Big Piney and the Gasconade, scuba dive in an underwater cave, and take in our natural scenic beauty.

To plan your adventure call 877-858-8687 and order your complimentary Visitors Guide. We are always open online at www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com

For event listings, and activities in Pulaski County USA please visit our online calendar at: http://tinyurl.com/PulaskiCountyUSAEvents

Canoe outfitters on the Gasconade and Big Piney Rivers in Pulaski County, Missouri

Canoe outfitters on the Gasconade and Big Piney Rivers in Pulaski County, Missouri

River Hills Traveler Float Issue 2013I don't always float, but when I do, I prefer Pulaski County USA