Location: Airport Park Campground (Corps of Engineers); Waco, Texas
all pictures taken with Google Pixel 2XL cell phone
click picture to enlarge
First: So far, no Argentine Ants hitched a ride with me to this campground.
|This is Stop #3|
The tow here was another short trip of about an hour with nothing special happening along the way. The location of this campground is near the airport and that may scare people away from staying here. That's fine with me since the assumption of loud planes doesn't exist. Today is day 3 of a 4 day stay and I've only heard one plane during that time and it was a small private plane. I have a great campsite with full hook-ups near Lake Waco which I can see out my door and windows. My campsite is one of about 6 or so other campsites located on a little loop within the campground. There is a large multi-unit shower house located behind me that some of the campers are using. In the 6+ years I've lived in Liberty, I've only used the campground showers once. That was in a county park near Chattanooga, TN. But, I'm being tempted by this one so close to me. Maybe a long shower of hot water would be a nice change of pace from the Navy showers I take. Maybe. The weather has been great so far with lows in the mid 30's but warming up nicely to the low 60's with clear skies.
|My Campsite overlooking Waco Lake|
|I couldn't decide which campsite picture to use, so I put both of them in.|
|One of the views out my windows|
|A look out the door of Liberty towards the setting sun.|
So, where does the bridge come into all of this? Well, some of the business people in the newly formed city of Waco got together around 1865 and decided to build a toll bridge across the Brazos River. They figured it would be beneficial to the city since the river cut the town in two. After 5 years of construction and $140,000 they opened the longest single span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi River on January 7, 1870. By comparison, the Brooklyn Bridge was still 13 years from opening. It was the only bridge crossing the Brazos River and the owners were granted a 25 year guarantee, from the State, that no other bridge or ferry would be located within 5 miles of the bridge. All of this came together at the right time for the cattle drives. The cattle drives were given the choice to swim the herd of cattle across the river or pay the 5 cent per cow toll to use the bridge. It was cheaper and safer to use the bridge. There is no telling how many 10's of thousand or 100's of thousand head of cattle crossed the bridge. Remember, there were more than 5 million cows that traveled on the heart of the Chisholm Trail.
|Looking down the centerline of the bridge.|
|Statues of cowboys and cattle on both sides as they simulate the old cattle drives across the bridge.|
|Pedestrian walkways are on each side of the bridge. That is one of the two main cables on the left. Most later suspension bridges around the country would not have the cables so close to traffic and people.|
|Standing in the center of the bridge looking upstream. That again is one of the two main cables.|
|Looking towards the bridge with the cables leaving their saddles and coming into their anchorages on the left and right.|
|From the bank looking towards the bridge. I don't know the history of the old piers in the foreground.|
|Farther along the Riverwalk and looking back towards the bridge. The memorial in the foreground is to the fallen law enforcement officers in the area.|
I have two more days of exploring this area and have a couple of other things to see and do. At first, I thought four days would be enough time, but now I'm not too sure. But since reservations have been made through February 5th, moving day will have to be the 22nd.
|Sunrise over the lake as seen from Liberty's small upstairs window.|