Sunday, March 17, 2024

Dardanelle & Mount Nebo (Mostly Pictures)

Locaton: Old Post Road Campground (COE); Russellville, Arkansas

It is the morning of my 3rd day here and time to make a post before moving on to the next campground. I've stayed here before because it is just downstream (yeah, I broke my rule, I know) of Dardenelle Lock, Dam & Powerhouse. I have a special connection to the dam since my father was the Concrete Superintendent on part of the original project back in the 1960's. One of my favorite stories is about my brother and concrete pour on that dam. I mentioned it in a previous post back in 2017 but will copy and paste it as a caption to a picture in this post. Everything I've done while here, I've done before and posted about it so this post will be mostly pictures. Here we go,,,,

I chose a pretty good campsite right on the banks of the river. The sun set over that mountain in the background but it's been so overcast, there hasn't been a good sunset in days. The campground filled up quickly yesterday (Saturday) but is emptying out quickly this morning.

The view out my back window. I took it this morning on the day I'm leaving. I don't know why I haven't taken one with a tow and barges passing by. Maybe I'll get one before I leave today.

I was able to get one looking out my door.

This is what I was looking for on this trip. I purposely camped on the banks of the Arkansas so I would watch the tow boats work. Remember, it takes 58 - 18 Wheelers to haul the same amount of cargo as 1 barge. This tug is pushing 6 barges although the normal tow is 8. 

Dardanelle Rock has been a landmark along the river for centuries. 

View of the dam from the opposite side of the river from where I'm camped. That is the powerhouse on the left, the dam and then the locks.

Close up view of the downstream lock gate. On average, 1,000,000 TONS of cargo per MONTH passes through that lock.
This is the same lock as the above picture except it is now open since a tow boat has just locked through, going downstream. The lock lift is the highest on the Arkansas River with a max lift of 54 feet.

I liked this picture that I took after walking down to the bank. Here is the story about my brother's adventure in the construction industry.

One of those concrete pours in the dam is the one that "encouraged" my older brother to go to college. He graduated high school while we lived here and started work in one of the several concrete crews my father supervised. This was intended to be a summer job before starting college in the fall. He liked the money and mentioned to my father and mother that he would just as soon work construction instead of going to college. That was a mistake. The next concrete pour, little did my brother know, but my father told the foremen to work my brother just short of killing him. When that 10 hour pour was over, my brother was covered head to toe in concrete and he was flat worn out. That evening while eating supper, he informed my parents that he had changed his mind and thought college was a great idea. He didn't learn about my father's "teaching experience" for several years after her graduated from Arkansas Tech, located right here in Russellville. Yep, my brother stayed behind while my parents, sister and I went to the next project, this time in Pennsylvania. 

This is actually what I walked down to the bank to see. It is some type of concrete boxes scattered out and jumbled together. They go for a few hundred feet in each direction. I'm not sure what they are or if they are even part of the bank stabilization. Perhaps a reader knows for sure.

A bench looking at a large BBQ pit? I guess you can see the river as well.

The Redbuds are blooming with a freeze warning for tonight. 

A visit to Mount Nebo is a requirement if you're in this area. We used to visit it when I lived here in the 60's. 

This is a pretty good view but you're not even at the top yet.

A bench with a view. That plume of steam in the distance is from a Nuclear Power plant that provides about 70% of the total electrical needs of Arkansas. So within 25 miles, you have Nuclear and Hydro power plants with a fantastic lake. Pretty neat, uh?

Every great view always has a great bench.

This picture is from this morning. He is heading down stream and just locked through. I guess he came by to saw Goodbye.

Today is moving day and I have a very short tow ahead of me. I'll only by going about 50 miles upstream to a place that gave Ozark it's name. 

Ya'll take care of each other. Maybe I'll Cya down the road.