An exciting adventure looking at the land and the people around me.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Most of the town had assembled on their side of the bridge as well as the town on the other side. A few calls were passed across the river when one saw a friendly face of someone they knew. Little could be heard above the roar of an approaching car. It pulled out into the center of the bridge honking its horn, being followed by all the bystanders as if in a parade. This new bridge linked two towns that had previously been linked with a small ferry. It was an amazing feat to span this river from a river port to the town across river from it. It had cost $3,200 to create this magnificent span, but all who wanted it felt a good investment for their towns future. It would be a link to the railroad and many opportunities for store owners , tradesmen and travelers to use for decades.This would create a new era for both towns to thrive in, and expand their size to more than double in the next ten years. A new sale barn was being built to handle the influx of all the stock to be traded. It was also to become a central point in a thriving area of towns, all ready to grow and expand into the future. As the car approached the stage on the other side, both mayors looked over their speeches one last time to start a day of festivity for all to enjoy. A band played and children ran around as if in an open game of tag, dogs yelping at their heels.
Now the roar is only in memories. The children's voices can still be heard if one listens to the sounds carried on a gentle prairie breeze. The field where they played while their parents sat inside looking over the animals for sale stands vacant. A few old pieces of equipment remind passersby of a time when this was bustling every Saturday. Distant towns have a few buildings left standing, with the demise of coal mines nearby, the towns wilted and whithered away. The bridge carried its cargo for many years, but was soon replaced with spans nearby able to carry more weight of the tractors, combines, large trucks, and cars needing to cross the river. The riverboats stopped coming up this river, newer modes of transport were more effective and they whistled off into the past. The bridge is now part of a hiking trail, still used by families from far and near.The town on one side is a struggling artist community with a sprinkling of families who enjoy the remoteness of living in a small town, connected with jobs nearby. The town on the other side only a group of homes, hard to see there was once a city to go and shop at. An Amish buggy rolls past as do a group of motorcycles, down a road designated as, "Historic Hills Scenic Drive". Our group is ready to join them as a pleasure ride will gather almost one thousand riders through these select communities as part of a county wide fall festival.