Bridges over the Brazos by Jon McConal

By Jon McConal

The Brazos River meanders 923 miles from the Texas Panhandle to the Gulf of Mexico, crossing the excessive Plains, the West Texas reduce Rolling Plains, the Western go Timbers, the Grand Prairie, and the Gulf Coastal Plain.

Journalist Jon McConal has spent many hours climbing the river’s banks and camping on its sandbars, learning the numerous bridges that pass the river, and learning maps and tracing the river’s path. His good friend Eddie Lane has canoed and camped the Brazos, even retracing the canoe trip made recognized through John Graves in Goodbye to a River.

The drove greater than 4 thousand miles to examine sixty-two bridges starting from a personal bridge made of oilfield pipe to fashionable concrete buildings. They stood at the bridges and watched the river, occasionally loaded with trash, occasionally serene and delicate. They met the folks who lived close to the bridges, heard their tales, and ate in neighborhood cafés.

This is the tale of 2 males with a love of the outside and the Brazos River and the folk they met alongside their trip. They desire readers, too, probably want to take a number of day journeys and discover the Brazos and its bridges.

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I agreed. They serve their purpose well but evoke few memories. We said our good-byes and went down river to search for the next bridge on our list. CHAPTER THREE Baylor County Bridge ❖ ❖ ❖ All of the Raleigh family members had been born with musical talent. The father and one of the sons played the fiddle. The other two sons and a daughter accompanied them on guitars and mandolins. Their music went deep into your soul, down where good feelings are stored like the vegetables canned and put on cellar shelves for future use.

These lonely statues of the past are made from thick chunks of limestone probably mined from some nearby hills. I recalled that Darwin Spearing said in Roadside Geology of Texas the stone was hard, fairly resistant to erosion, and was abundant in this area. “Pioneers liked to build something sturdy, but they were smart and didn’t drag their heavy building stones from long distances if good stone was locally available,” he said. The sickly sweet-sour smell of the new growth of blood weeds was almost overpowering.

I can’t back up this car. ’” He laughed loudly. “That’s what I did, and we both went on our ways,” he said. We drove back to the bridge for a final look. The sun caught its five sections in a brilliant display of light. It looked like a cache of silver. It made quite a sight. But I certainly would not have liked to back a car all of the way across it. CHAPTER SIX More Young County Bridges ❖ ❖ ❖ The harmonica came in the mail one day before he got home from school. He didn’t open the package. He stuck it inside his coat and headed for the bridge.

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