The Missourian carried a story May 22, 2012, that a Jackson, Gordonville and Delta Railroad plan to abandon a 13-mile section of unused tracks has some Allenville residents worried. They’re not concerned about losing the railroad – it hasn’t carried traffic between Gordonville and Delta since 1997. They’re worried about the railroad bridge and trestle over the Diversion Channel. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)
Tiny town cut off by floods
The story by Shay Alderman quoted lifelong Allenville resident Phil Thompson as saying the town has been hit by 12 floods since 1973. Roads were impassable for about six weeks during flooding in 1993 and 1995. The trestle and bridge were the town’s supply lifeline.
Will bridge end up on scrap heap?
Robert L. Adams, railroad president said the bridge is in such poor condition that he would advise against anyone walking or driving a vehicle across it. I can understand why he’d say that for liability reasons.
I’ll have to take a meander down that way when I go home. At least I’ll know I won’t have to dodge any highballin’ freights in the middle of the channel.
When bicycle tourist John Gorentz, AKA Spokesrider, passed through Cape on his way from Michigan to New Madrid, I tried to pick him a better route to follow than the Missouri River Trail that runs through the hills and curves of New Hamburg. One alternative was to take Nash Road. Unfortunately, at that time is was a dusty gravel road. On a recent trip to the airport to eat, we decided to see if the road was finished. It is and it is really nice. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)
When I was flying aerials in November 2010, I noticed the Bloymeyer roundabout joining Nash Road, Hwy 25 and Hwy 77 had been completed. In this photo, Nash Road comes in from the top left. Hwy 25 from Jackson and Dutchtown is on the lower left and then turns to the right to go to Advance and Bloomfield. Hwy 77, at the top right, goes to Chaffee.
Mario’s Pasta House and a water hole is opening up at the intersection to take advantage of the traffic coming off I-55 and headed through. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other businesses open up, maybe even the old Montgomery Drive-in.
A nail in the coffin for Dutchtown
This is going to put another nail in the coffin of Dutchtown. Northbound I-55 traffic headed to towns south and west of Cape won’t have to go all the way to Hwy 74 and then through Dutchtown. It’ll be able to take a fast (60 mph), straight road with good shoulders straight down to Hwy 25. There’s not much out there yet except farm land, so there aren’t many driveways and side roads to watch.
When Hwy 74 floods at Dutchtown, which it seems to be doing more and more often, traffic has to go all the way to Jackson to get through. Nash Road is on the dry side of the Diversion Channel, so the highway department won’t have any incentive to raise the roadbed in Dutchtown to keep it above water.
Nash Road: south of Diversion Channel
Nash Road starts south of the Diversion Channel and north of the Cape Girardeau Airport.
Road is a shipping hub
I was surprised at the number of warehouses and depots that have grown up on the road.
In early October, 15 empty cars on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailed on the tracks that parallel Nash Road. Nobody was injured and no hazardous chemicals were involved, The Missourian reported. I include these photos only because you could see them from Nash Road and because Keith Robinson, a railroad buff, is a regular reader.
Nash Road photo gallery
Here is a gallery of photos taken of and on Nash Road. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.
When I wrote about going trotline fishing with Ed and Melinda Roberts this summer, I mentioned that the scenery along the Diversion Channel between I-55 and the mouth of the Mississippi River was different that I had expected. I thought it would be a sterile, straight ditch. It turned out surprisingly beautiful and peaceful. If you’ve always heard about trotline fishing, but never knew exactly what it was, follow the link and watch the video.
My companions were intent on getting their line set out before dark, so everything was shot from a speeding boat. One of these days, I’ll have to rent a canoe or something where I can putter around at my own speed.
Diversion Channel photo gallery
Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or ride side to move through the gallery.
I’m not happy to be looking at car payments again, but I’m glad I’m not somewhere down around the Georgia – Florida line. I’ve had a productive Friday and Saturday, although not in the way I had planned.
Friday afternoon, just about the time I was supposed to be heading over to Kentucky Lake for the first leg of my trip back home, I got a call from a fellow who thought he might have been a kid in some photos I shot back in 1966 or ’67. I’ve been chasing wild geese all week trying to get some leads on this. We made arrangements to meet at 5 p.m. After we decided he was going to help me track down a bunch of other folks on my next visit, I had some time to kill.
I headed down to see how much water had been pumped out of the cement plant quarry, but decided instead to cut down Old Hwy 61, which is east of I-55 and deadends at a boat ramp at the Diversion Channel. Yesterday was the first day I noticed that it wasn’t under water. It’s amazing what a few days will do. These fields had three or four feet of water on them when I hit town a month ago. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)
Ed and Melinda Roberts
Right after shooting this, I met Ed and Melinda Roberts of Jackson catching bait for their trotlines. We talked for a bit, then they invited me to go out the Diversion Channel and up the Mississippi River to set out the lines. I’ll be posting two days of photos from that excursion: one on them fishing and the other on the the beauty of the waterway.
CT lands in Cairo
Then, to top it all off, I got a Facebook message from CT, a reporter I worked with at The Ohio University Post, saying she was visiting her brother in Paducah, had become interested in Cairo after seeing my photos and was planning on a day trip there. I quickly made arrangments to meet her and her four brothers in town. It was the first time we had seen each other since the late 70s. I’ll have more on that reunion in the next few days.
(I call her CT because her real name is Carol Towarnicky, a name I could never remember how to pronounce when I was introducing her to a subject. It usually came out some variation of TwarkNarky or something equally awkward.) Her brother shot this with my camera. I may have half the hair I had when she last saw me, but I am, otherwise, twice the man (in girth and weight). She was kind enough not to point that out. I knew there was a reason I liked her.
All in all, it was a better time to be in Cape than on the road. Tuesday morning, though, I have to be at the Cape airport to catch a Cape Air flight to St. Louis at 5:15. It’s not like the old Ozark days when you’d call to ask when the next flight to St. Louis was and they’d answer, “What time can you make it?”