Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fort Osage

In 1804 Lewis and Clark passed a point of land located in what is now Sibley, Missouri. Clark noted that it would be an excellent place for a fort. In 1808 Clark returned and supervised the start of construction of what is known as Fort Osage. Below is a view of the reconstructed Fort looking northeast. The depression in the foreground was not present 200 years ago and the original fort extended far to the west of this view and included that land. 1/3 of Fort Osage has been reconstructed.
Above, the view from the Missouri River of the Fort.
Modern day entrance next to the Education Center. Fort Osage is roughly 20 miles east of KC off 24-hiway. Directions are on their website:

Lobby area and gift store.... you buy tickets here.
Above and below.... binoculars and a telescope aid visitors in looking for birds that inhabit the area.

Above.... the guards are all dressed as foxes.
The museum in the lower level gives an overall introduction to the plants and animals of the area as well as information about the Osage Indians and the operation of the Fort.

A patio/deck has additional information about wildlife. The Sibley Power Plant can be seen in the distance.
Leaving the visitor center you proceed to the Fort.

A garden was maintained outside the walls as space was at a premium inside.
Outer gate.... there's an inner gate also...

Inner gate with the officer's quarters visible in the opening.
Folks in period garb can answer just about any question you can think of.
Soldiers quarters.... dirt floor and un-compfy bunks.

Another view of the officer's quarters.

Cannon ready for action.... sort of.... along with openings for rifle fire....
Not a bad view.

Although the practice was banned in 1812, soldiers who misbehaved could be lashed in the middle of the courtyard prior to that date.
Looking out the interior gate down to the Factory House where trade was conducted between the Fort and the Indians and between trappers and the Fort. Fort Osage served many purposes including providing protection for trade and being a haven for westward travelers.
Happy visitors... non-period attire.
A demonstration of how to load a firearm from the period. Military standards dictated that a round should be fired every twenty seconds.... not easily done.

Yes.... they had double hung windows in 1808. In fact the Fort has been reconstructed according to the original plans that are still kept in Washington, D.C.

Lowest portion of the Factory House has a red line on the wall. Below the line the wall is original... above reconstructed.
One of the kitchens.

A fire is kept burning outside.... and normally in November would be a welcome place to sit.... but this was last Saturday and it was 75.

There is a boat landing below the Fort.... so, conceivably one could put their modern day boat in the water at Kansas City's (original) Riverfront Park and sail to the Fort for a little day trip.
There is much more to see than what I've shown here.... great trip for kids (we big ones too).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Up Me Beam Scotty

I visited the site of the new Kauffman Performing Arts Center last Saturday just is time for the crane operators and ironworkers to put another of the curved trusses in place. This structure is going to be a beautiful addition to the skyline and is due to open in 2011.

The 36,000 pound truss is lifted off the ground with guide ropes draped below.
Men on the ground help guide the iron as the crane swings it around and toward the building.
The largest beam hoisted into place was 184 thousand pounds.

Men on an industrial sized cherry picker await the beam and gently guide it in into place.

The truss is bolted into place.... the bottom, middle and top are secured before final tightening.

These pictures show the north side of the Performing Arts Center.... looking north across the street is this view of Bartle Hall and part of the skyline. Many thanks to Mike W., crane operator, who filled me in on some of the details.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nearly 1000 Participate in Cliffhanger Run/Walk

At 9 am Sunday morning runners and walkers from all over the city gathered at the east entrance to Cliff Drive for the start of the Cliffhanger 5k and 8k races. Staged by the Kansas City Track Club the funds generated benefited Gladstone School (my alma mater thank you very much) and Neighbor to Neighbor an agency founded to help those who don't have and can't get health insurance.

Nearly 1000 participated in the event which was blessed by mild temperatures and sunny skies.

Fresh out of the gate the first runner passes my position which was totally stationary.

All ages and both genders participated in the races. Both courses ran along the Cliff Drive Scenic Byway in Northeast Kansas City. One of the few urban byways in the nation.

That may, or may not, be a wigged runner on the left.

Holy cow.... smiling runners..... very rare....
Below Geoff and Jen Henggeler and what appears to be a stolen baby.
The Burnetts, John and Ingrid... both avid runners. Ingrid set a personal best in the 5k... no word on if John has finished yet.
When not cartooning for the Northeast News Bryan Stalder walks the Drive with his family.
5k turnaround was just past North Terrace lake.... 8k turnaround was further along the drive. Reservoir Hill is in the background.

These shots were taken from the Lexington Avenue Bridge.