Bridge Over River Des Moines
If you ever come to visit me for a few days and want to see some of the local scenery, you will inevitably see the bridge pictured above and walk across it. Although I was not yet old enough to drive when it closed down to automobile traffic when the new bridge north of town was completed, I was old enough to remember riding in my dad's car over that bridge several times and always wondering if we would make it to the other side. The subtle changes in the car direction to stay on the boards laid in the direction of travel for each tire, were enough to cause the whole thing to sway back and forth. Driving off the boards were sure to send the car tires through the bridge planking and causing the car to get hung up by its frame with wheels dangling above the river below until pulled out and the bridge patched up. In short, I can understand why the bridge was replaced.
Fortunately a group of industrious people got together and rather than tear down the bridge as they could have easily done, decided to preserve the bridge for historical purposes long before doing so was the "in" thing to do. The re-planked an area a few feet wide down the middle of the bridge and installed railings to prevent the absent minded pedestrian from walking across the original planking which is now fragile enough that a person might fall through and being smaller than an automobile frame, that person might not be as fortunate to get hung up before falling into the river.
The result is that you have a nifty pedestrian bridge between two towns on opposite banks of the river that just begs to be photographed whenever you walk across it. I have yet to walk across it without taking at least a couple dozen photographs here and there. There are a few places across the bridge where the new planking has been expanded to the full width of the bridge to allow for bump-outs with benches and better views of the river below. I have it on good authority, since I actually attended one, that those bump-outs make a great place to get married.
So during my vacation which coincided with a visit from a couple of my wife's relatives, I found myself on the bridge with camera in hand and now have a couple dozen new photographs on my computer hard drive, some of which I share with you here.
There are a few dents here and there...
... some missing planks and vegetation growing where it shouldn't...
... but oh so scenic...
... and the plants do like it there.
The path frequently taken.