Monday, October 28, 2013

Bridge Affair

The title of my blog is Riverbend Journal for a couple reasons. I have kept a journal for over 20 years, my father has kept a journal for over 40 years and my grandfather kept one for nearly 50 years. All these journals have for the most part, been written around the river that you see in my header picture which flows diagonally through the county I grew up in, forming a big bend in the center of it. The county I now live in is also bisected by the same river. The picture above is of that river and if you look in my header picture, this spot is in the lower right corner. As you can also see, the river is pretty low as it has been all summer due to the on going drought.

I love the old steel bridges over this river which are becoming fewer and fewer as the years go by. Five years ago there were three of them in the county and now there are only two left. The one in this post is the only one you can actually cross and it is closed to all but foot traffic. I remember driving across this when I was just a young boy but as soon as they got the new modern bridge built on the other side of town which you can see in the picture below, this one was shut down to vehicles.

This is my favorite of the two steel bridges and I like this part of the county. If I had to pick a place to retire for the rest of my life, it would be somewhere on the river bluffs in this part of the county. But as you can see, the bridge is in pretty rough shape. One of these years I suspect that I will show up at one end and find it closed to foot traffic as well. The railings are buckled in many places and the decking is falling into the river. The center part of the bridge where they replaced the old decking with new steel and lumber to hold up those who walk across it is in good shape but it is just a small part of what makes a bridge safe to walk across.

Someday I would like to build some boats for a hobby/make some money and I've always thought I would use this river to sail them down to the Mississippi river downstream to various clients. As you can see from the sandbars and rock riffles, I would only be able to do so in the early spring these last couple years. On the bright side however, that would give me 10 months to build them without delivery interruptions. What you see in the picture above is some of that original decking that is now missing.

I had the opportunity to visit this bridge which shares my love in the middle of October during the fall festival that all the villages along the river in this county hold every year. While my wife, mother-in-law and youngest daughter were checking out the art being sold along the riverbank, my oldest daughter and I walked across the bridge and admired the view. It was beautiful. As the above picture suggested, we didn't climb on the railing though I did spend some time leaning on it and watch the water flow by.


sage said...

There is one metal tress bridge left in these parts--and it's foot traffic only. Those bridges had a grace to them... Your family has a long history of journaling.

Ed said...

Sage - They are my most prized possession and with the exception of my own, they aren't even in my possession. My father still keeps his journal and has all my grandfather's journals. I find great joy and reading back through them.

Anonymous said...

This is one of your best, it's truly lovely.

Ed said...

Vince - Thanks.