Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bridge Over Country Waters


I can't help it. I have to stop to take pictures of swinging bridges.
They speak to me of days long past when people didn't mind walking, when they took the time to build the bridges right, so that many, many years later someone like me would stop to take photos of them.

That's not the real reason, of course. They built them strong because they knew that their work would last not just for the time being, but for years and generations to come.

This bridge was located very near the Burning Springs Museum in Wirt County. I spied it through the trees, and commanded, "Stop! Let me out." My husband seldom questions that command--he knows I've seen something and need to take a photo. He pulled off the road, turned the car around, let me out, and then went up the road to turn around again. What a guy.

I walked down a steep gravel drive to the bridge. A sign hung on it: No Trespassing.

Oops.

Of course this was someone's land, and the bridge crossed over the Little Kanawha River to their home on the other bank. I quickly snapped a few pictures and walked back up to the road, but I had to keep turning to look at that bridge. Except for the one over the Coal River in my husband's growing up place, this one is the longest such bridge I've seen, I believe.

I think this bridge was built by oilfield men, especially since it's so close to the site of the state's longest producing oil well. Sturdy pipes and cables support it, and thick planks line the walkway. It took strong shoulders to put this one together. I wonder if there was once a little settlement on the other side. It seems likely, given the expense put into the bridge's construction.

These bridges were built for foot traffic, not vehicles. As you walk across the bridge springs under your feet with a swaying motion that would have to be uncomfortable for a man with a little too much beer in him. But that swinging is gentle, a rocking motion that moves up and down instead of side to side. You learn to walk with the roll, and it is almost a dance.

7 comments:

solsticedreamer said...

what a lovely photo! i always have my camera with me for just such opportunities!

Patty said...

I walked over a swinging bridge ONCE...that is all it took for me to know that nice solid concret is more to my liking...Great photo though.

Janet, said...

I like swinging bridges, too. They always make me think of the Indiana Jones movie, tho. I wouldn't have wanted to have been on that bridge. My husband and sons stop for me too when I want to take a picture.

Cathy said...

I love swinging bridges. There is a nice one between Comfort and Seth in Boone county that I used to walk across when I was growing up. I think I'll take a photo next time I'm over there. You hardly see them anymore.

Cathy said...

I love swinging bridges. There is a nice one between Comfort and Seth in Boone county that I used to walk across when I was growing up. I think I'll take a photo next time I'm over there. You hardly see them anymore.

Nance said...

My dad built a swinging bridge for his grandchildren who absolutely loved it but it wasn't as long as the bridge in the link below. I hope to build a swinging bridge for my grandchildren in the next few years.

This bridge is in Eastern Iowa:

http://nanasview.blogspot.com/2008/09/better-than-gramps.html

Side note: I have ancestors who lived on the Little Kanawha River in Wood County, WV.

I sure enjoy your writings.

Granny Sue said...

Hi Nance!

I've got to look at that link. I hope you'll send a photo when you biuld your bridge. I'm glad you enjoy my blog. Stop by anytime.

We'll be heading to Wood County on Saturday, I think, to visit Transallegheny Book Store, a big, supposedly haunted use book store housed in an old Carnegie building. As long as I've lived here, I've yet to go to this place!

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