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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Just GO!, Sep 22, 2012.
Doing the paper shuffle, should be finalized by week's end.
Rescued from page 4. I don't know if anyone was anxiously awaiting my next post but here it is anyway.
I last visited bridge #3, the Shinn bridge......next on my list was Bell bridge.
Built in 1888, it's a single span bridge of 62' over the southwest branch of Wolf Creek. Located just a few miles north of Barlow, Ohio. The bridge was originally built at a cost of $489.80 and is still open to motor traffic. The bridge has had extensive reinforcing with steel beams added to the underside of the floor for support. It was completely renovated in 1998.
I found the dates and initials carved into the hand-hewn beams of the bridges really interesting. I don't recall the oldest date I saw but I think it was in the late 1800's.
This may be the one.....1892.....:eek1.....
Someone carved that date into the beam 120 years ago. Probably with a Barlow knife. That makes my insignificant pencil signatures pale, don't it?
The KLR waiting patiently in the shade of the old bridge....
I added my stamp of approval and motored on to the next destination..........
Bridge #5...the Mill Branch and a lunch fit for a King.
These mushrooms were the size of frizbees..............:eek1
Looking that these pictures makes me miss that little KLR.
Constructed in 1885, the Mill Branch bridge is a single span of 65' over a small stream at the Barlow, Ohio Fairgrounds. The bridge is located on the north side of SR339 at the fairgrounds. In the 1960's the bridge was abandoned when it was bypassed at its original location over the Little Hocking River two miles northeast of Portersfield, Ohio. When nearby landowners threatened to destroy the bridge, the county moved it about seven miles to its present location. It is closed to all but foot traffic but at least it's still standing.
Painted on both sides is the Ohio Bicentennial logo.....
I snapped a few pictures then sat down for a feast.........
A bottle of water and.................Pop Tarts!!!!!
And once again, just to prove that I was there.....
#6 bridge on the list...the Harra.
But before I go any further I want to post a link to the web site where I acquired the information about these historical bridges. Thanks for the help Tom.
This bridge has been around since 1878 or 1875 or 1871 depending on where you get your information. It's 95' long and stands over the South Branch of Wolf Creek. It's located northwest of Watertown, Ohio on TR 172 on the north side of the road. The bridge was originally built at a cost of $617.50. The timbers in the bridge are yellow poplar. It once had a slate roof. Although bypassed in 1981, it has been renovated in recent years. The structure rests on cut stone abutments that were quarried on site, then the Herman Harra Farm.
More ghosts from the past......
And one from 2009.....
Fond memories of the Harra. A fine young lady and I conducted a chemistry experiment there as a youngster. Judging by the carvings on so many of these bridges, much chemistry was found under their roofs over the years.
Is that what they called it back in yer day......Chemistry Experiments?
I've looked at the plaques on these bridges and occasionally wondered what the numbers mean so I did a little research and learned how they are numbered.
The system was created in 1953 by John Diehl of Cincinnati. The first number designates the state in alphabetical order in which the bridge is located. Alabama being #1 and Wyoming #50.
The second number is similar but it represents the county in which the bridge is located. Ohio counties start with Adams county at #1 and Wyandot county at #88.
The third number is the number given to the bridge itself. Although there was no real system to that. It seems though, looking at the numbers of the bridges that I documented, that they were numbered somewhat geographically.
Here's a good link if you like learning about such things. Be patient the page loads a little slow. The system, developed for Ohio, was adopted by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB) when it published its first World Guide to Covered Bridges (WGCB). I found it very interesting.
The Bell Bridge for example................
State #33....Ohio, county #84....Washington, bridge #12.
"Aha!!", those of you who know that Ohio is not 33rd in alphabetical order will say, "It's 35th." FAIL! The system is flawed! I had to think about that a little bit. Then I considered the year the numbering system was developed....1953. In 1953 there were only 48 states and Ohio indeed came in at #33. It wasn't until 6 years later that Alaska and Hawaii became states and that put Ohio in at #35. Only one of the bridges, The Rinard, which I visit a little later, shows Ohio at #35.
There ya go.
Bridge #7, The Hune, and the end is near.
The Hune bridge is located north of Marietta on one of my favorite state routes....SR26. It sits all cozy in the trees, spanning the Little Muskingum River..... a river of bitter memories for me.
Covered bridge #27.....
Most of these bridges rest on massive sandstone blocks that are larger than they appear.
It was built in 1879 then renovated in 1998. 128 feet long it lies over the Little Muskingum River. Both the stone for the abutments and the yellow poplar wood to build the Long trusses came from the Hune family farm. It also has the enviable distinction of being one of the many "Tag" locations chosen for the "Farnsy's Ohio TagOrama".......see posts #6185 and #6192.
Sept. 11th 1904........a much quieter and innocent time.
Nice job on the report.......enjoying the pics for sure.
Thanks for taking us along!
Thanks, Wayward. The photos in the covered bridge section, which are 3 years old now, were taken with my old Fuji S5000. Not a great camera but it served me well and rode with me for a lot of miles. It was a little tank.
The Rinard bridge, a few miles north of the Hune, was my next stop.
A single-span Smith truss 130' over the Little Muskingum River. Located just south of Bloomfield, Ohio. The original Rinard bridge built in 1871 was lost four years later during a flood. Its replacement was constructed in 1875 when it to was lost to flood waters on September 18, 2004 caused by the Hurricane Ivan. The present bridge was built in 2006 and used many salvaged timbers from the 1875 bridge.
And I'm on the the ninth and final covered bridge of Washington County..........................
The last stop of the day was the Hills Covered Bridge located a few miles north of Marietta. This bridge is now closed to traffic but I remember crossing through it many times as a kid with my first car and new found freedom.
Standing from 1878 till now........the Hills bridge spans 122' over the Little Muskingum River. It was bypassed in 1990. The bridge was originally built at a cost of $1,586.00 plus $3.00 per perch (a perch is 25 cubic yards of stone) for the abutments. Over $1500.............:eek1.....a lot of money back then.
Underneath the bridge you can still see debris and tree limbs left behind by the last flood waters.........
That's some pretty high water...........:eek1
I found a patch of white paint, signed in and headed for home...........
Back in post #35 of this ride report I mentioned a tenth bridge that Randy Ball had pointed out to me as we looked for that elusive tenth covered bridge that just wasn't there.
That tenth bridge is a natural stone bridge that Randy suggested I try to visit while I was out riding to the 9 covered bridges. It lies in the southwest corner of the county close to the Athens county line off of county road 26 on private land. It's not open to the public but I met the owner of the land where the bridge is located and he said I was welcome to ride the KLR down to see it. So I'm going to take you there next...................
..................wanna ride along?
This was actually the first stop on my ride on that day. The access to the trail that leads down to the natural stone arch is back a long private driveway. I rode back to the house at the end of said driveway and knocked on the door.....no one answered. I looked around the area for any signs of life......there were none. I went back and knocked on the door again....with a little more force this time. I heard shuffling footsteps off to my left. I waited. Finally an elderly gentleman came into view around the corner of the house.
He was wearing denim work clothes. His silver hair was disheveled. On his hands were rubber gloves. On his feet were work boots covered by clear, plastic covers something like you would see in an operating room. :huh
I fought the sudden urge to turn and run screaming from the sight before me. Seeing that natural stone arch just wasn't worth my being cut into many pieces with a dull machete and buried in this crazed phycopath's fruit cellar.
Against my better judgement I stuck out my still attached hand and introduced myself. To my amazement he did likewise. And, as it turned out, he was pleasant and accommodating. He had no intentions of cutting me into pieces....he was just dressed like that because he was working on a project that required the protection of the rubber gloves and shoe covers. If I recall, he had been spray painting or something to that affect.
We talked for a while, he was retired and was a pilot. He actually had a plane in a building by the house and a small runway for getting into and out of the air. He said I was welcome to ride the bike down to the stone bridge and to just take care of the property while I was there. So we parted ways and I headed down the trail to the bridge..........
The trail head, as you can see in the photo above, was well manicured but that soon came to an end as I entered the wooded area........
The trail narrowed progressively the further I rode until I was brushing tree limbs from my face as I putted along. I rode over small, downed trees and rocky areas strewn with leaves until the trail just seemed to end. With nowhere to go I stopped and looked around. There was another small trail off to my left..........heading back the same way I came but no stone bridge was in sight.
Had I unknowingly passed it or was it still further into the woods with no trail to get me there? Now I am, in no way a hiker....I really wanted to ride to that bridge and possibly take pics of the KLR there for you all to enjoy. I really did not want to hike there.
I was kinda bummed about this turn of events......... just sitting there on the bike with no bridge and no way to continue........
About the time I was thinking about heading back the trail to my left I just happened to look down and to my left and the earth just fell away to nothing. Then I looked down and to my right and saw a large opening in the ground. COOL!........I had came to a stop directly on the stone bridge....the trail I was on ended right on the bridge!
Water from the small stream that eroded the limestone away to create the bridge enters here...............
...........and exits here........................the KLR is directly overhead.......
I was there for a long time just taking it all in. I walked down below the bridge and took pictures from many angles. I putted the KLR across the bridge and to the left where there was a cliff that fell away to the stream bed below. I just took the time to relax and enjoy what I had found...................
I remember this being a hot and muggy day...typical of southeastern Ohio in late summer. Even though this stop was before noon the temperature and humidity were rising quickly.
I had to turn the mirror in on the right handlebar to get the bike between two trees................
The woods were still and quiet in the morning heat. No sounds from the trees except the occasional headbanging of a woodpecker off in the distance. Climbing and moving around to take pictures had brought on a sweat so I sat down in the shade of the stone arch to cool off before leaving on my search for the 9 covered bridges............
There was a small trickle of water dripping from somewhere above. I thought about that as I sat and listened. How long had it taken that water to create this bridge out of solid rock? I listened to the water. More intently..........and I could hear something else now. Children playing? Kids laughing? The splashing of water??!!
I stood up and walked slowly toward the sounds that seemed so out of place here in the woods. Below the stone arch the trickle of water became larger....wider....deeper. It grew into a stream and even what some might call a creek. A little further I walked until I finally could see where all noise was coming from.........a swimming hole with several kids that looked to be from 10 years old or so to maybe 14......splashing around cooling themselves in the heat.
One of the kids looks to be maybe 12 years old and he's diving under the water swimming as far as he can before coming up, gasping for sweet air. I watch him as he swims over to a large stone laying half in and half out of the water. He climbs onto the stone, yells loudly and cannonballs himself into the water splashing as many of the others as he can.
This swimming hole is sacred. It's one of the best places in the world. In the blistering heat of summer it's an oasis. In the long days when school is out it's a time machine....because you see, time really does go faster when you're having the time of your young life. The swimming hole, for that 12 year old kid, is a thing hoped for, it's a destination dreamed about and it's the source of some of the most fun times that kid will have growing up.
And I know that for a fact. I know that for a fact because that 12 year old kid that I just watch cannonball himself into that cool water has a crew cut and I can see a pair of faded and frayed Converse canvas tennis shoes on the bank by the water. I know for a fact how wonderful this swimming hole is to that kid because those tennis shoes with the frayed seams and worn out soles lying on the bank are mine.
And once again I'm watching myself through my mind's eye and I look around and see water everywhere.
Small streams, creeks, ponds, rivers. They are all connected to each other in one fashion or another and they have a connection also with me...........These waters that surround me.
I grew up in a small neighborhood that was tucked into a corner where Killwell Run emptied into Duck Creek. Water was only a quick sneak from anywhere in the neighborhood. Southeastern Ohio is crisscrossed with many of these waterways. Marietta was built at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers.
In this picture the Ohio river is at the right and the Muskingum comes in from the left. The bridge way off in the distance is the I77 bridge that crosses the Ohio into West Virginia. The next one with the green superstructure also crosses the Ohio into Williamstown, West Virginia and the Putnam Street bridge is seen crossing over the Muskingum river in the lower portion of the picture. There is water everywhere.
The Ladd Natural Bridge is practically in my back yard, but I've never been to it. Looks like a nice destination to visit on the new scoot.
There's another stone arch north of Marietta that I want to get to sometime, the Irish Run Bridge.
I recently made it out to the M&C piers on CR239..........I had never been there before........very impressive.
BTW, the picture you posted is not showing up.