Anatomy of a Bridge

** This is a scheduled post  from a ride one week ago. As you read, I am in full Get Out The Vote mode! **

Another Sunday Ride. Another Old Bridge.

Something is definitely right in my world when I get to ride the bike two weekends in a row.  The rides haven’t been long but during this busy time in my life, I’m thrilled just to be riding on our beautifully curvy Southwest Virginia roads.

We were also able to explore another old bridge.  With this one no longer in use, we were able to take our time checking it out.

I thought of Joe as I photographed all of the rust, and as we looked at the many parts of the bridge, I couldn’t help but wish that I knew more about civil engineering.

 

I also loved the contrast between the man made structure and the natural world.

Soon enough we were back on the bikes and enjoying the wind in our faces.

As always, we ended the ride with a cold craft beer and this time, a brick oven pizza.

It was the perfect way way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Ride: Bent Mountain

It’s fall but it still feels like summer, the earth still rotates on it’s axis, despite the political and weather related turmoil, and I am still posting on WP, even if not as much as in the past.  Election Day is in just 16 days, and with so much on the line here in Virginia, it’s hard to think of anything else.  My home is being used as base of operations for several candidates, and there’s lots going on.

In a nice change of pace, I’ve been home for the last two weekends, and I’m happy to report that I’ve spent some time on the bike, and a little time hiking in the mountains.   Mornings have been quiet and misty and lovely.

It doesn’t take long for the mist to burn away, revealing perfect ride days.  The leaves are changing and they fall down around us as we ride.  The many curves of our Southwest Virginia roads make for challenging and incredibly fun riding and the views are breathtaking.  And then there are the bridges.

We love to explore the detail of the old bridges that we come upon, and always hope to find the plaque that reveals the date that the bridge was built

 

It was less than a 200 mile day, but it was a much needed distraction from the woes of the world.

After enjoying a delicious lunch and a cold beer, we headed back to reality.

Morning on the River

Just a couple hours on the water.

That’s all it takes to make me breath deeply and smile big.  It’s similar to how I feel on the bike.

Karen encouraged me to set aside the chores for the morning and get out on the river.

We are so fortunate to live on the New River, and can be on the water within 20 minutes of leaving our homes.  The New River is 360 mi (515 km) long and flows through the states of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The part that runs through my little city has just a few Class 1 rapids, but it is often as smooth as glass, offering stunning reflections.

We saw lots of Great Blue Herons, and the fish were jumping right up out of the water.

The roots of this tree reveal evidence of the rise and fall of the water.

When floating this part of the river, you pass under 3 bridges.  The modern day train trestle, the remains of the historic bridge, and in the distance, the new Memorial Bridge.

I’ve posted images of this trestle in the past.  You may remember it.

Despite the risk, it’s hard not to pull out the camera when floating the river.  I keep the camera in a Scuba bag so as to protect it in case the kayak tips over, but even still, I’m always taking a chance when pulling it out of the water safe bag.

It was a perfect morning, and I feel such gratitude for natural wonders and dear friends.

As you read this scheduled post I am enjoying the annual Girls of August (GOA) get together.  You may remembering me telling you about the women that I attended graduate school with over 20 yrs ago.  The Girls Of August have been spending the first week of August together for over 20 years, and it is one of the highlights of the year for all of us.

See you when I get back!

Parting Shots from Pittsburgh

Can you handle just a few more photos from a great trip to Pittsburgh?  I sure hope so because this is the last post!

Ruth and I rode the Monongahela Incline, one of two cable-powered inclines designed for transportation between the river valleys and the communities on top of the overlooking bluffs.  The first two photos are mine, but I really think my friend Ruth’s photo captured the feel of the inside of that cable car.  Please check the link for information about these historic inclines!  So very cool!

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Check out that 78% grade!

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Once at the top, we walked the Mount Washington community, enjoyed a warm beverage from a local ice cream / coffee shop, and enjoyed chatting with the local business owner.

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Ruth holds the framed article about that same business owner, while he tells us about the Mount Washington community and it’s local businesses.

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Ruth thankfully is a photographer, one who has taught me much, and has complete patience with my non-stop shooting.  Before riding back down, we posed for a picture in front of a the beautiful cityscape.

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Just a few more shots that I think capture the essence of Pittsburgh.

Catsup 🙂

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Bridges

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Rivers and History

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and Sports

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Thanks for coming along on our road trip to Pittsburgh! I wonder where we’ll travel to next year?

Pittsburgh: Rivers and Bridges

Venice is known as the City of Bridges, but Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania actually has more.  Three more in fact, for a total of 446!

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Ruth and I planned our trip to Pittsburgh with a primary goal of watching a football game, but we had plenty of other fun things planned as well (see the posts about Fallingwater and the drive through southwestern Maryland and western Pennslvania).  We spent most of Friday exploring the city, walking over bridges, and soaking up the history, architecture, and culture of Pittsburgh.  Over 6 miles, and too many photos to count later, we felt we’d gotten a real taste of the city.

Many of you have posted photos of locks of love on bridges from around the world, and it appears that Pittsburgh is getting into the act, too.

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Some of the bridges in this river city have pedestrian walkways which join a riverwalk. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail evolved from five separate trails and today comprises several unique sections over 37 miles.

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The confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River is at Pittsburgh’s 36 acre Point State Park.  It is there that they form the Ohio River.  As we walked along the riverwalk, we passed a vibrant collection of runners, walkers, cyclists, and dogwalkers.

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Expansive views of the city can be found from many vantage points, including the Monongahela and Dequesne Inclines (more on these in the next post).

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Three of the 446 bridges are known as The Three Sisters.  Similarly built self-anchored suspension bridges that span the Allegheny River, the bridges have been given formal names to honor important Pittsburgh residents:  Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Carson.

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We walked over 2 of the 3.

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We were never at the right vantage point to catch a photo of the 3 Sisters in one view, so I downloaded this one so you could see how beautiful they are.

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The melding of the historic and the modern are everywhere.

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What a fabulous city!

Next post:  Pittsburgh – Buildings and Architecture