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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blue skies...Sunday drive...

Beautiful clear blue skies and a balmy 35 degree day beckoned me to take a Sunday drive. Lorrie had gone into town to a play with our daughter. Given the amount of sunshine I couldn't bring myself to go with and  sit inside. My destination was Bridgeton, not far at all from where we live. There was virtually no traffic, (maybe everyone else went to the play?), which enabled me to stop at will and take pictures.

Beans, corn, barns and bridges is what you'll find in this part of Indiana.  The old wooden post and beam barns are slowly being replaced by metal "pole" barns. They don't have nearly the character of the old barns.

Some of these barns I have driven by since I was very young.

This one used to house a combine. We always remember it because it's seemed impossible that the machine could fit inside the structure. It's days of housing equipment are over and it will probably be replaced by a newer structure in the not too distant future.

This stump might not look like much, but it was the most beautiful sugar maple you've ever seen in October. As I drove out towards my destination I noticed many of the old trees that lined the fields had been cut down. I'm sure some farmer got tired of dealing with the roots or figured he could get a few more square feet of field to sow.

Now this is something that is literally taking over the woodlots around where I live. When I used to hunt deer finding a place to hunt amounted to walking up to the farmers house and asking permission. Maybe offering a few choice cuts of your deer, should you end up successful. Now days it boils down to who's the highest bidder. Some of the woods I used to hunt are now leased.

The county where I  live is known as the "Covered Bridge Capital of the World" with 31 bridges. The crown jewel of the county is/was the Bridgeton covered bridge and mill.

The original bridge was built in 1868 by J.J. Daniels and was 245 foot long. I used the past tense here because in April of 2005 it was burned by an arsonist.

This is a picture of the bridge after the fire. It was a devastating loss to the community. Each  October, for 10 days,  nearly 2 million people come to this county of 17,000 people, many to see the Bridgeton bridge. Lorrie and I drove up to see the damage after the fire. It was a  sickening site.

But it didn't end there. The community came together and with donations of local trees and labor a new bridge was built and that is what I came to see, again,  on my Sunday drive today.

 We've visited the bridge often.  The shot above is Lorrie right after the new bridge was completed. We saw the logs laying in a hay field north of the burned bridge that were milled to build the new bridge. We watched the bridge construction as it progressed.

 Today I just decided to drive out to take a look at it again, especially since the sky was so blue.

This picture was taken right after the bridge was built and the wood was all new and clean.

As I walked onto the bridge I noticed all the graffiti that was collecting on the inside beams. The old bridge had the same sort of graffiti and added to it's character. I took a few shots of some of what was written.

First thing I noticed was all the new acronyms that the young people were using now. I can't really remember, but I doubt there was nearly as many texting acronyms on the old bridge beams.

This was a reoccuring theme among the graffiti. Two people had written for all the world, well at least the rural Indiana world, to see their love for each other....only to have it change.

 I got a kick out of how the graffiti often got updated.

Young and frustrated.....

It wasn't just young couples adding to the graffiti though. Here's a mom and daughter. I saw all sorts.

a young philosopher.....

On the way out I was looking at the mill and noticed the wooden guttering. I remembered how this guttering gave me the idea for the wooden guttering I put on the little outhouse back on our property. 

For more information on the bridge and Parke county Indiana click here


1 comment:

  1. Nice! Don't blame you for opting for the blue skies.

    Similar weather here today, too- about 40 & also with blue skies- but unfortunately I spent it with about 50,000 of my fellow citizens finishing off my Christmas shopping at the mall :(