Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

11 Bridges in 140 Minutes, Part III: Memories of Times Past

Filed under: Retired - Folkcat's Fiber Crafts — folkcat at 4:15 pm on Monday, September 12, 2005

Time for a Refreshing Beverage – Visit Our Snack Bar Before the Main Feature!

It must have been a busy weekend, and I probably timed it all wrong, too. Plus I likely don’t have enough readers to make up for those two factors. But the contest I announced Friday saw no entries this time through. That’s okay – maybe I’ll set it up better next time.

Meanwhile, here’s the answer to the Mystery WIP: it’s a cozy for my iced tea glass!
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Cozy Tea in a Tea Cozy
I would also have accepted beverage sleeve, beer or can cozy, or any variant that amounted to putting a container of cold beverage inside this little sock-like object.

This was knitted with Sockotta yarn, using the classic Zimmerman Pi Shawl start, then working straight up the sides. Maybe not quite straight – there were six rounds of K1P1 ribbing, followed by 4 repeats of Traveling Vine lace, then about six more rounds of ribbing at the top.

The reason I knit this is simple – condensation on the glass, dripping all over me and pooling on the table in large volumes. I’d developed a habit of wrapping the glass in a facial tissue, which kept the condensation under control, but looked bad and tended to shred.

This beverage cozy gives me an attractive and reusable solution.

Time for Our Feature Presentation:

Our heroes, Folkcat the knitter, and Gryphon the photographer, had just finished visiting a pair of bridges – one old, one new – along Rte. 101 in Wilton. The time was 3:30 p.m., a mere 35 minutes after their quest had begun. Where to now? We had ideas, but little did we know that the common theme for the next four bridges would be memories. One was a veterans’ memorial; one named in memory of a military hero

“Well, I think the obvious thing is work along the Souhegan River back into Milford,” I said. “We know there’s the new bridge near where we took our first Extreme Knitting picture.”

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Junction Sign at Bridge #5

The Veterans Memorial Bridge, at the junction of Rtes. 101 and 101A, is a modern road that passes over the Souhegan River. It has a very wide shoulder, however, making it safe for walking. There is parking near one end, and one can even drive right down to the river, where there are signs posted explaining the various types of fish that are stocked there by the Fish Hatcheries (which are just down the road).

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Fishy Young’uns

We went down to the river together to scout the camera angle. There was an angler under the bridge who was trying his luck.

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Knitting on the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge, Milford, NH
Good thing that WH12 is such a bright color, or you’d never see it at some of these distances!

4:00 p.m.: Our next stop was in downtown Milford, where we knew we could pick off several bridges. The first was one I’ve taken pictures of before – it’s commonly known as “The Stone Bridge”, but officially, it’s the “Colonel John Shepard Bridge”.
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Proof of Name for Bridge #6
This bridge was named for the founding father of the town of Milford. According to the Milford Historical Society’s website: “In 1741 John Shepard was given 120 acres of land beside the Souhegan River on condition that he build a grist mill and sawmill. All that remains today is the name given the site: the mill by the ford, or Milford.”

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On the Colonel John Shepard Bridge, Milford, NH
The best view of this bridge, in my opinion, is from Emerson Park, which is a well-hidden but beautifully kept little spot along the Souhegan River. Access to the park is at the North end of the bridge.

4:15 p.m.: A short walk down one of the side streets near the Colonel Shepard Bridge, and you find the oldest – and arguably, the most picturesque – of the bridges on our tour. I’ve heard this one variously called “The Walking Bridge,” “The Swinging Bridge,” and merely “The Pedestrian Bridge”.

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The Essential Info on Bridge #7
Built in 1889, the Swinging Bridge is a classic suspension bridge. Designed for pedestrians only, it connects a quiet residential neighborhood with downtown Milford, via the Souhegan River. This bridge may not be for the squeamish – you can actually feel it swing and sway under your feet as you walk across, though it’s sturdily built and unlikely to go anywhere.

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The Grand Entry to the Bridge
1889 was the height of Victorian times, and the elaborate ironwork at the end of the bridge shows that.

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View From Down River
We sent Gryphon down a walking trail along the river to find his vantage point for the long shot. As you can see, this bridge has been subjected to modifications based on modern safety concerns. The railings on the side are so high, I had to almost hold my knitting over my head for you to see it.

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Easier to See From Here
So we took a picture from right on the bridge as well, so you can see it’s really me and I’m really knitting.

4:35 p.m.: Merely 1 hour and 40 minutes since beginning, and we’ve already found seven bridges. Our next one would also be in downtown Milford – and it’s one that we bet a lot of people don’t even realize is a bridge, even when they stand on it looking at the water.

This one has a double-whammy of memories. It’s right next to the Korean Veterans’ Memorial on Elm Street, which you would think to be history enough. But as Gryphon and I were exploring this mini-park, Gryphon spotted this plaque behind the memorial.

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Ye Olde Blacksmith Shop
So, once upon a time, this was the site of what I assume was Milford’s original blacksmith shop.

Currently, the river here goes over a small dam before passing under Elm St.

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Knitting on Bridge #8
If you were driving over this one and blinked, you’d probably miss the fact that you’re on a bridge.

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What I was Looking at as I Knitted

By the time we were done here, it wsa 4:45 p.m. – 1 hour and 50 minutes since we’d started. We knew of one more bridge for certain, but we wanted to save that for a good finish. With a little time on our hands, we decided to speculatively drive down Route 13 towards the Route 101 bypass to see if we could turn up any bridges we didn’t know about.

And we did. But that’s a story for next time!

Tune in tomorrow for the final chapter, as we discover bridges 9 through 11!

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