Tuesday, September 13, 2005

11 Bridges in 140 Minutes, Part IV: The Quest Completed

4:50 p.m.: Two hours exactly since we began, and we'd already accomplished eight bridges. Not a bad start! Our next plan was to drive down Route 13 towards the Rte. 101 bypass, south of downtown Milford, to see if we could find any other bridges. We had no preconceived notions as to what we might find.

The only feature we knew of for certain was this - behind the Milford Department of Public Works building, there is the trailhead for the Granite Town Rail-Trail. There are rivers and streams throughout the area, so we figured there was a chance that we'd find a bridge somewhere here.

We were a bit surprised to find one right by the field you park in for the trail. With high growth all around it, I couldn't be sure at first if this qualified as a bridge under the standards I had set. But we poked around in the weeds on either side, and found that this wasn't just a convenient way to get through this patch of lumpy ground.
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Looking Around at the Wood's Edge

Hidden in the weeds I found a small, dry channel of rocks. Aha! This was a drainage ditch, and probably it fills up with water pretty regularly. The bridge was, in fact, a bridge over a waterway - and therefore qualified for my mission.
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Bridge #9 - the Shortest We Found
The bridge turned out to be the beginning of the Rail-Trail. Crossing over, we followed the trail a short way, discovering that it followed a small river (brook? stream? I'm never sure which size is which term.)

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Behind the Milford DPW
I doubt we'd even gone a hundred yards, when I peaked over through the bushy growth, and said, "Oh, my....is that....?"

"I think it is, isn't it?" said Gryphon. "We found another bridge!"

This one was little more than a concrete causeway, but there it was. I walked out and started knitting away at Bridgette.

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Bridge #10 - Another Surprise Find
The view was so pretty, I decided to sit down and knit a little
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Upstream - Gorgeous!
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A Relaxing Break
By now, it was only 5:05 p.m. - a mere 15 minutes since we'd finished with Bridge #8 back at the Milford Oval, and we already had reached a total of ten bridges for the day. As I mentioned last time, we knew we had one more sure thing we could end the day with.

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Bridge #11 - the Newest on Our Trip
Off to Keyes Field we went. Keyes Field is the recreational park along Elm St., with facilities for tennis, basketball, baseball, and other team sports. One of the newest features is this impressive pedestrian bridge across the Souhegan River, which connects Keyes Field to the newly-built Boys & Girls Club on the other side.
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Can You See Me Now?
Being new, of course, this was built in the present-day era of "pedestrians can't be trusted to walk safely across a bridge, so we'll build the sides real high so they can't accidently do something stupid. Never mind that they can't see the pretty river then, why would they want to see a river when they're on a bridge?"

Can you tell I'm not impressed with modern safety standards for things like pedestrian bridges? I mean, how are you supposed to play a decent game of Pooh Sticks if you can't lean over the railing to drop your stick in the water, then lean over the other side to watch it come out?

I did my best to stick Bridgette through the railing so she could be seen from Gryphon's camera location on a sandbar in the river.

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Now You Can See Me!
But just to be sure you knew it was really me there with Bridgette, we took this picture, too.

The time on the last shot? 5:15 p.m. Just two hours and twenty minutes since we'd begun. Within an easy drive from home, and with very little effort, we'd found a total of eleven bridges for our quest.

That's about 12 3/4 minutes per bridge. And most of that time was spent actually taking the pictures, not getting from one to the next, which will give you an idea of just how close these all were.

Pleased with the results of our expedition, Gryphon and I piled into the car and headed for home.

Now we just have to figure out what's next?