Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Covered Bridges

This month my dad celebrates his 90th birthday.  What to get for someone who has everything he needs (except his 35 year old body and mind)? 

I myself am getting to be someone I don't even recognize at birthday time.  I could never understand when someone said they didn't need a thing for their birthday.  Come on - doesn't everyone have an ongoing list in their head of things they wished they had?  But no, it's true.  You do get to a point where you buy what you need and you don't really want any more stuff.

So, for Dad's birthday we took a drive yesterday and did something he's always wanted to do - toured some of Oregon's covered bridges.  At one time early in the 20th century there were 450 covered bridges but now there are only about 50 which have been restored and preserved.  Some you can still drive over and some are walking spans.  We made a 200 mile loop with Jeff at the wheel, Dad in the front and me shouting orders giving driving directions from the back seat.

I had printed out an information sheet on each of the six bridges we visited and I am a little proud of myself for compiling the histories of these bridges because I am not known for my love of museums and such.  I also had to come up with my own turn-by-turn directions between them.  But I was also glad we had Nancy, the nasal-voiced little woman in our GPS.  She got us back on track when the roads suddenly changed names. 

These bridges were all accessed via country roads through towns with names like Sublimity, Crawfordsville and Sweet Home.  Across waterways like Cold Springs and the Calapooya River.

It was a gorgeous day, perfect temperature and the pastoral setting seemed almost too good to be true!

Oops, sorry hon. We have to turn around.
It's the other direction.

Isn't my husband a fantastic photographer?
That's why he isn't in any of the pics.

Many of these were one lane bridges and you have to yield if another car approaches.

Another interesting observation:
Some bridges are left open and others have more enclosed sides.

(If you want to ask me any engineering questions after the tour, just leave a comment. 
I'll try to explain in terminology you can understand.)

There was a group of teen and twenty-somethings who spent the night creekside near this one.  When we walked across the bridge, they scrambled up the embankment with their sleeping bags.  Hmmmm.  Where were their mothers? is what I want to know.

They did all start looking similar at this point in the day!

So funny... Dad was disappointed that the bridges weren't in worse shape. 
I think they looked too 'nice' for him. 

Here I am with the birthday boy.  Dueling plaids!

I enjoyed the day more than I expected I would.  I do love the country.  And we made a memory with my dad.  I hope he had a great day.  Happy birthday, Dad!


Nancy Espinoza said...

a few comments:
1) just why did you choose the name Nancy for your "nasal voiced little woman"?
2) BEAUTIFUL photography Jeff
3) your plaid wins!
4) I love your humor!
5) Happy Birthday to your dad
from your very melodic voiced friend, Nancy

BeckyB said...

1)TomTom assigned Nancy her name and she had the most pleasing voice on their menu.
2)So proud of my man!
3)Not sure plaid is my best look
4)I love yours!
5)Getting is not easy.
Miss your voice! Coffee soon??

BeckyB said...

*5) I meant "getting old"

Nancy Espinoza said...

Road trip vacation next week. Back 19th. Grind the beans...we'll make it happen!! Nanc

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