Sunday, 22 February 2009

"Kissing Bridges"

Last weekend, while watching the movie "The Bridges of Madison County", I decided to check out websites about covered bridges in North America.

This idea was reinforced this week while coming home from Elmira, Ontario, the centre of Mennonite country north of Kitchener. We bypassed the highway in West Montrose where one of the last covered bridges in Ontario crosses the Grand River. What a great event it was as we waited for a horse and democrat to cross the bridge towards us. We were transformed back to the last century right there on the approach to the bridge.

So my research began with a site called Madison County, Iowa - Home of the Bridges of Madison County that details not only the covered bridges but also the movie.

The next stop was a great site in New Brunswick with a pictuure tour of some of the 66 bridges left standing including the the world's longest (1282 ft built 1901) at Hartsland on the St. John river.

Finally at A Guide to Old Covered Bridges of Southeastern Pennsylvania I found the following explanation of just what covered bridges mean to all of us.

"Covered bridges symbolize small-town North America. Something from the nineteenth century, a little archaic and strange to nineteen-nineties eyes, picturesque and sentimental, "kissing bridges" recall a time when life was simpler and closer to the land -- if only in our dreams. Covered bridges complement autumn leaves and autumn emotions. Photogenic and often remote from the Interstate Highways and cities of the twentieth century, covered bridges lure the explorer to find the little streams and dirt roads that the twentieth century has almost passed by."

I couldn't have said it any better...

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