Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Penrose Bridge View from the River Bed

You can see that the bridge was made from two sections of
old railroad bridge resting on a middle pier.  The middle pier was our refuge in summers when we tried to catch fish, never successfully, or just watched the river
run by and listen to the cars and trucks rumble noisily over the one-way plank roadway over our heads.  The daredevils of Penrose climbed to the top of the bridge and walked along the overhead beams but I never had the nerve to do that.  Many, many tons of sugar beets, grain, hay, and other crops were hauled over this rattly old bridge.  Visitors who came to Penrose with us were terrified even to drive over it and continually asked if it was safe--to which we usually said something like "Well, we've never fallen in yet."  The yet part still terrified some who closed their eyes until they were over the bridge.  Since we grew up with the bridge, we thought they all were big sissies.  The bridge, of course, was one lane, which meant being a bit careful to go on the bridge from either side in case someone was coming from the opposite direction.  During the autumn of my fifteenth year, I was driving our old '39 Ford truck with about 5-6 tons of sugar beets over the bridge on the seven mile journey to the Garland beet dump by the railroad.  Wyoming had no drivers licenses in those days, and most farm kids, especially, were driving when they were barely teenagers.  We felt cheated when the new, short, concrete bridge was built by narrowing the river bed.  It is no fun whatsoever to drive into Penrose now, but, every time we go there, we picture ourselves going over the old noisy, rickety, wonderful entrance to our private little kingdom of Penrose.


Judy said...

Crossing the bridge meant you were home. This is a great view.

Ann said...

Steve and I spent many summer afternoons on the "pier". I think Judy was with us, but she doesn't remember doing that. There was the year the road crew tore up the boards that covered the floor of the bridge because they needed to be replaced. The framework was all that remained. Mother or Daddy would drive us to the south end of the bridge and the school bus would pick us up on the north side of the bridge, but we had to walk across the bridge on the joists/trusses - whatever. I had nightmares for weeks/years about having to do that. I don't know for sure how Judy and Steve felt, but I WAS sure I was going to fall in and drown and never be seen again.