Friday, November 30, 2012

Sepia Saturday 154 Bridges

With a theme of bridges or waters it is easy for me to find photos from our travels over the years and others in family archives.  This got me to thinking and so I share the Capilano Suspension bridge  in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from our 1975 road trip.  That was the year we and friends journeyed from our northern  California homes  to the Calgary Stampede and along the way stopped at Glacier Park; we left our group after Calgary and  went west to Vancouver.  Steve was only 11 and we had a wonderful  three week adventure in our new   pick up truck cab over camper, we'd consider that primitive traveling accommodations  today but then it was the best we  knew of and we were also younger.   

I have always  had an aversion to bridges, don't know why, an unreasonable fear because I grew up in western Pennsylvania where there are bridges across all the rivers and going from place to place meant crossing on the bridges.   Today we live near the mighty Mississippi and my frequent LaCrosse journeys require my driving over the bridges, I still do not like them.  But bridges that I really fear are these so called simple suspension bridges, or for automobiles the open to no railings such as the Mackinaw Bridge we crossed in July this year.  

The Capilano Canyon Suspension bridge is advertised as the 8th wonder of the world, or it was in 1975.  The postcard to the left shows it up there,  230 feet above the  canyon and 450  feet long, or " 140 metres long and 70 metres above the river"  according to their website today. 

 Well to an eleven year old it was just the ticket, a challenge to  run across shouting, "no hands, Mom,  come on out and look" .  But to this mother,  who was  sure that something would snap, sending us all to a bloody demise below, it was a horror.  Jerry and Steve both went back and forth to assure me it was perfectly safe.  Hah!  They were different than me,  no way, the thing was obviously not stable, pedestrians pass another person by and there is a feeling of  the unsteadiness.  I only ventured a very few feet onto it so Jerry could take my picture.  So much for conquering my fears, baloney! 

This was years  before digital cameras, so these photos are fading and are difficult to identify the people up there on the bridge amidst the forest of fir and cedar trees that are thousands of years old.  You will see I am not a happy camper here.

1975  Jerry and Steve in the middle of the Capilano Bridge
They are the two tiny people in the middle behind the couple, closest.
I was taking this photo and recall refusing to get closer
Finally I ventured onto it,  about 5 feet, that is me holding onto
a wobbling rail for dear life, ready to cry as I recall
Steve is ahead of me saying, "Come on Mom you can do it."
He ended up coming to get me, holding my other hand and walking me
back to the mainland.  I was/am a wimp  with  such heights. 
.  From the website today I learned some history.  If you are interested you can link to the site and take their  tour.    The Capilano bridge was built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver.   The website  site has some excellent photos of him with  his cohorts.   It was originally made of hemp ropes with a deck of cedar planks, and was replaced with a wire cable bridge in 1903. In 1910 Edward Mahon purchased the Capilano Suspension Bridge. "Mac" MacEachran purchased the Bridge from Mahon in 1935 and invited local natives to place their totem poles  in the park, adding a native theme. In 1945, he sold the bridge to Henri Aubeneau.  The bridge was completely rebuilt in 1956.  So what we walked onto in 1975 was already 19 years old but how much worse it could have been back in the 1890's.  The park was sold to Nancy Stibbard, the current owner, in 1983. Annual attendance has since increased, and in May 2004, Treetops Adventures was opened. This new attraction consists of seven footbridges suspended between old-growth Douglas Fir trees on the west side of the canyon, forming a walkway up to 30 metres (98 ft) above the forest floor.  

This is the back of the brochure I found with our photos
  This week's prompt awakened reminiscing of those  long ago days along with a realization that I need to have the old photos scanned else they will fade away.  We had wonderful vacations back then,  we knew it then and we still do today. 

 I imagine there  are going to be many wonderful bridge photos shared this week.  Check out the Sepia site to browse the other responses to the prompt.


  1. I am afraid of bridges too. I can't go anywhere near the railing without feeling like I am going to be swept over it.

  2. I worked at heights on occasions but I might balk at at bridge like that especially if it moves.

  3. I share your aversion to bridges Pat and I can feel the cold clammy hands and the sweat breaking out on my brow as I think of you on that one!

  4. I think you are a hero, Pat! Covering a distance of 5ft on that wobbling contraption would give me the shivers for the next few days. Still, I can imagine you cherish that trip!

  5. Oh, that Capilano Bridge looks so scary. I would never want to cross it. I'd be like you, hanging on for dear life.

  6. Interesting post, Pat, and I would have been on my hands and knees if I even made it onto that bridge! Jo

  7. Another post that brings back memories. In 2001 we walked over the Capilano suspension bridge. My husband (who is a big man) started jumping to make the bridge wobble then stated "Yes it's safe if it can take my weight". In reality he was just trying to scare me............and it worked. I had one hand on the rail all the way.

  8. That bridge looks so scary!! You were brave to step foot on it at all. I don't know if I'd be that daring.

  9. Oh my wow- because those kinds of bridges do give me the shakes sometimes....ever so slowly but then you realize run quick to get to the other side before you drop! Great photos Pat!

  10. That was my reaction too - WOW at those impressive, but frightening bridges. You need some nerve to step on that Canyon Suspension one.

  11. Pat, I think that bridge should scare anyone who has a brain in their head! (with the exception of children, who think they are invincible). Yikes! No wonder you were about to cry. I love the way you wrote about your trip being an adventure for the family, and I felt like the memories brought back a little of the fear for you. Good post. laurie

  12. I am so pleased to know that we Sepiar's have the same fears....