Monday, June 2, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend 2014 Day Two

As part of our adventure in Kane, PA for Memorial Day we decided to go to the Kinzua Bridge.  Here's a little info about said bridge from the trusty Wikipedia: 

The bridge was originally built from iron in 1882 and was billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", holding the record as the tallest railroad bridge in the world for two years. In 1900, the bridge was dismantled and simultaneously rebuilt out of steel to allow it to accommodate heavier trains. It stayed in commercial service until 1959 and was sold to the Government of Pennsylvania in 1963, becoming the centerpiece of a state park. Restoration of the bridge began in 2002, but before it was finished, a tornado struck the bridge in 2003, causing a large portion of the bridge to collapse. Corroded anchor bolts holding the bridge to its foundations failed, contributing to the collapse.

When Tracey said about going to the bridge, I thought it was just some overlook.  I had no idea it was a bridge much less the wreckage we would see.  We headed out down the line to the overlook first.

It made me feel uneasy to be so high up and walking on the railroad slats where you could easily see down was too much for me.  I didn't realize I was afraid of heights, but this definitely gave me anxiety.

When we got to the end of the overlook, I couldn't believe what I saw.  The steel was just bent  like a paper clip by the tornado.  It was very eerie to see.  That's the only way I can describe it.

The kids asked questions about how it had happened.  Jack wanted to know how the wind got past the mountains.  Always thinking that one!

We took a few scenic pictures and then headed back down the tracks


The Smiths

While we were on top at the lookout the kids saw people down below and badly wanted to head down.  We warned all of them that if we went down we HAD to come back up and there would be no complaining about it.  They all agreed so we headed down.

It was pretty steep in the beginning.  Tracey had to grab on to a "tree" to keep from falling.  George swore it was poison sumac, but apparently it wasn't.

After the initial steep part, it leveled out quite a bit and navigating down the mountain got a bit easier.

We finally reached the bottom and it seemed even more eerie down below.  I just kept imagining what it was like there as the steel was twisting and crashing to its resting place.

We took a few pictures again and then headed back up the mountain and let me tell you it was a mountain!

It took awhile to climb back up but the kids did so well.  Everyone made it and basically without complaint.  As a matter of a fact, I think the adults complained more.  Ha!

No coincidence there's a bench right at the top
I can't believe something like this exists and just 2 hours from my home.  I had NEVER heard of it.  Makes me wonder what else I'm missing out on.  Hint: A LOT!

I think there will be more discovering in our PA state parks this summer!


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