Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cedar Crossing Bridge

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Here are a few photos of Portland's Cedar Crossing covered bridge, over Johnson Creek out in east Multnomah County. It's just south of Foster Road -- turn south at 134th Avenue, which turns into Deardorff Road, which crosses the bridge.

Despite how it looks, it's not actually very old. It was only built in 1982, replacing a non-covered predecessor, because a local politician thought it'd be cool to have a covered bridge somewhere in Multnomah County.

Cedar Crossing Bridge

The state's page about the bridge asserts that it isn't really a "true" covered bridge. Apparently there's far more to it than just being a bridge with a cover over it. At least if you're a purist, I mean, which I'm not. I'm not even a covered bridge fan, really. My mother is, however, so as a kid I was dragged here and there all around the state to visit the silly things. At one point she had a guidebook to all of the covered bridges around the state, and the Cedar Crossing bridge was relegated to an appendix. So I gather that true purists think it's an impostor and scoff at it. I can sort of see their point, in a way, since it's more or less a small standard-issue bridge with a wooden canopy tacked on top. Purists want their covered bridges made entirely of wood, like in the old-timey olden days of yore. And really, I'm not sure any new bridge would measure up in their eyes, since covered bridge fandom is all about sentimental nostalgia for rustic old-fashioned stuff. Covered bridges are cultural touchstones for some people, so being a fan isn't strictly about the bridges, sort of like how NASCAR isn't just about auto racing. And I suppose how Grateful Dead concerts weren't really about the music, to pick a blue-state example. Or the way British people get worked up over crappy oil paintings of hunting dogs, come to think of it. If the underlying cultural stuff doesn't resonate with you, you're bound to be confused and wonder what all the fuss is about.

But regardless, the fact remains that it's a bridge and it's covered. So there.

Cedar Crossing Bridge

So, for whatever reason, I never actually saw the thing until much later. My wife and I had just moved back to Portland after being away for a few years, and we almost rented a house just a stone's throw from the bridge. We decided against it partly because I was working in Tigard at the time, which would've been a hell of a commute, and partly because the Foster Road area just north of here has, uh, persistent issues with poverty and crime. So I'm sure that was the right decision, but still, it would've been kind of interesting to have something like this in the neighborhood.

I was in the area looking for something else, and I remembered this was here, and since I've been on something of a (non-covered) bridge bender in the last few months, I thought I'd go check it out and take a few photos.

Cedar Crossing Bridge

Some links, mostly of interest to any diehard fans who stumble across this post (in which case you've probably seen them all already):

Cedar Crossing Bridge Cedar Crossing Bridge Cedar Crossing Bridge Cedar Crossing Bridge

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