Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A wet 4th of July suspension bridge trip

The luck from our previous two near misses with rain (June 21st and June 14th) was bound to come to an end. It did on July 4th. On our way to west central VA where nearly 20 suspension bridges are clustered, the rain and/or threat of rain forced us to change our plans of visiting at least a dozen bridges. On the 2nd day, a line of strong thunderstorms passed our hotel early in the morning with a second line forecast to follow. We decided to leave for home after the first line and ride at a pace that, hopefully, would keep is between the two. We succeeded in getting home without getting wet but also without visiting most of the bridges I had hoped to photograph.

View Larger Map

Looking eastward, a snapshot of Google Earth zoomed in showing our GPS track and push-pins of the bridge locales we were able to visit during our short first day in the area:

Rockbridge Baths
Our first stop was near the small town of Rockbridge Baths along the Maury River. Next to the US Post Office is a foot bridge crossing the river. In full downpour, I snapped a quick pic, did my requisite cross to the other side, and return. We hopped on our bikes and headed for Lexington to find a place to eat lunch and dry out.

Luckily, the rain stopped after lunch. Rather than go to the hotel, we decided to use the time to visit as many bridges as we could before it started to rain again or got dark. We planned a route that would loop us around passing several bridges. Our first stop was near the town of Griffith where two bridges are close together along state route 630. We were able to photograph the first bridge, walk to the second, and photograph it as well.

Goshen Pass

Looping around Rte 42 to 39 and just northwest of Rockbridge Baths is the bridge at Goshen Pass. This turned out to be the final bridge we visited on this trip.

Trip stats:

  • 435.5 miles
  • overall avg 32.5 mph
  • moving avg 44.3 mph
  • max speed 93.6 mph (whoops!)
  • total time 13 hrs 22 min (not including over night)
  • moving time 9 hrs 49 min
  • stopped 3 hrs 33 min

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