Saturday, April 24, 2010

Leg 32, from the old Kulka Farm to the Carrying Place Bridge, 23 April, 2010

Phots are zoomable.

This was the least interesting of all my walks so far. Although I could look across Mill River at the many houses and cottages my dad or I or he and I together built over the last sixty years not much else caught my eye.

The ever present animal trail aligned itself with this companionable backdrop as it meandered along the shore.

I've gone on about firths recently and with good reason. They are as significant a geological feature of the island as the granite itself, evidence of surface water making its timeless way to the sea. Each, too, has seen man's efforts to rein in that inexorable march, to corral the fresh water or keep the salt at bay. Their purpose may be clearer to island historians. In each case, however, the more relentless of the two has prevailed, the water relentlesssly washing away or circumventingefforts to forestall.

A pair of raccoons made their way across the flats, nearly to Boy Scout Point a little earlier, when the tide was way out. Every now and then there's a pause in the tracks, evidence of a little activity, discarded shells.

It was very discouraging to come around the point and see the Carrying Place Bridge from the water. An engineering firm was recently contracted with to make repairs to this granite bridge, one of only seven island bridges each painstakingly crafted from island granite. I'm not sure what strutural repairs were made to make the bridge more sound but a fiber reinforced concrete coating has been sprayed across the entire surface obliteriating all that history and all that effort. It may be that the coating, the industrial equivilant of Brickbond, gives the bridge more strength, will perhaps help it to stand up under ever heavier machinery making its way up Calderwood Neck for residential development but it has certainly not done anything for the aesthetic appeal of this historic monument to Vinalhaven's industrious past. Six bridges left.

Next leg, #33, from the Carrying Place Bridge to Mill Pond.

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