A Bridge not too high or too far

While traveling to the beaches of North Carolina last week, we took a route from Uniontown through Maryland on the way to West Virginia, and so on.   Google maps and the iPhone and the Garmin navigation unit all had different opinions on the quickest route (well, the navi wanted us to go to the beltway in DC – not likely).   So, as we plotted an alternate route along the national road (Route 40), we were advised by the navigation unit to veer right down a rather steep but short hill.  And there we ended up looking at some unexpected history – and the history of commerce.

The Potomac River is but a stream in this part of Maryland.   Following along the same path as the nearly 200 year old C and O canal.

But the history goes ever further back.  This was a very early waypoint to the “frontier” of what would become southwest Pennsylvania.  George Washington passed through the area many times, starting years before his expeditions further north in what would later become the start of the French-Indian War.

After passing through this place that Washington forded so many years ago, we went on to pay the only tolls of the entire trip.

Built in 1937, a privately owned, toll bridge. It has even been in the news, lately.

It is single lane.

It is safe.

Rated for something like 16,000 lbs.

Wooden boards.

Low – and prone to flooding.

You must wait your turn.

No guard rail.

To pay to go across is 50 cents.

Adjacent to a national park service site, and featured on hiking trails.

Sometimes you plan on adventures.  Sometimes they appear when you least expect them.

Sometimes, they cost 50 cents.


About sehanley

Musician, journalist, teacher, technologist, consultant & former NPR station manager. A media and entertainment professional, journalist, entrepreneur, technology advocate, educator, student, mentor, manager, and media, musical and theatrical performer. Voice talent and coach for music and spoken word. I also act and sing (mostly jazz, but a lot of experience with choral, classical and musical theater, too). Brass instruments, too, but my AF ofM card lapsed years ago. Heard on the national jazz service, PubJazz, and in the Pittsburgh market on WZUM/Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. I also teach college level courses in media and journalism. I managed the leading NPR/public radio station in Pittsburgh, PA for 16 years, a few years later was GM of the NPR station WBHM in Birmingham, AL. I served for six very busy years on the NPR Board of Directors and have done much volunteer service for national and local organizations in the communities I have been privileged to live and work in. Former NPR Board Member, former President of the Pittsburgh Radio Organization, sometime musician, relentless technology advocate. Opinions expressed are not the viewpoints of any employer or affiliation past or present.
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