WPC: Bridge

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Bridges connect us, but also separate us in important ways.  Tidewater, Virginia, is riddled with bridges, large and small, linking communities across several rivers and lots of marshes, creeks, canals and the Chesapeake Bay.  As a child, observing the world from the back seat of my parents’ car, some of these old and narrow bridges frightened me.

We traversed the Bay Bridge Tunnel each summer to visit family on the Eastern Shore.   You soon loose sight of land on this miles long bridge.  Back in the day, when it was only two lanes wide, it was always an adventure.   Still is, when a storm is sweeping across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and wind buffets trucks, sometimes pushing a big rig over the rails.

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Nowadays, many of our area bridges have been upgraded and modernized, but now carry heavy tolls.  Commuters may not be able to afford to cross for casual shopping and visiting; and nearby communities become isolated from one another.

Years ago, I left my home in the Northern Neck,  knowing that a toll was to be levied on this beautiful Coleman Bridge, which links Yorktown and Gloucester. I brought my family south, so we didn’t have to depend on passage across the bridge, and settled in the heart of  urban Tidewater.

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The beautiful and rural peninsulas of Virginia’s bay front coast rely on this bridge to link them to the rest of the state, especially to the nearest cities in Southeast Virginia.  Paying for every trip to shop, visit family, work and stay connected to the larger communities, takes a heavy financial toll.  This bridge becomes a barrier, separating people and communities from one another.

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Now, many years later, I love driving across the Coleman Bridge for day trips and get aways back to the small towns and rural beauty found in Gloucester,  Mathews and Lancaster.  I’ve long loved the gentle lap of our Virginia rivers along their sandy banks, and the villages which thrive along these shores.

From its top, one can see beautiful vistas of the York River, historic Yorktown,  and Gloucester Point.  Every trip is different, depending on the sky and waves, wind and river traffic, and what birds may be nesting on the bridge or flying over the river.

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Our bridges remain part of the fabric of our lives, allowing us to weave a rich tapestry of partnerships and friendships across our watery landscape.  They enrich our lives, even as they impose substantial costs on our families and our communities.

Art and engineering combine to form this beautiful legacy of bridges; which mold our present, even as they shaped our history.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017
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For the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge:  Bridge

 

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Which Way?

June 7, 2015  Yorktown 084~

We went a different way today and enjoyed some different views. 

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June 7, 2015  Yorktown 066~

The shots I captured from “The Other Side” (of the York River, of course) inspired me to join Cee for her Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge this week.

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Our view of The Hermione as we crossed the Coleman Bridge above her.

Our view of The Hermione as we crossed the Coleman Bridge above her.

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A lovely French tall ship, The Hermione, anchored in Yorktown Virginia, this weekend.

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The Hermione is anchored at the beach in Yorktown.

The Hermione is anchored at the beach in Yorktown.

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After crawling through the traffic in Historic Yorktown, we crossed the Coleman Bridge to view the ship and river traffic from Gloucester Point.  We were rewarded with wonderful views of this historic ship and the festival which cropped up in Yorktown today to celebrate its visit.

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June 7, 2015  Yorktown 056

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This is a reconstruction of the ship which brought General Lafayette to Yorktown in 1780, when he came to meet with General George Washington to pledge France’s support to the colonies in our revolution against the British Crown.

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June 7, 2015  Yorktown 062

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Huge French and American flags fly from the ships docked in Yorktown today.

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We knew we had taken the right way today, to enjoy this beautiful day.

We found some new river beaches to enjoy, enjoyed the salt breezes blowing off of the river, and appreciated our chance to view this beautifully reconstructed tall ship.

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June 7, 2015  Yorktown 033~

Woodland Gnome 2015

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June 7, 2015  Yorktown 022

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