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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creak, Rattle and Shake

You may have read the title of this post and wonder what kind of nonsense is going to roll off my keyboard this time.  I think I would be safe in saying that your cursor is probably hovering over the "Back" button or your finger is already poised to hammer the escape key, but out of pity and curiosity you decide to read on in hopes of being enlightened or even mildly entertained.  I thank you for hanging in there even if you are asking yourself why.  So let's get this underway and if you are disappointed let's just think of it as water under the bridge.

If one travels down rte 555 and heading toward Driftwood you will pass through a small hamlet called Grant.  If you happen to blink you will most likely miss it so keep those eyes open.  Before I get into the creak, rattle and shake I'll touch briefly on the village of Grant.  While it's not a tourist destination and the only chance of getting a bite to eat there would involve knocking on the door of a camp and beg them to grill up a venison burger.  All this being said, Grant definitely has some historical significance and in fact was named after our 18th United States President Ulysses S Grant.  Grant came to Elk County early in 1869 to do a bit of fishing on Mix and Dents Run.  He recognized the beauty of the area and returned again later that year and again in 1883.  And folks, this is where the village of Grant got it's name.

So if one continues down 555 just outside of Grant you will be nearing the subject of this Blog entry and maybe creak, rattle and shake will make some sense.  One needs to watch very carefully on the right side of the road for two very steep access roads that take you to a bridge crossing Bennetts Branch.  This bridge was manufactured by Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton Ohio and spanned this stretch of water for over 120 years.  In fact this bridge was the oldest bridge in Elk County.  Sadly, it is no more!

This particular bridge had character and although many would refuse to cross it with a vehicle we have crossed it countless times without incident.  Crossing it with a vehicle will reward you with a symphony of creaking, rattling and shaking.  We're going to miss that bridge.  Whoda' Thunk that when we crossed this bridge on Sept 29th that would be the last time we would be serenaded with these sweet sounds.  The following week we were shocked to see it was gone and gone forever.  Never again will we cross and listen to the clattering of the boards under the weight of our vehicle.  Never again will we experience the thrill of not knowing if it will support us or drop us to the water below.  We'll miss this iron monster.

It is our understanding that the crew working on the new bridge have 21 days to complete the project and they are well on their way.  As of 10/14/12 there is already a new iron structure spanning the water and no doubt the decking will follow shortly.  Until that time, the only way to get to the other side is fording the creek.  If you don't mind water half way submerging your grill it's a fun way to get to the other side.  So you might be asking what is on the other side that's so important.  For us it's a very old and interesting cemetery called the Johnson Cemetery.  One could drive right by it and not know it's there as it is so concealed by it's natural surroundings.  It's the final resting place for many early inhabitants of the area.  One such fella is Ralph Johnson who is buried alongside his 3 wives and several children.  Check it out sometime but getting there won't be near the fun it once was.  Time will tell if the new bridge lasts over 120 years.  For us, the creaking, rattling and shaking will be just a memory.  Whoda' Thunk!!

 The above photo was taken from the Bridgemapper web page

This picture was taken 10/14/2012 and clearly shows progress being made on the new bridge.

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