Thursday, December 10, 2015

Covered Bridges ... the Treasure of Rural America


As we travel across America, we have loved seeing covered bridges.  Covered bridges are a pretty part of American history.

Wikipedia has one of the best and most user friendly list of covered bridges.  There is a separate list for each state; with a short description and history of each bridge.

Covered bridges cause me to dream of a simpler time.  A time before speeding cars race down roads; when the speed of a horse drawn carriage is fast enough to get the traveler wherever they want to go.
Covered bridges have been called “kissing bridges”; presumably because they offer just the right amount of privacy for the perfect kiss with your true love. 

Today we appreciate the aesthetics of these lovely structures—but they were created for more than beauty. There are several practical reasons for the covered bridge.  Covered bridges made it possible to cross raging rivers.  The bridges provide a roof and walls to protect the wood trusses.   
Covered bridges last more than three times longer than the ordinary bridges—probably because they protect the structure and supports against the elements. 
It is said, necessity is the mother of invention.  Covered bridges would help horses and livestock cross the waterways peacefully.  The walls and “floors” of these bridges kept the animals from going over the edge or stampeding to the promise of green grass just ahead.  Often covered bridges are in areas with inclement weather.  
The bridges keep snow off during the winter and rain during a storm.  I could imagine these bridges provided a refuge to the weary weathered traveler.  When we visited the covered bridges in Indiana we discovered an unexpected benefit to the covered bridge.  These bridges provide shade from the heat of the day. 
Covered bridges are examples of great historic architecture.
Covered bridges are American treasures. 
Covered bridges are an amazing sight to see in the fall.  The colored leaves against the wooden bridges, beg for a love story to be written. 
We enjoy touring the covered bridges across America.  As we travel, there are so many differences in the landscapes and yet covered bridges are similar in regardless of the state.

Regardless of the reason, covered bridges are considered romantic by many people.  Covered bridges inspire poets, painters and song writers.
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