Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bear Mountain Bridge, Cortlandt Manor-Bear Mountain, NY

It's probably the best bridge picture I've ever taken. It was a colossal accident. I'd brought my bike with me to Bear Mountain, had parked in the commodious parking lot of the Bear Mountain Inn and was riding over the bridge, beneath the bridge, over to Fort Collins, up behind the skating rink -- you can see the pictures I took in the collage at the bottom of this post.

The Appalachian Trail crosses the bridge and continues on through a small zoo and museum on the western side. It's a pretty cool museum. They have a lot of local animals, including a zoo-raised bald eagle. Anyway, I was riding along, avoiding tourists as best I could, stopped to take a picture of a statue of Walt Whitman and a rock on which was carved part of his Song of the Open Road, from his famous Leaves of Grass.

Which is a really weird book.

Anyway, the path started tending steeply down to a boat landing. I started down it, but wasn't eager to coast all the way down and then have to granny gear it back up, so I clambered over the rocks so I could see what was at the bottom.

Nearly jumped when I saw this old bronze elk head mounted there. And then was all ooo and aaa over this absolutely amazing view of the Bear Mountain Bridge crossing the Hudson.

It was my last shot of the trip. I wanted to take the Appalachian Trail up to the top of Bear Mountain, but I was concerned to be caught in the dark up on the mountain.

Apart from the bridge itself and the zoo/museum, there's a lake with boat rentals nearby, the Bear Mountain Inn, a carousel, a visitor's center on the site of Fort Montgomery, hiking, biking, yet more bridges, swimming in the summer and skating in the winter.

The Hudson has some of the most beautiful bridges. The Tappan Zee (I know, falling apart but I still consider it beautiful), the George Washington, the Sleepy Hollow bridge, the Newburgh-Beacon bridge in certain lights -- but nothing shouts BRIDGE! like an old suspension bridge.

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