Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cornwall Bridge, Cornwall Bridge, CT

That's not a typo. Cornwall Bridge is actually within the town of Cornwall Bridge. It carries Route 7 over the Housatonic, and is just a few miles south of West Cornwall Covered Bridge, the bridge from yesterday's post.

The Cornwall Bridge is a six span, open spandrel concrete arch bridge. It really sounds like I know what I'm talking about when I write that. It's a huge bridge, but crossing it by car, there is no clue as to its size or beauty. You have to stop the car and look over the side -- or drive down the steep hill past the tourist shop and the church and just be bedazzled.

I learned a few important things from this trip. First is, _charge your camera battery_. I don't know why I didn't. I thought of it the night before and that very morning, but just assumed I'd have enough charge. I didn't. The camera was gasping along on fumes here. It'd shut off. I'd wait a few seconds and turn it on and get another shot or two. It would shut off again. I managed to make it through this bridge, but it totally gave up the ghost on the next stop in New Milford at the Lover's Leap Bridge. I had to rely on my phone's camera for most of those shots. And then it ran out of power, too.

So, lesson learned. If you're going to drive a couple of hours to get someplace beautiful, and you have a full slate of bridges to photograph as well as a hike, make sure you are _prepared_. I didn't prepare then.

Maybe lesson not learned. I rode my bike five miles in the wrong direction this morning because I didn't check my map carefully enough. Late for work, too.

If you plan to visit the Cornwall Bridge in Cornwall Bridge, you can park at the foot of the bridge itself, as the creepy pickup truck with its lights on was doing in the second picture. What was up with that. Or, you can park up top at the trailhead to the Mohawk Trail. Which I did.

The Mohawk Trail climbs Breadloaf Mountain and joins at the summit to the Appalachian Trail. It's entirely possible to take the trail from here, all the way south to Bulls Bridge and then leave Connecticut at that point for New York, keep hiking, and come eventually to the Bear Mountain Suspension Bridge over the Hudson. I would love to do that someday -- just hike the Appalachian Trail for a few days.

This far south, the Berkshires aren't really a mountain range; more a series of tall hills, yet the hike is fairly strenuous. It's well marked, but don't expect the paths to be to the well-trod level of the ones up at Shenipsit State Park. The trail is steep and rocky and you will be grabbing at trees to help get up and back down again.

Summit of Breadloaf Mountain
But when you do get to the top -- heaven. The panorama above was taken with my phone; the sunlight reflected off the scrape on my Canon's lens in such a way as to ruin every shot. It's hard to get a good shot of the Housatonic River valley far below. The summit is cleared out with plenty of bare rock on which to build a fire; many, many hikers likely have done just that.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is a beautiful bridge. From the picture, it almost seems a shame more people can't see it from angles you have shown!