Monday, January 30, 2012

West Cornwall Covered Bridge, West Cornwall-Sharon, CT

The third and last covered bridge in Connecticut, the West Cornwall Covered Bridge, crossing the Housatonic about 20 miles north of Bulls Bridge, a covered bridge in Kent. If you're already headed to the Berkshires to see one of them, you might as well see the other. And as long as you're coming to see _those_, you might as well stop by the Cornwall Bridge, a huge arch bridge in the town named Cornwall Bridge. That's a different post, though.

Of the three covered bridges in Connecticut, this is the largest, though still not wide enough to let two cars pass inside. Wikipedia says the bridge was originally built in 1864. Covered bridges weren't terribly rare back then; if you're going to be building a wooden lattice bridge anyway, not much reason not to wall it in and put a peaked roof on it to protect the deck from the weather. According to the Connecticut Historic Bridge site, the state department of transportation concealed steel beams in the flooring (same as they did with the Comstock covered bridge) to keep it safe for traffic. During last year's tropical storm, the Housatonic became violent and deadly -- but the bridge weathered it without damage.

For all the businesses in West Cornwall with "Covered Bridge" in their names, you'd think there'd be better parking for tourists -- the other two covered bridges have loads. If you want to get out of the car and walk around, you'll have to park in some business' parking spot, or along the cul de sac that runs for a short way along the river.

Once you are parked, there's plenty of places from which to take great pictures. Just watch the traffic; this bridge does see heavy use.

The Appalachian Trail does not run through this bridge, but it's not far away. I'll talk more about that in my next post, when I write about Cornwall Bridge.

Not to be confused with West Cornwall Covered Bridge.

This was the last major bridge shoot I did with my point-and-shoot Canon G12. There's a small scrape on the lens that ruins every picture taken with it; I had to be really careful to keep the scrape outside of any picture detail. If you look for it, you can see it in both these shots. I really need to get that fixed. I understand there are kits that can maybe do it. It's a really handy camera with very powerful built-in software.

Since then, I've been using an older, but yet-unscratched, Canon EOS Rebel T1 camera. It's a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera that does hardly anything for you. That's also its strength. Since it doesn't know all the rules about taking pictures like the G12 does, I can break them if I need to. Plus it can shrink the aperture down to a pinhole, allowing some pretty cool effects in the right hands (not mine).

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