Collin J Örthner – Photographer

April 2, 2010

East Coulee Bridge

Another image from East Coulee. This bridge had been recently replaced by a much more modern and boring bridge, you can just see a tiny bit of it on the extreme right edge of the image, that could allow two vehicles to cross in opposing directions at one time. The older much more attractive bridge allowed for a more neighbourly attitude by drivers because you had to pull to the side and yield to oncoming traffic. This bridge also serviced trains as it had an embedded track. The thick wood planks that make up the driving lanes were perfect for doing brake stands as your tires would really howl and squeal and of course the wood would burn creating a lot of smoke. A lot of good memories with the old bridges – my brother and I used to hang out from the support beams and stare down when the river ice would break up in spring. If you stared at the moving ice long enough, without so much as a sideways glance, the sense of the ice standing still and us flying over it was truly great!! I recall one other time we were out quite awhile after dark when we heard a very alien sound coming closer and closer. We were a bit freaked out until we discovered it was just a bunch of Common Goldeneye ducks which make a very distinctive and eerie sound as the winds whistles through their wings. Our hearts eventually went back down to their normal rhythm! I talk like I lived here in East Coulee, when in fact I lived upstream in Rosedale which had an almost exact duplicate of this bridge. At least East Coulee had the smarts enough to preserve the beautiful old structure. Rosedale totally demolished theirs, but they can move traffic soooo much faster. Honestly the traffic jams in Rosedale (pop. 325) were an almost unbearable 15 -20 seconds, can you imagine the frustration!!

[Linhof 617, 90mm lens, Kodak TMax 100)

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