Friday, February 1, 2008

Photo Hunt--Theme: Narrow

See this narrow suspension bridge which crosses the Carbon River in the northwest corner of Mt. Rainier National Park. It is part of the Wonderland Trail, which circles the mountain for approximately 90 miles, and also part of the trail to the Carbon Glacier.
But if you think that the suspension bridge is narrow, check out this bridge farther down the river. This is part of a series of bridges that cross in this part of the river. The Carbon is a "braided" river, as the streambed consists of meandering channels that separate various small islands, and sometimes change their course. If you notice the milky color of the water, it is called "glacial flour", and is typical of rivers and streams that are glacier fed. As the glacier grinds down its bed, sediment is released into the water, making the glacial flour. Glacier fed rivers tend to be very fast running and wild.

In November of 2006, storms dumped 18 inches of rain on the Park in 36 hours. The Carbon River was one area which flooded, wiping out this log bridge among others in that area, the road, and part of the Ipsut Creek campground. These two pictures were taken in August of 2006 when we camped there with the grandkids.
This similar but much shorter log bridge on Frying Pan Creek in the Northeast corner of the Park shows a bit better how these bridges are constructed. Frying Pan Creek is another glacial stream which is fed by the Frying Pan Glacier, and flows into the White River, whose main source is the large Emmons Glacier.
Do not distract me when I cross one of these log bridges. Do not jump on the bridge. In fact, do not step onto the bridge until I am across. I do not look around. I do not look up. I do not look down. I look straight at the log in front of me. I do not let go of the rail. This log bridge is on a trail which crosses the Nisqually River, which is fed by the Nisqually Glacier and is located in the Southwest corner of the park.

One more narrow bridge--this one is located on the Ohanapecosh River in the southeast corner of the Park. The Ohanapecosh River is a clear non-glacial river. Although it runs swiftly, it is not nearly as turgid as the others. Wouldn't you know that it has the bridge with two handrails?

These four log bridges from the four corners of Mt. Rainier National Park represent many such bridges in the back country of the park as well. I can't imagine hiking into some of the areas where trails must cross bridges like these carrying the materials to build them. They can't just cut down a tree on the site to do it--it is a wilderness area and protected. I think that sometimes the materials are brought in by helicopter.

26 comments:

Blue said...

What terrific trails.
Havent' hiked in the States, but done some in the Canadian Rockies & on Vancouver Island.

Blue

YTSL said...

Great pictures! Incidentally, have some photos of a narrow suspension bridge myself and was thinking of posting them this week but ended up going for something else altogether... ;b

Nessa said...

See the water under the bridges? See me floating down stream? I fall, go boom.

bonnie said...

You take the prize on the best bridge pictures I've ever seen. Talk about unique!. I've been on that first bridge. I thought my husband was going to lose his lunch on it, but I just love love love the others.

Andrée said...

This is a stunning post. My hikes there would be short, indeed. You have found a way to get across but I don't think it would work for me. We have to hike down our chasms (they are not as wild and deep as yours) and back up. I'm actually grateful for that.

ian said...

niiiice! i admire the guts and the will of outdoor-sy people... but i'm staying in my urban jungle, thank you very much =]

ellen b. said...

Those are beautiful photos for narrow. Would love to see them in person...

Patricia said...

Katney, I LOVE this post. Your photos and the information are wonderful. I would have a very difficult time crossing some of those bridges. Yikes! Hope your weekend is delightful and that you have time to stop by the creek.

Yen said...

The first photo is a great shot! Amazing place too! Come visit my entry:)

Karen said...

Okay, you win. That has got to be the narrowest bridge I've ever seen. And I'm with you, do not distract me while I'm crossing! lol

Write From Karen

leslie said...

Great shots but I think I'd be a bit unsure of myself getting over those log bridges. :D

Utah Mommy said...

Wow! Whatta great narrow passage way, these photos are perfect for the theme! Happy weekend!
NARROW FEED THE ROAD

jams o donnell said...

Wow that must be an amazing place to hike. Great shots. Happy weekend!

Jessica said...

You are very brave to have crossed that tiny frail bridge! Great photos for the them this week! Hope all is well!

Siani said...

That looks a beautiful place. The bridges look scary, though. I could only cross the one with the double handrail - I'd be too nervous on the others, especially as I have a balance problem. Have a lovely weekend!

Andrea said...

It is beautiful but NOPE, not for me.

Dragonstar said...

Yes ... Well ... Great shots, but I think I'll stay where I am, thank you!

lowdawgs said...

I love hikes~! I would love to hike the one with the narrow bridges.

;~)KimKca (lowdawgs)

PastorMac's Ann said...

Wow these are amazing. I can hardly believe that one with just a log and a handle. Those ARE really narrow. Great picks for The Hunt.

Must be an amazing place to see in person.

ipanema said...

i love your narrow bridges! beautiful and thanks for the informative post. well done! :)

thanks for the visit. :)

denz said...

wow! you have a very nice picture and I love the way you put consistency of the picture, indeed you have a great post! keep it up!!!

here's mine:
photohunt-1
photohunt-2
Happy Weekend Everyone!!!

Colin Campbell said...

Beautiful. I lived in Washington State in the 1980s, but did not do too much travelling. I went over some scary bridges when I lived in Nepal. Very nice.

Paulie said...

You have the best photo! I'm glad you joined Photo Hunt!

Kathryn Tempest said...

those are some wonderful bridges.... so beautiful... not that I'd ever feel safe crossing them!

Janet said...

those narrow log bridges I'd have no problem with...they don't move! The other? EEK!

ANNA-LYS said...

YES, that is in line with my thoughts on Love as a Bridge, fragile but You must trust and hang on to it, other ways You wont go further .... :-)