Thursday, January 28, 2010

Road Trip (not a particularly "crafty" post)

I often talk about my trips back and forth to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  I was born in Bucks County, PA and my Dad still lives there.   Our younger son goes to college in New Jersey, not too far from my sister in Montclair, so I usually combine trips to college with visits to my Dad and my sister.  The route I take from Massachusetts takes me through Hartford, Connecticut on Route 84 and down through Westchester County, New York on Routes 684 and then 287 crossing the Hudson River on the Tappan Zee Bridge.

I have traveled this route many, many times and there are occasions where the traffic or weather is terrible but on this last trip it was a bright sunny day and the conditions were great.  I reached for my little "purse camera" (KIDS - don't try this at home!) and tried to shoot a few photos while I went over the bridge.  Call me crazy but the years of crossing this bridge and some of the stories I remember (such as the year it took nearly four hours to get from the 684/287 interchange to the bridge - a distance of about eleven miles!) are things that have significance to me and my family and I would like to include those memories in a scrapbook.

The bridge is just over three miles long. and most of it is low and close to the water but it rises dramatically on a cantilever span to a clearance of 138 feet over the water.  This photo is from the approach to the bridge and shows both the low and high sections.

Here is a view of the girders of the main span - just like a giant erector set.  Once again, it was a crazy whim to snap these photos but I actually had both my hands on the steering wheel along with the camera!  The bridge is seven lanes wide with a movable "spine" that is shifted back and forth to give more lanes in the prevailing commuting direction (eastbound in the morning and westbound in the evening).

The bridge is about 25 miles north of New York City and on a clear day you can see the skyline.  (One of the benefits of a good photo editing program is the ability to "clean up" a photo taken from a moving car!).  There is a lot of talk about a new bridge.  The Tappan Zee was opened in 1955 and was designed to last 50 years so it is on borrowed time.

I was thinking about the meaning of "Heritage" (can you guess what new cartridge I just received in the mail...?).  I am working on a project with this photo of my grandmother when she was about 18 years old.  While most people think of ancestry and family trees when they hear "heritage" there are all sorts of things that make up your family heritage - including stories about 11 mile long traffic jams on the Tappan Zee bridge!

I'll be back to crafty things tomorrow - thanks for listening to my "bridge story."


  1. Appreciate the pics Diane...I'm from the area and have traveled across the Tappan Zee many times. Still have a home in Northern NJ (not far from Montclair) but we're enjoying the SW this winter! TFS!!


  2. Thanks for sharing this Diane! I've never traveled this area and loved hearing (and seeing)about it. My dear Mom had a thing about bridges...she would be so nervous and squeezing her eyes shut the entire way across the bridge.
    Oh the stories that bridge could tell of the many who have crossed, hmmm?

  3. wow... my post disappeared on me. I don't know if it was entered or not, but I wanted to say that I think trips from our past (I have a bridge story too, but it was a pit stop bridge on the way back from my GP's lake cabin in Minnesota, so that's all I will say about that!!) are so very important to write about and include in our scrapbooks, kwim??

    btw, your Grandmother was a beautiful young lady!!!

    Thanks for sharing,


  4. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures. I have crossed the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan many many times and crossing them and looking out is a sight that ... is something words can't describe. Thanks for the pictures!

  5. It is a magnificent bridge! And your grandmother is quite lovely!

  6. Thanks for your bridge story. Reminds me that I need to go take pictures of one of our bridges. One that my Dad helped build. I'm bad about grabbing my little camera to take cloud pictures while driving. I do make sure traffic is light before doing so though. :o)


  7. Great pics! I'm excited to see what you do with Heritage because I just got it in the mail too!

  8. My sister Leslie thought that perhaps I had written the post about the mother who closes her eyes when she crosses a bridge. We have one of those mothers too! But, what I did think about was the bridge that we frequently cross to get to Madison, Indiana, across the Ohio River. Thousands use it daily. It was built in 1928--over 80 years old. There are efforts to get it replaced. If I weren't driving, I would close my eyes and cross my fingers and say a prayer. Thanks for sharing your bridge photos. Susan

  9. Diane, I enjoyed your bridge story and your grandmother is lovely. Such a small waist!. I love seeing old pics. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I loved your bridge story - makes me think I should take some pics of the bridge I cross going into Charleston, SC each time I go to see my grandson (and believe me over the past 6 years there have been NUMEROUS trips) - and I particularly loved the heritage picture of your grandmother! I seem to be getting more into the heritage side of scrapping lately!


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