The muddy, churning water rushes by. And No Hands Bridge watches. It’s not the tallest (that would be the Foresthill Bridge, at 730 feet ), it doesn’t carry cars home every day (two other nondescript bridges complete that task), and it no longer carries railroad cars, just hikers and horses. It isn’t even straight: angling across the river from bank to bank.
|lake No Hands!|
But it has lasted. Built in 1912, officially the Mountain Quarries Railroad Bridge. At the time the longest concrete railroad bridge in the world. It is old (for California). This state is so new to permanent structures. And has so many ways to destroy them: earthquake and fire, flood and heat. Beneath this water rest the bones of other bridges, concrete and rebar, twisted and broken.
|old bridge abutment|
But until then No Hands Bridge looks down on the muddy waters, remembers its reflection, and stands tall.