Kinzua Bridge - The Dainty Squid

Kinzua Bridge

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Last Monday Jeff had the day off work for Martin Luther King Day. The original plan was to head to Rochester for our annual abandoned subway adventures but at the last minute our friends weren't able to make it. While we still have a lot of things to do around the apartment, we were both aching for an adventure. Somehow talk of Kinzua Bridge came up and we decided to drop Klaus off at my parents for the day, and take the three hour drive just to see a big pile of rust.

Kinzua Bridge is located in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. It was originally built in 1882, and billed as the "Eight Wonder of the World". For two years it even held the record for tallest railroad bridge! In less than twenty years the bridge needed some serious updates to accommodate for the heavier weight of modern trains and the materials they were carrying. The bridge was rebuilt, and used on and off for quite a few more years. In 2002 all traffic on the bridge was halted due to the poor condition of important structural elements. (This is obviously a very brief history, if you're interested in reading more there are tons of sites with the all the details a quick google search away!)

On July 21, 2003, a tornado struck the Kinzua Bridge causing eleven of the twenty towers to collapse. Instead of rebuilding, which would has cost approximately 45 million dollars, the state decided to turn it into a visitor attraction. In 2011 the Kinzua Sky Walk, a pedestrian walkway to an observation deck with a glass floor, opened.

Quarter found below the bridge from someone who probably tossed it to make a wish.

I had actually visited the bridge back in 2012 (you can find some photos from that trip here!) but didn't really do too much exploring around the area. We basically walked out to the observation deck, took a peek, and left. These days I'm a quite a bit different. I'm certainly not as lazy, and definitely more inclined to want to get a closer look at things. Needless to say, after checking everything out from above, Jeff and I hiked to the bottom to get a better look.

Unlike my first visit, where the park was jam packed with people, we were one of only two groups of people there. It was awesome! We hiked down the crazy steep hill which was pure agony to get back up after we were done, and wandered around the massive ruins. I took so many photos but ultimately was disappointed in what I shot. There is just no way to capture how incredible this all is to see in person, and how tiny you feel beside it. Seeing it from above it almost looks like a model but as soon as you start to get closer you realize just how big it all is. I think the photo above the one of the quarter puts it in perspective, at least a little bit, when you spot the tiny person in the right corner.

I was a little nervous about taking such a long drive just to take a few photos, and return home the same day but it ended up totally being worth it!

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11 thoughts

  1. I just want to say that I've only been reading your blog for a few days but you inspire me so much! Seeing someone with similar strange interests (teeth and oddities!) makes me feel more confident in my own strange loves. You've also sparked a wild urge to go exploring more. Keep doing the lovely things you do!

  2. This is so cool! I had no idea this existed. Day trips are so fun and I do miss having a car to just jump in and go - most of the good stuff is not readily accessible by public transit. I need to take a road trip soon!

  3. Very 'end of the world' vibe there!

  4. This is so cool and kinda eerie. It makes me think of some futuristic movie that takes place after the fall of humanity or something.

  5. I remember back in the 80's when you could walk the all the way across. I was terrified!!! I just stood at the end and cried. Oh how I've changed. ;)

    1. Gah! That's so cool! Wish I could have visited before.

  6. That place seems really neat. I've never even heard about it. Also, so jealous of your not-so-snowy weather. Definitely makes exploring more appealing!

  7. i used to love riding the train across the bridge. literally cried when i heard about the tornado taking the bridge down. that said, it was wonderful to see your photos! incredible! thank you so much for sharing.

  8. I'm happy you took your three hour ride! Amazing photos! We take day trips often that are three hours away. They end up being the most amazing trips!


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