A Tale of Two Bridges

25 April 2004

It was a beautiful, sunny and warm Sunday morning. Just the kind of day that invites you to fling off your shoes and get your toes wet in the creek. Yes, it was time again to install the two seasonal bridges across Aptos Creek: one at the Pourroy Picnic Area and the other a short distance downstream from Georges Picnic Area. This has been an annual rite of spring in the park for years.

Barbi Barry and Tim Reynolds from State Parks muscle a bridge section into place.
Barbi Barry and Tim Reynolds from State Parks
muscle a bridge section into place.

One section of the modular bridge.
One section of the modular bridge.

The construction crew. L to R: Margrite Weaver, Greg Weaver, Aaron Deich, Tim Reynolds, Mike Hammes, Barbi Barry and Chris Foster. Not shown: Tanya Larson and Jeff Thomson.
The construction crew. L to R: Margrite Weaver,
Greg Weaver, Aaron Deich, Tim Reynolds,
Mike Hammes, Barbi Barry and Chris Foster.
Not shown: Tanya Larson and Jeff Thomson.

After consuming hot coffee and donuts in the main parking lot, our group of 9 volunteers charged down to the creek. Under the direction of Barbi Barry and Tim Reynolds from state parks, our crew quickly placed the sections of bridge to be assembled and laid out our tools. The bridge is composed of eight pre-made sections, each six feet in length. As the bridge is assembled, section by section, at least six volunteers at a time are in the water inserting and tightening bolts or hammering support poles into the creek bed. As you might imagine it's a messy job - but a load of fun!

Our intrepid crew started the first bridge about 9:30AM and finished a couple of hours later. After a break for lunch we drove ourselves and our tools up to Georges Picnic Area and headed back down to the creek for some more fun in the water. In quick order the bridge parts were hauled down to the creek bank and by 3PM bridge number two was up and being used by a few lucky park users who just happened to come along at the right time.

The hearty souls who participated in this work day were Chris Foster, Mike Hammes, Greg and Margrite Weaver, Jeff Thomson, Aaron Deich and Tanya Larson. This was Aaron's first time at one of our work days and we really hope to see him back. This was Tanya's second time volunteering for a project in the park and she was awesome. The way she stepped confidently into the creek and started bolting the bridges together, you'd think she does this sort of stuff everyday! Representing State Parks were Barbi Barry, Maintenance Supervisor for the South Sector and Tim Reynolds.

Jeff Thomson, Advocates of Nisene Marks