Sunday, October 14, 2012

My 80-year-old dad and a 90-year-old bridge

My dad will be 80 years young tomorrow. He and Mom came to visit us for a few days. What a treat! It's hard for Mark and me to travel to him on his birthday, because it always happens during our teaching time.

 On Friday we took them out to lunch at Bob's Red Mill. Yes, they needed their hats. It's finally raining here in Oregon City. We went almost 4 months with no measurable precipitation!!

 Is it just me, or are these the cutest great-grandparents you've seen lately? I adore my parents. (Except for that day my dad spanked me when I was 16...of course I was being a brat that day! But we're not going there. Water under the bridge.) Like I said, I adore these two.

 Speaking of water under the bridge, the Oregon City-West Linn Bridge reopened this weekend! Cars will be able to drive over it again beginning tomorrow. It's been closed for 15 l-o-n-g months. Really made us appreciate our bridge in these parts. So the community held a 3-day celebration because we are sooooo happy about our bridge reopening! We all went to check it out yesterday. Dad was glad to see that something older than him was looking so good.

 But it's better than just getting our bridge back. Along with all the structural stuff they had to do to keep a 90-year-old as strong as new, the Department of Transportation spiffed it up a bit, too. Like adding these cool lights along the way.

 It's on the National Historic Register, so they couldn't really change these railings, even though a small child could fall through. But they could add the steel loops between the uprights to make it safe and historic. Win-win. Plus it looks like you could maybe attach your bicycle to the steep loops.

The weather was forecast for rain, but it was a beautiful autumn day. This view from the bridge is looking upstream (south) toward Willamette Falls. Paddlers in the foreground.

 Looking up through the overhead arch.

Another upstream view - Willamette Falls in the background, with paper mills in between. (The mill on the left, on the OC side, is closed and will be dismantled. Wonder what kind of cool park or tourist destination will be there in a few years...)

My hunk, contemplating the downstream view.

Partway back across the bridge, my mom pulled into this little alcove. No one seemed to know what it was for. (I later read on Wikipedia (under "history" at the link) that it was to give space for a stairway to a lower level restroom. The restrooms were removed years ago due to vandalism, so now it's just a little alcove with a wall that seems a little high for viewing the river below.)

 Dad found a great use for the alcove!
 Granddaughter Kat had joined us for the outing. She and Nana are almost back to the elevator (vertical structure in the background).

One last moment on the bridge with Kat. (Did you notice that she's borrowing the sweatshirt I always wear?) Welcome back to our daily lives, dear Oregon City-West Linn Bridge!!


Dorothy said...

Oh, Kathy, NICE pictures! Thanks for sharing some of the details of the bridge repair and re-opening. I may not get down there very soon to see if myself, so I appreciate the sneak preview! :)

Dorothy said...

And I forgot to DO have darling parents. I'm glad to say that I know them!

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Glad to see the pictures. I would have loved to be there, but would not have done very well if I had been there. ;-)

Katie Lewis said...

Hooray! And Happy Birthday to Granddad!

Elizabeth Aley said...

Hooray for the bridge opening - 15 months is a very long time. I love down town Oregon City...It has been awhile since I have visited (Last June - nice to see the place again).

Your parents are super cute. I love the kissing photo - so very sweet.

Hope you are well.