Return to First Page
The Keatings Tour California - Part 2
|Knights Ferry 05-50-01|
|Knights Ferry Interior with Liz|
|Knights Ferry Sign|
|Wawona Bridge 05-22-01|
On Sunday, June 1st, we left Felton for Yosemite National Park,
stopping at Knights Ferry covered bridge along the way. Knights Ferry
is, at 360 ft (span length), the longest covered bridge west of the
Mississippi. There is a possibility that it was deigned by Ulysses
Grant, later Civil War General and President of the US. I like the
picture of Liz walking thru the bridge.
The bridge is part of a complex
of several historic buildings maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers,
which was given responsibility for the bridge in a 1981 law, but did not
get title to it until 1985. Upon receiving title, the Army realized that the bridge
needed repairs and called upon the famous Graton covered bridge company
for a thorough review of the bridge. We saw a short film in which all three
of the Gratons, patriarch, Milton, son Arnold, and grandson JR were
interviewed and shown working on repairing the bridge
The visitor center is open seven days a
week(we were there on a Sunday). On the day we were visiting, it was staffed
by a husband and wife volunteer couple. There was a loose leaf binder book
at the counter with pictures and directions to all of California's covered bridges.
There was also a covered bridge exhibit in the visitor center, with a California
map and pictures of several authentic cbs. Sunday afternoon we arrived in
Oakhurst for our eight- night stay.
On June 2 we visited the Wawona covered
bridge, see scans of sign and bridge with whitewater. I climbed down to the
riverbank to get the view with the whitewater. Liz took the two front view pictures.
The shuttle bus driver told us that when the park service asked for bids on
repairing the bridge after flood damage, that there only a few companies
with the expertise to repair it. According to signs and information at
park exhibits, there have been several floods that damaged the bridge.
One in 1955 did so much damage that a proposal was put forward to
replace the covered bridge with a steel/concrete bridge (see collected
covered bridge articles, California, on this website for more info). I
have attached a flood meter sign at the Merced River Sentinel
footbridge(located in the valley, over the main Merced). I didn't see
any flood signs at the Wawona bridge. The Wawona bridge is one of three
inside National Park units and we have now seen all three(others at Valley Gorge,
Pa. and Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mich.). I purchased a National Parks
Senior Pass for $10. The pass is good for as long as I live and
provides free admission to almost all National Parks. If you are 62 or
older I highly recommend it.
On June 3, we walked trails in the
valley--see scan of Yosemite Falls. The Wawona bridge is over the South
Fork of the Merced river which joins the Merced outside Yosemite Park.
I actually took a raft trip on the Merced river, starting outside the park and
went past the point where the South Fork joins up with the main river, on
June 4. Sorry, I don't have any pictures, since my camera isn't waterproof.
Our raft went thru some serious whitewater, including one spot where one
of the four rafts in our group went straight up in the air and all of the passengers
fell out. Our guide began giving all these orders to us--forward
paddle!--Back paddle--right turn--left turn-- so we could rescue
people. As it turned out, all but one got back into their own raft and
that one, a boy of about 9, got into a raft next to us. Our raft recovered two
paddles. This was my first raft trip on a covered bridge river. Liz
says that I am crazy. She stayed at the motel and did laundry.
On June 5, we rode the Yosemite Mountain
Sugar Pine RR.
Afterwards we walked some trails and visited
the famous Ahwahnee hotel. I took a picture of Liz at the entrance. Also, see scan
of us and Half Dome from Glacier Point.
Yosemite Falls, Upper & Lower
|Wawona Bridge Sign
Merced River Flood Sign
|Yosemite Mountain Railroad
Yosemite Mountain RR car with Liz
|Half Dome with Liz & Tom
Return to top
Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 08/02/2008