Bridge of the Gods V

#679/5: Erosion // We descend...

Bridge of the Gods V
Image by David Greaves


We descend. The looming grandeur around us is dark, invisible; gods slumbering. Like thieves, we sneak into the Grand Canyon bound for the pivotal foot bridge at the bottom. I never knew the short, single-lane span by my grandmother's house as being for anything but pedestrians. A metal guardrail and bullet-pierced, rectangular sign closed its rusting girders and decaying cement roadbed to cars before my arrival. The water, maybe 20 feet below, would change from a creek to a floodplain with the weather and season. There was no other way to cross to visit the neighbors and grandma's wooded property on the other side. As kids, we would play on and under and around the bridge, throwing rocks and getting mud on our shoes, oblivious to what was stable and what precarious. The Bridge of the Gods connects two sides of the Pacific Crest Trail but makes no accommodations for hikers. Encountering them mid span, you must swerve around them as vastly differing timescales momentarily intersect. [The gods, I'm sure, find this hilarious.] A thick coat of paint covers the steel and rivets attempting to shift their longevity from one epoch to another. The older Grandma's bridge became, the greater the uncertainty. Stay in the center, away from the edges. As kids, we learned. As the sun rises, we can see the narrow, suspended crossing and sliver of river still far below. I don't know what to say, what I can say. I follow my daughter's confident lead, as if I know nothing.

*Visit Bridge of the Gods to read any of the previous 4 installments of the series.

Peter Nicholson

Peter Nicholson

Peter is a writer, multidisciplinary creative, and entrepreneur who founded Circa 250; Foresight Design Initiative, a sustainability-focused innovation consultancy; and Yoga Horizons, a yoga studio.

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