Kuskulana Bridge - II




If you've been following us, the picture above might seem familiar.  If you haven't, the above picture is of the Kuskalana River Bridge that one has to take to reach the town of  McCarthy as well as the Kennecott copper mill town in Wrangall- St. Elias National Park. 
Ever since I first learned about the trip, Dr. Carriker has hyped up the trip with this same picture.  He claimed that it was over 100 years old and that it was made completely from wood and that it had never been updated.  Well this bridge has been one of the focuses of the trip for me and I was really excited to finally see it in person.  Being one of the six student drivers, it was my dream to personally drive across the bridge.  In finally seeing it in person I was not disappointed, from this same vantage point its massiveness was apparent.  However, upon closer inspection the bridge was made from steel, which was somewhat comforting!  Glenn, our guide for our entire stay in Wrangell-St. Elias, said that until ten years ago, the one lane bridge had no railing, meaning you were one swerve away from plummeting 238 feet into the river below.
Dr. Carriker was in fact telling the truth about its age, the bridge was completed in 1910.  Its completion was quite a feat!  The men and women that worked to complete the bridge worked throughout winter in -50 degree weather!  Imagine being suspended over 200 feet in the air over a raging river in that type of weather!  Not something I can easily comprehend, but beyond impressive nonetheless.  The bridge served as the only route of transportation to the mining town during the early 1900s.  It was first created as a railway for the transportation of the ore out of Kennecott.
My dreams of driving over the river were squashed, as we had to be transported to McCarthy by Glenn and Phillip, both workers for the National Park Service. However, crossing it the first time was just as thrilling as I had hoped, even though I didn't drive it myself!  The news Glenn shared with us soon after made my entire day!  Below the main road was a catwalk, open to the public!  
Did HOMers cross the catwalk?  OF COURSE WE DID!!!!!!!!
The following video is actual footage of our catwalk adventure!  The furry creature in the video is Quilliam Athabascus III, master furrier.  More featuring him to come.  We were told before hand that it was quite slippery, and we needed three points of contact at all times.  In the making of this video my life was at risk one time, by my own fault, and I quickly realized how slippery it actually was.  Luckily I caught myself, and fortunately the videographer did not capture the hideous face I made in sheer terror!  Also note that in the pure excitement of crossing the bridge I forgot information I had just said correctly a little under two minutes before.  I find it quite comical, but please forgive my blunders!

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