In which I walk across a river (but not Jesus-style)

August seems to be the month of the light purse, mostly thanks to The Ugly Brute…better known as my car. Or my damn stupid car, which has to be her most often used epithet.
With $500 in repairs this month, I have been given the golden opportunity for the launch of my new big girl budget…no iTunes, App Store, Amazon orders, kindle books or eating out. I’m gonna be a good girl and pack my work lunches and stay away from digital purchases. I have a big enough library of books, music, and apps already.
With this in mind I changed my additional Thing for August from going to the Kentucky State Fair to the Big Four Walking Bridge: the bridge is free. Also, everybody in the area has been going on about it and I decided it was high time to check it out and check off another item on my list.
For those of you not in Louisville/Southern Indiana area, the Big Four Bridge was railroad truss bridge built across the Ohio River built in the 1890s and closed in 1969, earning it the nickname “The Bridge That Goes Nowhere”. (And that isn’t a Diana Wynne Jones kind of Nowhere, either. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you read Fire and Hemlock.)
As a child, I always thought it was sad that such a unique bridge should abandoned…and in 2011 the governors of Kentucky and Indiana agreed with me. The Big Four is now a pedestrian and bike bridge, connecting Waterfront Park in Louisville to somewhere on Riverside Drive in Jeffersonville.

So, in August I did two things that I’ve never done before: sing karaoke and walk across a converted railroad bridge. It was fun; though getting lost in Portland because I took the wrong turn…was not. I have vowed never to venture into Louisville again without a GPS or a friend with better sense of direction than me. That shouldn’t be too hard, I could just close my eyes and grab one out of a line-up.
Anyway, once I eventually made it to Waterfront Park, it was getting rather late and my still-spooked-over-the-Portland-detour-parents made me promise to leave before it got dark. I figured that gave me an hour and decided to pass up exploring Waterfront Park in favor of walking the bridge on this trip. I hustled across the park, up the ramp and onto the bridge. Once on the bridge I slowed down and, as you can see below, started snapping pictures.

That’s the Belle of Louisville there in the corner.

View from Waterfront Park. The Big Four is still kinda the bridge that goes nowhere, as the Indiana ramps are not yet complete.

Looking across the Bridge itself. You can’t really tell from this picture, but even at 8 pm, the bridge was crowded! I waited for several minutes to get a picture without people…this is Louisville. You just never know!

Michael says I look sad here; I maintain that I’m just trying not to trip over my own feet while I get a picture of myself on the bridge.


Ah…the Sunny Side of the Ohio! I can’t wait for November: Catching Fire comes out and the city of Jeffersonville will complete the ramp!


Proof that I left before dark. I do have some sense…buried under that crazy creative, absent-minded artist side.
See that umbrella at the top of the ramp just before the bridge proper? That’s where I bought hotdogs, chips, cotton candy and soda from a stand; cotton candy being another item on my List. I don’t recall ever having it before and I can’t see myself ever buying it again. Nasty!

Categories: The List | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “In which I walk across a river (but not Jesus-style)

  1. I started laughing with the title and finally got myself under control. You are a terrific writer!


  2. KGH

    How cool! Maybe this will encourage people who live in IN and work in Louisville to bike commute. That could definitely help with traffic around there. We’re getting something similar here in Memphis. They are converting an old train bridge that links Tennessee and Arkansas, crossing the Mississippi, into a bike and pedestrian bridge. Come to Memphis and we can walk/bike it together!


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