Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This Is Our Local Mountain

Last October, immediately after climbing Enchanted Rock, we were enjoying lunch and a beer at a beer garden in Fredericksburg, Texas. As we relaxed and recovered from the hike and climb, my daughter had the nerve to ask, "What we were going to do next?" Grams was incredulous. Couldn't we just bask in the glow of our recent accomplishment? "Boy" I thought to myself, "I just met a major goal, couldn't I just rest on my laurels?"

But once I recuperated I realized my daughter was right. Grams needed something new and challenging to work toward. Since then, we've been looking around for a new challenge. I think I've found it. We're going to walk across the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge. The bridge has fascinated me since we moved to Corpus Christi in 1964 and I've always wanted to stand at the top and look around.

The Harbor Bridge is the second tallest bridge in Texas, and has a span of 620 feet. It was was built between 1954 and 1959. The entire bridge is 5,818 feet long, rising to a road deck height of 138 feet above the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. That will make the round-trip walk a little more than 2 miles.

The bridge had only been open about 5 years when we moved here and it seemed gigantic to then 10-year-old me. My parents had six kids and not much money. Gasoline was cheap, so driving was something we could afford to do. This was one of our favorite drives. We would go across the bridge and causeway to Portland where we visited friends. Then, after dark, we would make the drive back across the bridge into Corpus Christi . The expanse of lights across the city was always beautiful and was especially enchanting for us "country folk" who had just moved to the big city.

The pedestrian walkway on the bridge is often closed for safety and security reasons. After all this bridge spans the entry to the 6th largest port in the United States. It is the gateway to a huge petrochemical industry and a strategic military port. It was closed to walkers for several years after September 11. The walkway is really designed for emergency use only and not really intended for recreational walking. But it provides spectacular views of the City of Corpus Christi, the Port of Corpus Christi and Corpus Christi Bay.

Thanks to Facebook, I found a group called "We Walked the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge and Survived." The above photo of the walkway is from their New Year's Day walk. They have recently organized the "First Sunday Bridge Walk." They're going to walk across the Harbor Bridge the first Sunday of each month at 9 a.m. We're going to join the group for their walk on March 7. Once again, I'll be accompanied by my daughter, Katy and my son-in-law, Travis. I've also invited my son, Nick, and daughter-in-law, Marie, to join us.

To quote Anna Herring who walked the bridge on New Year's Day "This is our local mountain so I like to climb mountains wherever I find them."

Watch this space in March for photos from our walk. And, if you're interested, come walk with us.

2 comments:

  1. That sounds like so much fun! I'll be in Egypt in March, accomplishing my own goals, but would love to walk that bridge someday! Glad to see you climbing your mountains, and yes, the next question is: WHAT is your NEXT GOAL after that?? =) Whoohoo! (a quieter whoohoo in case you just woke up! ;-)

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