9-10-10: Cornish, Plainfield, Claremont, Newport, New Hampshire

My facination (obsession) with covered bridges continues. After my recent trip to Bath, New Hampshire, where I photographed three great bridges of the past, I had a hankerin’ for some more. Thus, I packed up my gear and headed to Cornish, the home of 4 well preserved covered bridges.

First we stopped by Blacksmith Shop Covered Bridge. A really old looking bridge, certainly not updated wood nor structure since twenty or so years ago. It was facinating. It had a great worn down sign on the top that read “PASS AT YOUR OWN RISK”. I’ve never seen such a warning on a covered bridge before. This bridge was unique because it had been built for the use of one family who lived and worked on the opposite side of the river. Hence the name “blacksmith shop”. I also found some great cellarholes and shop foundations up the hill near where the above photo was taken. The bridge is closed to traffic.

I then visited the Dingleton Hill Covered Bridge, which is still in use. I stopped by the Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge nearby, which has a great historical stream and cavern that is quite intimidating to try and work around. It had a really neat pumphouse next to it which probably pumped water up to the homes on the other side of the bridge.

After kneeling on a ledge to get a good bridge shot (which I didn’t) I stood up and placed my foot near the edge. A rock broke off, and fell beneath me. After a few seconds I heard the ancient granite shatter upon impact on the bottom of the cavern. A close call to be sure. Jaime and me then headed to the crown jewel of Cornish bridges, the Cornish-Windsor.

This is the longest two span covered bridge in the US. It was really cool to go over the bridge and land in Vermont. I might be exaggerating, but the feeling of going from one political designation to another was like entering a new country. People were hanging around outside the Cumberland Farms, their clothing, architectural styles, and mannerisms seemed to be quite different. Even the streetlights were the old fashioned ones. After picking up some drinks, we headed back over the bridge to the Shire.
After a really crappy GPS detour down a logging road which I had to back out of, we made our way around to Plainfield, New Hampshire where we encountered the Mill River Covered Bridge.

it had a sweet gorge, where a neat stream of water flowed through, filling a small pool for swimming in the summer. I got some great shots of the waterfall beneath the covered bridge.

So at this point, we’re tired. We’ve been up since 4am and driving ever since. I figured we would go freestyling, and check out a city in New Hampshire that up until a week or so ago, I didn’t know existed: Claremont, New Hampshire.

It was a cool little city, with really great architecture that I got a bunch of photos of. I also took a photo of a fantastic diner in downtown. I wasn’t sure if the diner was built into the building, or if the building was built around the diner. Either way, old school, and I dig that.

Not even close to being done, after a slamming of my brakes when I saw another covered bridge sign coming out of Claremont, we headed down a really crappy road to find two covered bridges, but very different than anything I’ve ever shot.

A railroad covered bridge over the Sugar River. NH DOT says this is actually in Newport, New Hampshire, a neighboring town to Claremont. These bridges are obviously being worked on. There was a porterpotty that was disrupting most photos I could take of the Pier Covered Bridge. After some searching and a loop back through Claremont, we found the second covered bridge, but unfortunately it was in the process of being refurbished.

I’ve been told that there’s 4 covered bridges in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Looks like I’m headed there next time :evil laugh:

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