My stroll yesterday actually took me down to where the oldest suspension bridge resides west of the Mississippi. It is the Mosquito Bridge which crosses the South Fork of the American River. The road to the bridge is long and winding as seen in this photo.It sits halfway between the town of Placerville and the area known as Mosquito. If you look again at this photo, the bridge is at the lower left. If you follow the road from the bridge there is a series of switchbacks that take you up from the canyon. At the upper right you will notice a retaining wall. This is where the road collapsed in the winter of 2005-06.
The original bridge was built back in 1867. The bridge in those days swung when one crossed it, and it had no sides. Here is a photo of the bridge from 1914, courtesy of the State of California Library. The photo was from the collection of E.F. Mueller’s postcard collection.
The bridge is an amazing piece of construction as you can see from this side view of the bridge.Here is another side view from the approach on the road. And the views in the canyon of the river are amazing. Here are two photos: One looks west and the other east. Check out the decking on this bridge. The river right now is very low. In the spring, the run off from the Sierras flow down this riverbed. In the winter of 2005-06 when the road washed out the water was just underneath the decking on this bridge. My guess is that the height of the water reached about 30 feet. My one regret is that while I have seen photos, I cannot provide one for you. Here are some of the beautiful boulders that adorn the riverbed today. If you find yourself in Placerville, I suggest you make the trip to drive over this historic bridge. I have to warn you though: If you are prone to getting carsick, then this trip is not for you!
Now go and have a great Sunday! We will be glued to the television later today as the 49er’s will be playing the Ravens in the football game whose name cannot be used due to copyright. Go Niner’s! Thanks for stopping by!