Homer's Travels: The Illinois Central Swing Bridge - Best In Black & White

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Illinois Central Swing Bridge - Best In Black & White

I took my first walk since the Steamboat Trace hike today.  I decided to keep it local and short, crossing the pedestrian bridge into Iowa and going north on the Iowa Riverfront Trail.  My goal was an old train swing bridge  crossing the Missouri River and a nearby geocache which would result in a 5.22 mile round trip walk.

The weather was nice for a walk but it was a bit hot and there wan't any shade along this bike/hike trail.  I reached the geocache first and located R.R. over the Mo. with little difficulty.

After signing the cache log and dropping of the geocoin I'd picked up on the Steamboat trace I headed for the swing bridge.  I was expected to run into a fence and/or No Trespass signs but to my surprise you could walk right up to the bridge.  The bridge is in two parts.  The Nebraska side is fixed and extends just over half way across the river.  The other part is pivoted so that it is parallel to the Iowa side of the river.

Nebraska side of the swing bridge.
I started taking pictures but ran into problems because the bridge was so big it was hard to take it all in.  I tried to make a mosaic but the final result was not satisfactory.  I decide to take closeups of the mechanisms instead.  As I was processing the raw images I found myself converting most of the pictures to black & white. Black & white brings something out of old structures and give them depth and interest.

Bridge Gear.
I could have climbed up the bridge if I'd wanted to.  There was a metal frame someone had leaned against the stone bridge pedestal that could have been used as a makeshift ladder.  As I contemplated this I realized it would be easier to climb up than climb down so I kept my feet planted firmly on the sandy beach under the bridge.

The wheels of the bridge go round and round ...
I'll have to come back, possibly on the Nebraska side to see if I can get more pictures of this fascinating  100+ year old bridge.   The rest of the pictures can be found here.


  1. It's a shame they don't build things in black and white any more. I know people like everything in color, but there's something appealing about life back in the day when the world was monochrome. ;)

    Kidding aside, awesome pictures. I look forward to the day when I can do a five mile hike again! LOL

  2. Oh neato!! I agree with the black and white. You have a lot of nice contrasts here that really show off the mechanical stuff.
    I love sunny days, but spots of shade are totally a necessity for walking in the summer.
    And thank you "The Wheels on the Bus" song is going to be in my head "ALL through the town" today. :D

  3. GH: Yeah, color is overrated ;)

    Thanks! You will hike again.

    Miss McC: The lack of shade was an issue on this walk. To make it worse, I forgot my hat.

    You are welcome.:)