Saturday, November 26, 2022

Walnut Street Bridge

Somewhat on a whim we headed up to Tennessee today. 

We hadn't precisely planned on going to Tennessee this weekend. 

But also when we were moving to Georgia (in 2019), we drove through Chattanooga right at sunset and it was gorgeous. Everything—the sunset, the river, the mountains. 

It almost made me want to stop. 

We only had two hours left in our drive, though, (after having spent days in the car already) and we were all ready to just get to our new home. 

But—we promised ourselves—we'd definitely get up there to explore. It's so close! Only two hours away!

And so—three and a half years later—we finally made good on that promise!

Our first stop in Chattanooga itself was the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge. This was Alexander's favourite part of our trip. He told us so when we were back home having pie when we asked him what his favourite part of our adventure was: "Tennessee. Big. Blue. Bridge," he managed to say around bites.

The bridge was originally built in 1890 and was used primarily for vehicular traffic, but was closed in 1978. Then it just sat around for a while before being turned into a pedestrian walkway. 

This is actually the current motor-vehicle bridge, as seen from the Walnut Street Bridge

It is 2,376 feet long. For reference, a mile is 5280 feet long, so this bridge is nearly half a mile long.

Here's Alexander and Zoë walking along with Auntie Josie:

It was a beautiful walk, though the kids were a little worried about the condition of the wood in places. The boards were only placed in 2010, and are constantly being replaced/repaired. Auntie Josie was kind enough to find areas that had either obviously been marked for repair or had recently been replaced to help soothe the children's fear. Clearly the bridge's condition is monitored. It really wouldn't do to have pedestrians plummeting into the river.

Here's my beautiful sister:

She was 100% on board with a road trip to Tennessee! First of all, she's never been to Tennessee, so she got to cross that state off her list. Second of all, she has a friend up in Nashville, who (on a whim of her own) drove down to meet us at the bridge for a quick visit with Josie, which was so sweet of her.

Here are these teenagers with their grandpa:

Reid drove up with us because (1) we had too many people to fit into a single vehicle, (2) there was no way I was going to drive all the way to Tennessee so we needed a second driver, (3) he likes going on adventures, anyway, (4) we like having him around. Thanks for being our second driver, Grandpa!

Here's a picture of everyone (but me):

And one of everyone but Andrew:

And here's Zoë, the puddle stomper (you can see her feet are a little bit wet):

Puddles aren't the only thing she stomped in.

Either side of the bridge has a lovely walking area. The side we parked on had several sand sculptures for people to enjoy. The museum of art was on the side we walked to and they have an outdoor sculpture garden. The kids were running around, goofing off, and eating lunch in the sculpture garden when I noticed that Rachel was...covered in dog poop. 

It was all over the tops of her shoes and on her pants (like, by her shin) and...that was weird. 

"Is that dog poop?!" I asked Rachel. 

She looked down. "No."

"I think it is."


We gave her some baby wipes so she could clean herself off while she wondered, "HOW?! How did I get dog poop on the tops of my feet and not the bottoms!"

It really was a quandary. 

After examining the bottoms of Alexander's shoes (clean!), he set off crawling through the grass to see if he could find the poop for us. We examined the other kids' shoes as we caught them. Benjamin? Clean. Zoë? Gross!

Zoë had poop on her shoes. And then Rachel recalled that in their period of extreme goofing off, Zoë had stepped on Rachel's feet...evidently covering them with doggy doo.

Fortunately, Zoë did so much running on the grass and stomping in the puddles that I think her shoes are clean again (at least they seemed clean enough to get into the car without stinking everything up). And when Miriam complained about getting splashed with puddle water we calmed her down by reminding her that things could have been far worse. 

Anyway, the sculpture garden was pretty cool. I really liked this horse (Deborah Butterfield) that looks like it's made out of driftwood...but really it's made out of bronze (I suppose she finds pieces of wood and makes a bronze cast out of them, a very intriguing work):

Here's Grandpa helping Phoebe practice her walking skills, while Zoë walks away—annoyed—because we told her that it was Grandpa's turn with Phoebe, not hers:

"I just wanted to hold her hand..."

"Grandpa's got both her hands right now. It's not your turn."


My kids have been using "wow" to express their annoyance lately. 

And that's probably about when she stormed off to cover Rachel in doggy doo (just kidding). 

Look! Here's Zoë having a turn holding Phoebe:

Alexander very proudly smelled this batter's behind and pronounced that "it smells like metal." 

Miriam proudly identified the sport they are playing as "curling."

We're not great at organized sports over here.

Or organized anything...


Here's Phoebe getting a little shoulder ride from Grandpa:

Here's a view of Alexander's favourite Big Blue Bridge:

And here are a few shots of Phoebe getting a shoulder ride from Daddy:

At one point she reached down to squeeze her arms around his neck and that was very cute:

She loves to lean over and kiss his cheek while she's on his shoulders. Or bite his hair. Or stick her fingers in his ear. There are so many possibilities up there!

1 comment:

  1. My mom and several others I know went to college in Chattanooga, but I've never been so I enjoyed this look at it. Glad you were able to have a whim trip to Tennessee!