I had intended doing a “Wordless Wednesday” blogpost but realised that just wouldn’t be possible. Instead, here we go with abandoned places between the Rudy Johnson Bridge north of William’s Lake and my current hometown Quesnel here in western Canuckistan.
The Rudy Johnson bridge (which is still very much in use) spans the Fraser River downriver from Soda Creek. It had been lying in a gravel pit in Alaska when Cariboo farmer Rudy Johnson decided to buy it in the 1960s, disassemble it into over 3,300 pieces (not counting the nuts and bolts) and ship it all the way to where it now stands. His crusade to span the Fraser was launched after his wife almost drowned in 1967 using the local ferry upriver from their farm. The ferry and hanging metal cage they had been using for years to cross the river had always been an inconvenience, but his wife’s brush with death catapulted him on his quest.
In all, the bridge itself cost Johnson $40,000 and another $200,000 to install where it now stands. As reported in The Mouth of the Kenai newspaper, “Johnson attempted to convince the provincial government to pay for and take control of the bridge, but he was rebuffed. To recoup some of his investment, he began charging a toll to commercial vehicles, while allowing private vehicles to pass freely. Ten years later, the province opted to purchase the bridge and assume control of its maintenance. Despite the official takeover, however, the bridge never lost its identity as the Rudy Johnson Bridge.”
The rest of the photos I shot on my way back to Quesnel from the bridge.