It appears that the postmark on this old postcard was 1918. The note, written in Finnish by a friend to my grandmother who by then had settled in Minnesota, is ironic when juxtaposed with the circular ink-stamped quote above it: See Europe if you will, but see America first.
Natural Bridges National Monument was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt, and is the oldest National Park Service site in Utah. The Monument is comprised of three natural bridges, each having had at least three names given them through the ages. Augusta, shown in this old postcard, is now known as Sipapu Bridge.
The following information is from the National Park Service website:
Sipapu is the largest and most spectacular of the three bridges in the Monument. It is considered middle aged, older than Kachina but younger than Owachomo. Its rounded opening and smooth sides are mute evidence of countless floods bearing scouring rocks and sand. This bridge, whose opening would almost house the dome of the United States Capitol, has taken thousands of years to form but will someday collapse and erode as part of the endless cycles of time and change.
We will never know the names given to the bridges by early inhabitants of this land. The Paiute referred to all bridges as mah-vah-talk-tump, translated today as under the horse's belly. While today we refer to this bridge as Sipapu, is has known several names in the last 100 years:
This name was applied by Cass Hite in 1883. Hite operated a placer gold mine on the Colorado River and explored White Canyon from there.
Horace Long, who explored the region in 1904, renamed the bridge after his wife.
A Hopi term for the opening between worlds, the present name was given by William Douglas, who led a government survey party to the bridges in 1908, mapping the exact boundaries of the new national monument. Douglas thought that the ruins and rock art found in the area must be related to the Hopi people of northern Arizona.
A moderately strenuous trail descends from the parking area along Bridge View Drive to the base of the bridge. The trail has ladders, stairs, switchbacks, and short steep sections of slickrock along its route, and may be hazardous due to ice and snow during winter months.
Length: 0.6 mile (1 km) one-way
Time: 45 minutes round-trip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
photo by David Mendosa
The natural bridges represent three states: old age, maturity, and youth.
* Owachomo Bridge no longer suffers stream erosion, but erosion by rain, frost action, and sandblast. Now in its late phase, it could already have a fatal crack, or it could stand for centuries.
* Sipapu Bridge suffers little or no stream erosion because its abutments now lie far from the streambed. A mature bridge, it is largest in both height and span . Sipapu can be hard to spot from the overlook on the canyon rim, despite its size.
* Kachina Bridge, in its youthful state, looms huge and bulky. Floodwaters in White Canyon still work to enlarge it. A trail threads the canyon between Sipapu and Kachina bridges.
Climbing Down to Sipapu Bridge, photo from TravelPod.com
I found this rather passionate description of the bridge in an online hiking journal:
The Sipapu Bridge ... is the fourth largest natural span in the world, and the second largest natural bridge. It has one of the most perfect and symmetrical shapes of any I’ve seen -- it’s really bridge-like, flat on top and rounded beneath. It used to be called the Augusta Bridge, and I wish it still was -- it’s the perfect name for such an august, inspiring structure. I could see it up ahead as I was hiking toward it, but then suddenly, after making a climb down plus a few turns on the trail, I lost it completely. Looking all around, confused, I was amazed that such a major piece of rock could just disappear. Then I looked overhead -- and 220 feet straight above me, there it soared.
This particular OPW postcard is dedicated to a blogging friend of mine who many of you also consider a friend. He has authored the blog titled Don't Feed the Pixies for some years and has been on my blogroll for two years. Sadly - and totally suddenly - he left comments (one to his regular readers and one to me) after my last post in which he said he was having to remove his blog. In part, he wrote:
Well, damn. Don't Feed the Pixies was itself a provider of light in a tunnel of dullness, as well as a bridge of friendship and delight. I will miss you in the blogosphere so much, dear friend. May you have serenity.Thank you for providing light in a tunnel of dullness. I came to the blog world in hope of finding others out there who I might have something in common with, or were just other lost souls looking for new ideas and new thoughts – I have enjoyed meeting you all.
Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel,15 Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water - MyVideo
The Concert in Central Park, September 19, 1981
The Concert in Central Park, September 19, 1981