Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Old Postcard Wednesday--Old Cariboo Bridge near Spuzzum, B.C.



I am quite taken by the sensitive insights into the bridge and surrounding area by Canadian artist and writer Michael Kluckner. In his book Vanishing British Columbia (just the title brings tears) he has the loveliest  painting of the old Alexandra (Cariboo) Bridge that he sketched from the deck of the new one in 2001. His work is copyrighted so I am going to post one paragraph only and I urge you to click HERE to read more and to see his artwork, plus more old postcard scenes of the old bridge.....

The old (actually, the second) Alexandra Bridge, unused by vehicles since 1964, provides the last physical evidence of the scale of highways and bridges in the Fraser Canyon--indeed, on the Trans Canada highway in BC--in the 1950s and before. The bridge is accessible by a path, which is in fact the old highway, that winds down the hillside from the modern highway just east of the new Alexandra Bridge and almost within sight of the Alexandra Lodge. It is alarmingly narrow and, with its open-weave metal decking, not an experience for anyone prone to vertigo. The concrete in the towers is badly spalled and the cables are rusty but so far adequately strong. It will probably fall down soon and be declared unsafe, perhaps in that order, for no government has seen fit to pay attention to it by restoring it as a tourist attraction and perhaps tying it in with some of the surrounding historic trails and places like the lodge. As is the case throughout the Fraser Canyon, it has looked very shabby since the opening of the Coquihalla highway (#5) in 1986. -from Vanishing British Columbia by Michael Kluckner

There is an image of the of the old Alexandria (Cariboo) Bridge on Flickr that was noted for the Perfect Photographer Award by someone in comments. For good reason. The shot, taken in 2009, is absolutely stunning. All rights are reserved by the photographer so I cannot show it to you here. But trust me it is worth the click to see it.

What about Spuzzum? How has it fared all these years since the old postcard was printed? Sorry, I don't have such good news .....

Spuzzum BC a small community almost non-existent these days, made famous for the T-shirt "Where the Heck is Spuzzum?"  This small community between the Alexandra Suspension Bridge, and Yale BC was once a popular tourist stop in the 50's,60's,70's, Even hosting there very own Playboy Bunny Restaurant. Since The Spuzzum era was at its highest most of the community has burnt down, including the road side service station which burnt down 10 years ago. Now there is really nothing left, not even a road sign. 30 years later the T-Shirt that helped made this roadside attraction popular really has a meaning now, Where the Heck is Spuzzum! Start Planning your trip to the Fraser Canyon today! Can you find Spuzzum?  -from travelthecanyon.com

There actually is a Spuzzum facebook group! Click the link to join the 123 people waiting for you there at the site.





“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.”  
~David Russell, Scottish classical guitarist






“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” ~Winnie the Pooh




"I gave my life to my family. 
I want what is left to go to Robert."
~line by Francesca in   
The Bridges of Madison County









Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

“That is the road we all have to take - over the Bridge of Sighs into eternity.”
~Soren Kierkegaard



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3 comments:

madamebutterfly said...

I enjoy your old postcard posts.
Love all the "Bridge" quotes too.

I wish I knew wich ones to cross and which to burn. Don't think I will ever be able to work that one out!

Lydia said...

madamebutterfly~ Your comment meant a lot to me today because I've been thinking that maybe I should put Old Postcard Wednesday on hiatus. I like doing them and if there are a few people out there who enjoy them it makes the time spent worthwhile.

As far as which ones to burn, I wonder if we ever mature sufficiently to know for sure. :)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

ok so i hate to say this but spuzzum sounds very rude

I agree 100% with Winnie the Pooh - the only place you can ever see truth is in the face of nature

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