one day at a time…
Friday, 27 February 2004

Pix Of The Day: The Case Of The Missing Bridge
CREDITS (L to R): © NGS/NationalGeographic.com, Picture of the Day.
© Cleveland State University/Watson Bridge Book Collection.
© Utah State University/E.B. Olesen Photograph Collection.

WHERE: San Juan County, Utah, USA. WHAT: natural rock bridge.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
Edwin Natural Bridge 1 © National Geographic SocietyEdwin Natural Bridge 2 © Cleveland State UniversityEdwin Natural Bridge 3 © Utah State University
In a local book store we saw a 'coffee table' book containing photographs of Utah. Among the blazing color renditions were some monochrome images from around the beginning of the 20th century. One in particular we thought we had seen before: it was a picture of a posse of horsemen on top of a natural rock bridge. However, our memory was of just one rider leading a couple of pack animals, but we are at that certain age when our memories are less reliable than formerly. We took careful note of the location given in the caption, Edwin Natural Bridge in San Juan County, and returned to digital base for further investigation.

Today we found the answer: there are at least three well known pictures of the bridge; one with a host of riders; one with just a single rider as we remembered; and even one without any riders! The immediate discrepancy between our memories and the picture in the book has been resolved, but a deeper mystery has been revealed.

We were unable to find a modern picture of the Edwin Natural Bridge anywhere on the web. It is inconceivable that such a huge landscape feature could have disappeared without at least some record of its passing, if only of how it had tragically collapsed under the weight of all those horses and riders! If it still exists it is inconceivable that it has not been visited and photographed by hordes of tourists.

Tomorrow, with a dramatic flourish reminiscent of those Perry Mason TV programs in the "The Case Of The Missing…" series, we will reveal what happened.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)