The following post originally appeared February 19, 2009.
I found the above photo in the Library of Congress archives. I tinted, burned, dodged, and cleaned it up a little. There seem to be precious few public photos of the now destroyed Dewey Bridge. But I’d guess that there are albums and film rolls stashed in attics and bookshelves that tell a detailed and vivid history of one of the American West’s great engineering accomplishments.
And still, I cloud over in nostalgia when I see the bridge. I miss it. Which seems silly, even ridiculous. My only explanation is that the Kokopelli Trail so consumed my emotional and physical energies that anything to do with it now carries an imbalanced degree of attachment. I feel similar emotions when I see Salt Creek, or Rose Garden Hill, or Entrada Bluffs.
But Dewey was different. Dewey held me in an odd trance, a mysterious sway that was firm in its grasp. Perhaps it was simply because that spot on the trail was so anxiously anticipated. Crossing the bridge was such a milestone, and in itself a very rewarding experience. Even walking across, when not riding the larger trail, had persuasive and gratifying qualities.
It was, to be precise, a very neat feature in the colorful, history laden, mysterious world known as Moab.
I’ll continue to search for photographic remnants of Dewey Bridge. And I will probably continue to be overtly sentimental about it. Even before it burned to the ground I considered it one of my favorite Utah landmarks. But now that it is gone, I have seemed to elevate its status even more. Probably overly than needed.
But it seems appropriate, given the zenith of bike riding experience it is associated with.