Dewey Revisited

Posted by on Feb 19, 2009 in Moab, Photos | No Comments

Dewey Bridge. Date Unknown.

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.


  1. Tom Purvis
    February 19, 2009


    This is bizarre, but on my way to Moab for last Spring’s Rim Ride, I snapped a picture of the bridge as I rolled past, literally from the moving truck. It is crappy, but it was taken less than a week before the sad, negligent destruction:

  2. Ski Bike Junkie
    February 19, 2009

    Will there be a KTR this year? If so, what’s the date. I may give it a go. Not committing to anything, just saying maybe.

  3. Grizzly Adam
    February 19, 2009

    The KTR doesn’t really exist anymore. Not the way it used to. Last year a small group did the “race” on one weekend, but others TT’d it on other weekends as well.

    I am not planning on riding the KT this year. But others might be. If I hear anything about a group ride on a specific date I will let you know.

  4. UltraRob
    February 19, 2009

    I have a few photos from when I casually rode the KT with friends over 3 days. I’ve driven by it many times since I first mountain biked in Moab in 1996. I have blog post with the bridge from last fall at the top, fire in the middle and a few pre-fire ones at the bottom.

  5. Dave Harris
    February 20, 2009

    Here’s another pic:

  6. Corey
    February 21, 2009

    I’m sure you’ve seen this one:

    I’m glad I got to see it a couple of times before it burned, but I never snapped any pictures of it.

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