I have a Great Bridge to sell you!

My long-form bike ride takes me through three towns in 8 miles because, well, it’s the Swamp. You get to enjoy views like this:


And then sometimes you come across a bridge, like this one:


Lovely bridge, right? It’s the border between Angelborough and the Next Town Over. Every town should be proud to have one of these! But wait…? What is that?


Great Bridge? GREAT BRIDGE?!?

Boy is my face red! I always thought when they talked about The Great Bridge, they meant this one:

Image from Wikimedia Commons at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Bridge_-_02.jpg

Instead, no, the Great Bridge is this (cropped to show entire greatness):


Try to hold your applause until the end, folks. Because not only do you get a Great Bridge, but you get a Great View as well! To your left, we have the Swamp.


And to your right, you have the Great Railway, the one of the unmarked railroad crossings right through the center of Angelborough, where the guy walks ahead of the train to manually stop traffic on the occasions a train actually uses them:


Try to hold back your gasps. I really live in an amazing place, don’t I? The kind of place that fills you with awe and wonder. Wonder such as, “Why the heck did they call this the Great Bridge?” Wonder such as, “I wonder whether Angelborough or Next Town Over is responsible for this?”  And then a sly tiny smile when you wonder if maybe the responsible party wasn’t, just a little bit, deep in his heart, a sarcastic New Yorker transplant like yourself.

But the mysteries don’t end there. Can anyone help me? Several times in the woods, I’ve biked past this kind of tree:


What is that?


Witness Post? They’re not just on the Angelborough borders. They’re way back in The Creepy Zone as well. They make me think about Melissa Ethredge’s song where she says she’ll meet you by the Witness Tree. Any guesses?

Personally, I think its proximity to the Great Bridge is not a coincidence. The bridge is just so great that it needs a tree standing by to constantly witness its greatness. And you’ll never convince me otherwise.


  1. MysteryNurse

    Looks like an Army Corps of Engineers logo on the Witness Post sign… I’m sure it means something to the Corps!

    1. MysteryNurse

      OK, here’s what Wikipedia says:

      “Sometimes a survey mark is made much easier to find by the presence nearby of a witness post, a stake (or a small sign) driven into the ground and used to draw attention to (and to warn against disturbing) the mark.”


      I’d guess the Corps is out there sometimes monitoring water levels, etc. Kind of a boring explanation, I know.

      1. philangelus

        Ah, the magic of Wikipedia! Thank you. 🙂 That makes sense for this witness post. Deep in the Creepy Zone, though, there’s nothing really there to mark, no property boundaries or anything like that. I wonder what they’re marking there?

  2. Kat

    My sister and I do a little Geocaching and it resembles some of the makers I’ve seen on the site, so I did some quick looking.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benchmarking_%28geolocating%29 (scroll down to Description of Markers and you’ll see the phrase “witness marker”)

    It is a form of benchmarking. A hobby activity in which participants find benchmarks. (not unlike Geocaching) If you look here, http://www.geocaching.com/mark/, you can see how the game is played.

    btw, geocaching is a fun, family friendly, activity that only requires you to have a gps or gps capable phone. The actual “game” and membership on the site is free.

    1. philangelus

      I’ve written about characters geocaching, but I never actually went geocaching. I hadn’t thought about using a phone. (Not that I have a GPS capable phone, but my Patient Husband does.)

  3. Tana Bevan

    Nothing of interest to contribute to the conversation. Just a sincere thank you for once again bringing about a smile (and chuckle or two), with your wry wit & humor.

    Tell you what, I’ll toss in a HUGE jumping up and down, excited-as-all-get-out thank you to join the sincere one!!!

    PS: Maybe the bridge is truly a great one to the critters who live in and around it?

    1. philangelus

      Now that’s a thought! Even just the mosquitos alone would give this bridge over a million votes. 😉

  4. Ken Rolph

    That sign clearly has a small W in the bottom left hand corner. Obviously it is where the walruses land when they arrive from nether regions.