Hello, travel nuts!
Squirrels. Tree rats. Rocky minus Bullwinkle. Whatever you call those furry creatures, they can be a nuisance, especially when they build nests in your car engine (… no, that’s not personal experience talking, not at all…), but most people agree that we are overall interested in their wellbeing.
At least, the folks of Longview, Washington felt that way. In 1963, Amos Peters felt bad that the popular section of road for squirrel crossings resulted in many flattened squirrels. His solution was to build for them the NUTTY NARROWS BRIDGE- Olympia Way and 18th Ave., Longview, WA.
Looks like an ordinary street, right? But if you look closely among the trees, you’ll notice that is not a cable running across, but this bridge….
This has also been alleged as “The World’s Narrowest Bridge,” but I have no research to back this claim. Either way, this seemed to solve the problem of squirrel safety and resulted in more bridges being built in Longview (sorry, I only have pictures of this one).
It is named Nutty Narrows Bridge after the more infamous Tacoma Narrows Bridge (aka Galloping Gertie; look up the video footage on Youtube or Wikipedia, it’s insane!). That bridge collapsed (unsurprisingly) after only a few months, so clearly this little guy had a better construction model.
In 1983, Peters repaired the bridge, repainted the worn out sign, and the new version was rededicated in a grand ceremony attended by, among other distinguished guests, Mickey Mouse, Chip, and Dale. You see, it is also a celebrity site!
I tried to get a picture of a squirrel using the bridge, but alas, there was not a squirrel in sight while I was there. I have been assured that squirrels do indeed use it, and the utter lack of flattened squirrels in the street seems to confirm this.
Stop by this pro-squirrel project on your travels in Washington. Just do it. It’s a short stretching-the-legs stop near a pretty park and pleasant neighborhood, take a short stroll and leave a trail of nuts leading to the bridge to coax a squirrel across.
Until next time, dahlings…