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April 15, 2016 / Retirementallychallenged.com

Spanning seven urban bridges, 4 – 7

In my last Spanning seven urban bridges post, I wrote about a recent hike my husband and I took called the Seven Bridge Walk. The 5.5 mile hike traverses through several older neighborhoods in our city and crosses over a mix of historic and newer bridges. That post featured the first three bridges we crossed; the four remaining bridges are just ahead…

Quince Street

The Quince Street walking bridge is a wooden-trestle bridge that was built in 1905. It is 236 feet long and rises 60 feet over Maple Canyon. Although the cost for the original construction was less than $1,000, the cost to repair the bridge in 1988/1989 was closer to $250,000. Even though I knew the bridge was in good repair, it was a little unnerving to look over the sides and see what looked like a hodge-podge of wooden planks holding it up.

Spruce1

Probably my favorite bridge on our walk is the Spruce Street suspension bridge located in the Bankers Hill neighborhood. It was constructed in 1912 to serve as a passageway for early residents to get to the newly built trolley lines. The bridge stretches 375 feet across and rises 70 feet above Kate Sessions Canyon, named after a horticulturist responsible for many of the plantings found throughout the city. The bridge swayed a little as we walked along it, but it didn’t feel dangerous at all.

After stopping for lunch in the always interesting neighborhood of Hillcrest, we next reached the Vermont Street Bridge. This modern steel bridge was built in place of a deteriorated wooden trestle bridge that dated back to 1916. Rather than replace the beloved original bridge with a merely utilitarian passage, local residents fought for something more interesting and reflective of the two neighborhoods it connects. As we walked over the bridge, we read walking-themed quotes written by people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Kate Sessions, Pythagoras, and even long-time San Diego resident, Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Can you figure out the word puzzle?

Craftsman

As we journeyed towards our next bridge, we passed through an older neighborhood dotted with beautiful craftsmen bungalows. I imagine an artist lives in this one.

Georgia1

Finally, we reached our seventh and last bridge: the historic but hazardous Georgia Street Bridge. A redwood bridge was originally built here in 1907, but it was replaced in 1914. The “new” concrete Georgia Street Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I’ve heard that it is scheduled for an $11 million dollar overhaul, including seismic and structural retrofits… hopefully they will begin soon before the bridge crumbles apart.

After crossing our final bridge, we zig-zagged a bit more, then headed back along Park Boulevard towards Balboa Park and our car. At 5.5 fairly flat miles, the walk wasn’t too strenuous but it was a lot of fun and, when we were finished, we felt a little like we had also traveled through time.

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38 Comments

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  1. Parkit / Apr 15 2016 11:18 am

    Love the Spruce St Bridge.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 15 2016 11:27 pm

      Isn’t it great? I love that whoever decided what type of bridge to construct decided to build a fun one!

  2. Parkit / Apr 15 2016 11:22 am

    >

  3. Jackie / Apr 15 2016 12:24 pm

    Love this post and the puzzle. Pretty sure I figured out the word puzzle, but won’t write it here yet to spoil the fun for others. A fellow recent retiree, who is trying to enjoy and make the most of the journey. 😊

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 15 2016 11:35 pm

      My husband had to help me a bit with the puzzle (he showed me how you were supposed to add and subtract letters) but then I could figure it out. I think it’s great that they added some fun to all the great quotes. The retirement journey is a good one to be on – I hope you continue to enjoy the ride!

  4. Polly Huffman / Apr 15 2016 2:20 pm

    Really interesting and sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for the pictures!

  5. Carol Ferenc / Apr 15 2016 2:22 pm

    This looks like such a fun hike, Janis! I would have been tempted to ask the owner of that charming bungalow for a tour of the inside. I’ll admit I can’t figure out the puzzle though. Anyone else?

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 15 2016 11:40 pm

      I bet the inside would have been interesting too! The puzzle reads: Walk a mile in my shoes. I needed a little help from my hubby.

      • Carol Ferenc / Apr 16 2016 11:46 am

        Of course ~ now I see it! Thanks, Janis.

  6. Kate Crimmins / Apr 15 2016 4:45 pm

    Looks like a great walk!

  7. snakesinthegrass2014 / Apr 15 2016 5:17 pm

    Great pics, and I totally don’t know the puzzle (I’ve always been terrible with Jumble and other word games!). You are fortunate to have great places to walk near your home.

  8. Denise Hammond / Apr 16 2016 8:40 am

    I am not a big fan of bridges, especially walking across suspension ones. On a trip to Vancouver I skipped the walk across the Capilano Bridge. Looking at it was just fine with me.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 16 2016 10:43 am

      The wonderful things about well-designed bridges is that their beauty is really better appreciated under them or to the side, not necessarily when you are on them. The suspension bridge was pretty stable but I can understand your hesitation.

  9. betsysbeat / Apr 16 2016 10:35 am

    After reading your last post, I googled this walk and found the directions and printed them. I cannot wait to do this. I grew up in SD and this walk is through the parts of town I’ve always loved so it will be very nostalgic. Plus, I love bridges and I’m not sure I’ve ever walked over any of the bridges you highlighted. I almost drove down this weekend by myself just to do the walk, that’s how excited I am, but decided it would be more fun to wait and do it with my husband! THANK YOU for sharing this gem!!!!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 16 2016 10:48 am

      I’m so glad that you will be talking the hike! My advice is to get to Balboa Park by 9:30 (especially if it’s summer) to find good parking. Either park on Park Boulevard near the first bridge, or in one of the lots by the Ruben H Fleet or the Museum of Natural History. Have fun… and let me know if you have any free time to meet for a cup of coffee.

      • betsysbeat / Apr 16 2016 11:00 am

        So glad you mentioned having coffee….that was the other thing I was hoping to do!

  10. laura bruno lilly / Apr 16 2016 10:50 am

    I’ll bet this walk is a ‘keeper’…a great go-to journey to enjoy often and all right in your back yard.
    I’m way jealous!
    Many communities (at least where we are currently living) in the Deep South don’t provide even rudimentary parks or sidewalks in local neighborhoods…forget about anything trail related…I know – I’m a whiner from Colorado, but gee whiz….
    I enjoy reading/seeing your discoveries all the more!
    😉

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 17 2016 10:40 am

      That’s too bad that you don’t have walkable neighborhoods where you live. I imagine it would be a huge change from Colorado! I remember seeing a beautiful walking/biking path that followed the freeway on our drive to Denver. I so wanted to go on it!

  11. rporter610 / Apr 16 2016 11:01 am

    Great commentary and great photos! I really enjoyed coming along on your 7-bridge journey. The artist’s house was a treat to see also.

    Rin

  12. joannesisco / Apr 17 2016 3:07 am

    This looks like it was a great hike and I enjoyed all the bridges. The puzzle was a challenge … I only got half of it, but after seeing the solution, it made sense 🙂

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 17 2016 10:43 am

      I loved that the designers added some fun to bridge. Why build a boring bridge when it can be so much more!

      • joannesisco / Apr 17 2016 10:44 am

        I wish the same philosophy would be used on some of the bland boxes that are being constructed in the name of architecture right now.

  13. Joe / Apr 17 2016 8:14 am

    Awesome walk, and it is so much fun exploring your own area! Thanks for the post!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 17 2016 4:30 pm

      I agree! We often forget the gems that our home towns hold for us. This walk has inspired me to look for more. Thanks for the comment and the follow!

  14. Terri Webster Schrandt / Apr 17 2016 6:44 pm

    How could I have lived in San Diego for 20 years and know little to nothing about these bridges? Excellent post and so interesting! Glad to see SD has so many little known special places!

  15. lisadorenfest / Apr 17 2016 8:42 pm

    I think I figured out the word puzzle with a little guessing and a little looking at the comments below. I still don’t fully have it, but I get the gist of it . All pics awesome but that first was AMAZING

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 17 2016 10:32 pm

      I love that there was so much history behind several of the bridges. A few were built to get the early residents to the various trolley stations. I could almost see them gliding over the bridges in their fine clothing of the time.

  16. Shelley / Apr 19 2016 4:58 am

    my very favorite photo was the one of the bungalow. How beautiful and creative! I love the way the front of the house was landscaped–appropriately for the area.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Apr 19 2016 7:42 am

      The bridges were wonderful but I think my favorite part was walking through the old neighborhoods with the beautiful homes, several with historical designation.

  17. Encore Voyage / Apr 19 2016 7:20 am

    Thanks for taking me along! Loved your photos!

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