#154–A quirky week . . .


Into every life some quirkiness must fall.

Leaning tower of water

My first clue that it was going to be a strange week was when I pulled a water bottle out of the pack Monday. It sat at an almost 45-degree angle and didn’t fall over. I kept trying to straighten it; then it would fall over. I called it my “leaning tower of water.”

My leaning tower of water. It was a real conversation starter.

My leaning tower of water––a real conversation starter.

It’s been such fun to take this bottle with me all week and watch people’s reactions. I pulled out a new one today and it doesn’t lean even a little bit. Darn!

Bridge rumor

On Tuesday, I received a call from Walt Fossek, an old-timer who knows more about fishing on the Siuslaw than just about anybody. He had heard that the Siuslaw River Bridge was going to be replaced. And that the surveyors were already doing the survey work. And–– get this–– that there would be two new bridges. One would have northbound lanes and the other would have southbound lanes.

Walt considers me his bridge expert and figures that if anybody would know what’s going on, I would. I had heard nothing, but I did know things were happening around the bridge. I figured they were part of the preparations for the restoration and cathodic protection that is scheduled to start next year.

But just to make sure, I emailed my main bridge contact at ODOT, Candice Leonard. She got right back to me and said that she thought it was just a rumor because the amount of money and environmental work required to replace the Siuslaw River Bridge would be cost prohibitive. She also said that what is likely occurring is either maintenance or gathering information for the design of the cathodic protection project that is in the development stages right now. And, finally, she is going to email her colleagues at ODOT to confirm and get back to me with their comments. I love having contacts at ODOT.

Rusty rivet

On Wednesday, while I was on duty at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum, a couple stopped by to see me. I had met them at the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City two years ago when I spoke at the reopening of the Arch Bridge. He is a volunteer there, and they wanted to give me something from that historic bridge designed by McCullough and built between 1921 and 1922.

This rusty rivet was presented to me by folks from the Museum of the Oregon Territory. The spoon is just to show size.

This rusty rivet was presented to me by folks from the Museum of the Oregon Territory. The spoon is just to show size.

They presented me with a “rusty rivet.” It’s an original rivet from  back in 1921. Those rivets were replaced by bolts when the bridge underwent major restoration in 2011––2012. The museum was given buckets of old rivets. So they are making lemonade from those old lemons by packaging each rivet and selling them for $3 apiece. Each package includes an info sheet that has a photo on one side showing how the rivets were used in the bridge construction and the story of the bridge on the back.

I was pleased that they remembered me and remembered that I volunteered at the museum. What a hoot! How often does one get presented with a rusty rivet!

Backwards backaches

For several weeks this summer, I’ve had backaches. I’m not sure why. I know it’s not because I’ve overdone it in the yard, which is my usual way of getting a backache. Because of a sore knee, I haven’t been out in the yard hardly at all this summer until this week on Thursday and Friday.

My knee is feeling fine now, so I was in the yard for about four hours Thursday and almost three hours yesterday. Each day, I was pruning, weeding, and carrying heavy water bottles laced with fertilizer here and there and toting heavy loads of prunings to their final resting place. Both days, I had a backache when I began, and it went away while I was working. That’s not the way it usually works.

Now here’s where it really gets weird. Lying down has always been a way to relieve back pain. But this week, not so! Each night after I’ve been in bed a couple of hours I’d wake up with low back pain, bad enough for me to not get comfortable or to go back to sleep. So I’d get up and take an Advil. And that eased it enough so I could get somewhat comfortable and go back to sleep. Same bed, no mattress changes. Go figure!

It’s just been a quirky week!



About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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