I caught sight of this Great Blue Heron while walking about on Saturday. I’ve seen several standing around the Allegheny River, as much at ease in the middle of a city as they are in the marshes and on lake and ocean shores. What odd, grand birds. This one was keeping an eye on the top of the Head of the Ohio Regatta course, which turned at the 40th St Bridge and sent it’s rowers back into the channel behind Herr’s Island.
After spying the heron, found along a bit of trail on the Lawrenceville side of the river, I crossed the bridge to better watch the regatta. The 12th bridge on the Allegheny carries 40th St across to the suburb of Millvale, and is more officially named the Washington Crossing Bridge. It opened in 1924, and is located at a historically significant spot. Apparently, in 1753 while on a mission to the French to negotiate for the return of lands OR ELSE, then-Major Washington nearly died in the icy river when his wooden raft tipped over. Whoops! For a more detailed version of the story, check out this article from the Pittsburgh Sun, written in 1923 when the bridge was still under construction.
Between the 40th St and 31st St bridges lies the 11th crossing on the Allegheny – the 33rd St Railroad Bridge, built in 1921.
The 30th St Bridge (left) is new (1986, although it is the 4th one that’s been built here), and crosses that back channel connecting Herr’s Island to the shore. I still haven’t explored Herr’s Island, which has an interesting history. I was eager that day to cross back over the river via the 31st St Bridge, pausing to join the regatta spectators for a bit, before racing the rain home once again.
Those hot, rainy days at the end of last week were followed by properly crisp fall weather. This caused me to take a break from all my exploring, curl up with warm cups of tea, and spend my afternoons watching episodes of Once Upon a Time and Game of Thrones…! Today I have a job interview, however, so I’ll be tromping down the hill to the Strip District and then possibly heading further downtown to see what all the fuss is about that giant rubber ducky…