Saturday, September 13, 2014

Spencer Jack Caught In A Web Got Me Thinking About Fort Worth's Imaginary Islands & Bridges Over Nothing Boondoggles

This morning my favorite nephew Jason emailed me some pictures, one of which is the one above, another of which is below, where Spencer Jack is caught in a tangled web.

The text in the email...

Fall is in the air. Foggy mornings. And pleasant afternoons with the day time light shrinking. Spencer Jack suggested hanging up Halloween decorations on the "to do" list. We did such in his lego/train room.

Seeing the above picture amused me when I realized I was looking at something I don't see in my current location.


I am not referring to beautiful scenery.

I am referring to islands. Real islands. I am losing memory of Washington place names, but I believe in the picture we are looking north across Padilla Bay. In the distance I believe that is Guemes Island. I don't know what the small, closest island is named. To the right, if the picture were wider, we might be seeing part of Samish Island.

Samish Island is like islands in Fort Worth, such as Panther Island, due to the fact that Samish Island is not really an island. It used to be an island, but early farmers blocked off the saltwater with dikes so as to create more fertile farmland and put an end to Samish Island's island status.

Spencer Jack and his dad drive by the view above every time they drive from their home zone in Mount Vernon, 15 miles west to Anacortes, where Spencer Jack's dad's Fidalgo Drive-In is located.

Fidalgo Drive-In is so named because it is located on Fidalgo Island, which leads me to another interesting thing that occurred to me when I thought about that drive to the Fidalgo Drive-In on Fidalgo Island.

To get to Fidalgo Island on Highway 20 requires driving over the Duane Berentson Bridge. As you can see this is a twin bridge. The picture only shows you part of this big bridge.

The body of water this bridge crosses is called the Swinomish Channel. The Swinomish Channel was not dredged as part of any sort of demented flood control, economic development scheme.

The dual  bridges replaced an antique draw bridge which caused bad traffic jams whenever a boat needed to head into or out of the channel.

I remember when the Duane Berentson Bridge was built. It did not take four years to build. And it was built over existing water. What a concept. The Duane Berentson Bridge is a much bigger bridge than the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing, which are scheduled to take four years to build.

Near where we are standing in the bridge picture is the Swinomish Casino & Lodge. I believe in addition to the lodge and casino there is also now an RV park and marina. The Swinomish are a Pacific Northwest Native American tribe. Their casino has a restaurant with my all time favorite seafood buffet.

The Swinomish Casino & Lodge, with its restaurants, did not come about due to any sort of sweetheart deals from something called the Padilla Bay Swinomish Channel Vision. The Swinomish have done a good job of economic development all on their own, with maybe a little federal help, just like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, only with something to show for it a bit more elevated  than music venues, imaginary pavilions, a drive-in movie theater, a brewery and a wakeboard lake.

I do not remember ever reading, in any Skagit Valley media source, regarding the Duane Berentson Bridge, that it was a "Signature" bridge that would become an iconic gateway to Fidalgo Island.

Now, those of you who have seen artist's renderings of what the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing are going to look like, which of these bridges do you think might leave a more lasting impression in a visitor's memory, the Boondoggle's Bridges or the Duane Berentson Bridge?

Well, enough of that.

And now the aforementioned photo of Spencer Jack stuck in a spider's web in his Legoland Monorail Train Room.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SJ's Lego/Train Room.
Now that's cool!