Our new neighbor, a slender giantess

If you haven't seen the freshly unveiled Colorado River Bridge, certainly do -- it's a slender giantess to the Hoover Dam's brawn, a stretch of serene Helvetica in a visual environs marked by bold fonts and spidery serifs everywhere. On that note, be sure to check out our full read on the bridge's architecture in the November issue of Desert Companion. (Don't worry. Our Colorado River Bridge think-hunk is penned by someone far more knowledgeable than me.)

I tagged along with Desert Companion Art Director Chris Smith this morning on a 6 a.m. trek to take photos of the bridge. Not the best day for a shoot: Shocks of rain slapping at us in what was less dawn than a mere shift in the gloom, but the drapes of wet did make for a vibrant, glossy, apocalyptic mood -- which was only helped along by the slick crunch and smack of small rock slides as ridges gave way to aggressive rivulets. Strangely, the water below looked as still as slate:

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Dawn eventually broke like it should -- aggressively and without fanfare -- and even I couldn't resist whipping out the cell phone camera for some shots:

Dwarving around the bridge like that only whets your appetite, though, to see it up close and really take its measure. Which leads to perhaps my sole complaint about the Colorado River Bridge, that supple and functional diversion: It's a pretty bridge at just about any angle, but not necessarily at any distance. Its energy is strangely robbed when you drive it, as sizable abutments on either side make next to impossible any vastness-gazing from the car.

Why, you might even forget you're on a bridge and momentarily give in to the illusion you're on some forsaken sliver of the 215 -- little else but you and the blur of asphalt and concrete. It's ironic that a place with such placeness exposes a lack of it in perhaps its most vital part.

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