We've got our pool passes, a recipe for homemade bubbles, evidence of liquid color chalk on the driveway, Blue's very first camping trip under our belt and a growing garden of mint, basil, and rosemary. Summer is here. When the weather first started to warm around Easter, we walked the Big Four Bridge in Louisville. This was on the heels of some gang activity that had spilled over into downtown Louisville from west Louisville. I guess during one of the first warm Saturday nights back in April, a group of about 200 teens ran amok through downtown Louisville, beating up and robbing residents and committing other violent crimes (and somehow eluding the LMPD for almost a week). Further complicating the political ramifications of 14-year old thugs invoking fear in residents and tourists, this all began about 4 weeks before the Kentucky Derby and about a week before Thunder Over Louisville, which is considered the "kick-off" to Derby month. So, the police presence around the Big Four Bridge was more conspicuous. We walked over and back without incident, but it was the middle of the day and Neal can pull the drill sergeant scary face when needed. I wouldn't go with Blue by myself and even though the bridge is open 24 hours a day, I wouldn't go after dusk. After all, it's free and just a bus ride away from some bored and unsupervised teens just a few neighborhoods over.
The Big Four Bridge
It's a former railroad bridge that spans the Ohio River and connects Kentucky to Indiana. It was completed in 1895 and updated in 1929. It gets its name from the defunct Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, which was nicknamed the "Big Four Railroad". The entire bridge has been converted into a pedestrian and bicycle path. The ramps leading up to the bridge on either side are 1/4 mile and the length of the bridge is 1/2 mile, making it a total of 2 miles, round trip. The Indiana side just recently opened after several postponements (with many Indiana residents insinuating that the delays were a result of concern over the crime on our side). It had not yet opened when walked it so our round trip was just a little under 2 miles, which took about an hour at a leisurely pace. No dogs, scooters, skateboards or inline skates are allowed, but you can have strollers, wheelchairs and personal mobility devices.
Pushing on up the Ohio. Time to light somebody's fire....
Lots of families, couples, and runners with a cyclist or 2 racing by.
Share the road...er...BRIDGE, baby.
Definitely worth the walk. Just go during the day, look like you know what you're doing, make sure your cell phone is fully charged, and maybe leave your wad of Geo Washingtons at the house.