Through a tunnel of gold, rust, and red foliage I saw the Bridge House for the first time. Sitting on the right hand of the road, it was cradled by birch and sugar maple trees and surrounded by a thick stone wall of about three feet high.
We entered the house from one of the ends that had been boarded up, and a door added. I think the other end had a window. Inside it was dark and hard to see. As my eyes adjusted, I could see there stretch a loft above and a rough wooden floor below.
I sat on a creaky wooden chair in the kitchen spot with my mittens still on and spied the stone wall outside. I wasn't looking through a window. I was looking through the gaps in the weathered wooden boards that made the old covered bridge. I thought for sure I would freeze to death in this place. But like most homes in the area, the Bridge House was equipped with a wood burning stove that made everything toasty. It was very much like being in a barn-sans the animal smell. On days when the sky was clear and bright, the open slits allowed the sun to squeeze its blinding beams across the floor in a stripped pattern.
The creek may have been diverted, because the bridge no longer sat on water. But more than likely, the entire bridge had been moved by some historical landmark lover or an artsy, frugal hippy. Whoever spent the time to do such a thing has my gratitude. It was the sort of experience one reads of in fairy tales, and for several years, drawings of the Bridge House flowed from my hand.