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Crossing the Pecos High Bridge on Horseback

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Elton Miles wrote:


"The high, spindle-legged railroad bridge across the deep canyon formed by the Pecos River between Langtry and Comstock was breathtaking. It was more breathtaking to stand on it and look down than to stand beneath it and look up. It had no guardrails, and a broad footpath ran its length. To walk across made one giddy enough, and legend gives credit to a young ranchwoman who first dared to ride across it on horseback. She was celebrated in an anonymous poem, "The Pecos River Queen." James Cooper of Snyder said that when he lived near the bridge in the 1930s, sheet metal was laid in places where the wooden walk was unsafe. Many times, however, he and others rode their horses across that clattering path with the danger of plummeting to death at both elbows. He said you needed a steady, unspookable horse. Others told stories of their encounters with the Old Pecos High Bridge. When she was a child, Katherine Anne Porter crossed it more than once on trips from Kyle, Texas, to El Paso. She remembered the bridge, which was two years younger than she, having been built in 1892, as being unsafe. She wrote, "Here was the famous and beautiful Pecos Bridge, then supposed to be the highest and one of the longest in the world." Three hundred twenty-one feet above the river, it stretched 2,180 feet long, almost half a mile. It was the highest bridge in the United States and third highest in the world, merely 27 feet short of the record."


------ Elton Miles, More Tales from the Big Bend, 1988

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 3rd February 2020 6:16 pm