Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Haven't They Heard of Bridges?

Imagine a floating platform long enough to carry three vehicles with only a finger width between the bumpers.

Imagine a metal cable no thicker than a Sharpie highlighter wound around 100 year old tree on the USA river bank of the Rio Grande River, spanning the width of the river, and then wrapped around the thick trunk of another aged tree on the Mexican river bank.

Imagine marine rope strung parallel to the cable and attached to it with more rope looped through a pulley.

Then, imagine five sturdy men pulling the rope, hand-over-hand, inching the floating platform loaded with three cars across the Rio Grande River.

This unique attraction is Los Ebanos Ferry, the last hand-pulled ferry across the Rio Grande River.

When I told my son Christopher about this distinct place, he laughed, “Mom, haven’t they heard of bridges?” In Road Trip USA, a book about cross-country adventures on America’s two lane highways, the author Jamie Jensen hints that the ferry is slated for replacement by a motorboat or maybe a bridge. I would hate to see that happen. It’s unique and intriguing!

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