National Trails Day, Pony Express, Team Up for Clean Up
El Dorado County and Eldorado National Forest has many trail opportunities for the hiker, bicyclist and equestrian, and annually in June, a national day is set aside to recognize trails. The California Division of the National Pony Express Association is doing something a little different this year in honor of trails, specifically the Pony Express National Historic Trail, doing an e-waste collection fundraiser for the Brockliss Bridge Project. All proceeds from the collection will go toward the project.
The California Division of NPEA has partnered with the California Electronic Asset Recovery, a state-approved collector and recycler for this temporary collection. The drop off site will be at Double Diamond Tack & Feed in Diamond Springs, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Since 1988 the American River Canyon, at Pacific House, has been without a river crossing at the Brockliss/Blair Bridge site, when the magnificent old Blair Bridge was blown up. This river crossing without a bridge is a missing link in the California and Pony Express National Historic Trails. A national trail must be of national historical significance, have integrity of resources, and a potential for public recreational use. High-potential sites and segments can also be identified. This river crossing is one of those high-potential sites.
It is where Anthony Brockliss in late 1855-1856 built a stone and wood bridge. The bridge was only meant to handle one way traffic, but due to heavy wagon traffic, and in fact reported as bottleneck, the wagon roads were taking a real beating. In 1858, the counties of Sacramento, El Dorado and Yolo issued bonds to provide the necessary funds to build a wagon road which included rebuilding of the Brockliss Bridge, a timber lock arch bridge.
In 1869, due to hard winters and neglect the bridge collapsed. In 1926, the Blair Brother Lumber Company built a bridge at the Brockliss site. The Blair Bridge was one lane and was utilized by logging trucks to transport trees to the Blair Brothers saw mill. The Blair Bridge was deemed unsafe and was blow up with no plans to rebuild, thus the loss of a river crossing, and a trail connection. The NPEA has been working with the Eldorado National Forest and El Dorado County to give back to the community the missing link in a national historic trail.
Please help us honor National Trails Day with your e-waste. Also, be on the lookout for the Pony Riders riding through El Dorado County June 11-12, for their historical re-enactment of the Pony Express re-ride.
MELBA J. LEAL