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It was Yankee Furgality, But for a Horse it Seemed Like a Barn

River Days --

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Elwood was shocked and saddened when he learned Clyde Farley died while haying. Clyde was one of Elwood's father's best friends. As Elwood thought about Clyde, he realized how grateful he was that his father was still alive.

The next day Elwood decided that, before it was too late, he would take his dad fishing at some of the places in the upper reaches of the Connecticut River where his father had taken him fishing three decades earlier.

Friday Elwood and Edward headed north. They arrived at The Glen before dinner. While they unpacked, they talked about the last time they stayed at The Glen.

On the way to dinner, Elwood noticed a guest reading, River Days: Exploring the Connecticut River from Source to Sea. When Elwood asked the guest, who identified himself as Buzz, about the book, Buzz replied,

The book is about Michael Tougias's journey by kayak and canoe down the Connecticut River from its source near the Canadian border to where it meets the sea in Connecticut. I bought the book in Boston last month. After reading it I decided to spend my vacation on the Connecticut River. I don't have time to paddle down the Connecticut, like the author did, but I do have time to drive and look. The book contains maps and stories for every section of the Connecticut River.

When Elwood expressed an interest in the book Buzz said, “Why don't you borrow my copy for the evening?” After dinner, with Buzz's copy of River Days, Elwood and Edward headed back to their cabin. While Edward readied their fishing gear Elwood opened River Days. Soon Elwood was sharing bits from the book - The name Connecticut has its origins in the Algonquin Indian word "quinatucquet," meaning long tidal river. . . The township of Pittsburg, which covers over 300 square miles, including all the Connecticut lakes, was one of the last areas in New England to be explored by white man.

In writing about the section of the river south of Lancaster and north of Gilman, where a covered bridge crosses the Connecticut, the author wrote -

There are many reasons offered for why bridges were covered, . . . I’ve read that horses feared crossing water, and bridges were covered to fool the horse into thinking it was going into a barn. Another theory explains how the roof helps a horse's footing in winter by keeping out snow and ice. But the real reason was plain old Yankee frugality. The cover protects the bridge's structural timbers - the most expensive part of the bridge - from the elements, thus prolonging the life of the bridge.

As Elwood looked up, Edward said, "We will have to give Buzz back his book at breakfast, but when we get home, lets buy a copy of River Days."

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