The first U-turn of this road trip occurred when  we spotted a sign for Horton Mill Covered Bridge. I vaguely remember someone giving me a packet of notecards a few years ago that pictured several covered bridges in Blount County. Horton Mill turned out to be one of three that are open to car traffic. TOR was not elated when she saw the sign that said she could actually drive through the bridge. Apparently she’s always had a fear of bridges of any kind. “Well, you don’t have to,” I said. “I can just walk across.”

TOR stared for a moment. Then she trotted back to her big white Toyota Highlander and announced, “I’m going to do it!”

“Okay,” I said. “I will do a video of you doing it.” I walked and videoed, while TOR drove at the 5-mph speed limit through the bridge, with Gracie by her side. I couldn’t see much through the wooden slats and thick green spring foliage, but there was water beneath the bridge. I wonder if TOR would have made her heroic drive had she known that this bridge, which spans the Calvert Prong of the Little Warrior River, is 70 feet!!! above that prong. In fact, according to several sources, this bridge is the HIGHEST covered bridge over any US waterway. She was proud of her accomplishment, even more so after she looked down over the edge on the other side and saw how far below the water was. This bridge was built in 1934, which surprised me. I always thought covered bridges belonged entirely to horse and buggy days.

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