On the way from Seattle to Portland I perused through the AAA Washington/Oregon tour book. I started looking up towns we were passing and reading Mr. L all about them (what can I say, I was bored with the freeway).
When I got to the entry for Longview, Washington (pop. 34,660, elev. 13') I noticed something interesting. Longview had something that was said to be "the world's only bridge for squirrels". Well hell, no way were we going to pass that one up! So yes, we took a little diversion to Nutty Narrows.
Don't blink or you'd miss the thing. I think you kinda have to know it's there or where it is otherwise it would just look like some sort of wire or rope across the roadway. Many years ago a man by the name of Amos Peters saw the "carnage" out his office window. A parade of squirrels trying to cross the road and ending up, well, road kill. Mr. Peters decided to do something about that and in 1963 erected his famous "Nutty Narrows Bridge".
He built the "rodent-scaled", 60 foot wide bridge from aluminum and a length of retired fire hose. Attached over the road between two trees it cost a total of $1,000 (which back in 1963 was a lot of money!).
The bridge underwent a major restoration in 1983. In 2005 the bridge had to be moved due to the fact that one of the trees that held the bridge had to be removed. It's only about a 100 yards from it's original placement. It's now directly in front of the Longview Public Library so if you're looking for it and can't find it, look for the Library.
Mr. Peters, who passed away in 1984, was surely a beloved man. If you look on the grounds of the library (you can see it if you are near the bridge) you can see a statue that was erected in his honor. It's a huge wooden gray squirrel, facing towards Nutty Narrows, acorn in paw.
If you do go check out the squirrel bridge, be sure to take a look at The Monticello Hotel which is just around the corner. Built in 1923 it's a pretty cool looking hotel with great architecture.
Alas, just as an aside, we did not see any squirrels actually using the bridge. We also didn't see any squirrels that had, shall we say, forgotten to use the bridge???