Dear Bertha,

When we returned from our winter in Arizona, Elmer had a major surprise awaiting us. Frances and Elmer expected to buy the Antone Jacob's place where they were living so you can imagine what a blow it was when Mark Whitmer bought the place for his daughter and son-in-law Mary and Mike Mosher.

Determined not to have another such experience, Elmer talked his younger brother, Henry, into pooling their resources to buy a dryland grain farm in the Southside community, south of the Yampa River, west of Steamboat Springs. Elmer was anxious to get moved from the Jacobs' place to Southside before the snow roads got any worse, (the snowpacked are fine for sled traffic, and even for automobiles on the major roads); but when the snowpack melts in the springtime, our roads turn into a slushy mess of ice and mud chunks and become impassable for anything short of a saddle horse. So you can see why Elmer was anxious to get all the hauling done of both bridge materials and everything he had to move to Southside.

Well, with Elmer and Slim each driving a team and sled, Elmer said that it became apparent to him that by using all the help available on the ranch he could have the bridge project completed before the spring breakup and high water.

It wasn't long before the pier cribs were in place, and the crew had began placing the big stringers from pier to pier.

When we arrived home, instead of finding all the bridge materials stockpiled between the house and the river, where the bridge was to be located, there was our beautiful new bridge. Eight big A trusses, four on each side, dividing the bridge's load limit into the eight 16-foot spans, which in turn support five 6-by-12 36-foot stringers.

What joy we felt. At long last (except during spring breakup) we are now joined year-round to the "outside world" by automobile access between our front door and the public highway just across the river.

Will continue later but must close for now.

As ever,



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