This photograph of Linn Cove Viaduct is my contribution to the seemingly endless portfolio of Viaduct pictures, most taken from this same vantage point. This bridge has been photographed in all four seasons, in day and night, in sun and snow. Ordinarily, I avoid taking the same picture that everyone else takes, but there is something about this structure that draws people to it. I think it is the juxtaposition of the magnificent landscape God created against one of the finest engineering feats man created. I am one who thinks there is everything right in such a contrast, because being made in the image of God means we should take the gifts He gives to dream, endeavor, create, and glorify Him in the process.
Back in 1987, I was blessed with an experience that cannot be repeated. Shortly after construction of the Viaduct, at a time before it was open to traffic, friends and I went to see the new bridge. At the abutments, we discovered one could enter the hollow interior of the Viaduct. (If you look at construction photos for Linn Cover Viaduct on the web, you will see it is constructed from multiple preformed trapezoid-shaped segments.)
We were able to climb inside of the Viaduct. (The National Park Service has since sealed the ends of the bridge making it impossible to enter it now.) It was very dark inside, as one would expect, a concrete cave with a roadway for a ceiling. As we walked the length of the interior, I was most fascinated by what lit our dim way—drain holes, maybe three inches in diameter, two per constructed segment. These holes gave us peepholes to the landscape below. But that was not the best part.
In that dark space, each of those drain holes was a camera obscura, projecting a dim and inverted picture from under the bridge onto the gray, concrete ceiling. All down this tunnel were these circles of light overhead, each a living picture of the landscape below, the landscape that engineers created this transportation masterpiece to protect.