Home > My Fiction, Star Trek > Thanks to USS Aquila

Thanks to USS Aquila

This weekend, I attended a meeting of a local Star Trek fan club called USS Aquila, who had chosen to discuss The Buried Age for their book club meeting this month and invited me to participate and talk about my book.  It was an interesting session with wide-ranging discussion, and although we couldn’t talk entirely freely about the book since a couple of members hadn’t been able to finish it, it was still a nice opportunity to connect with the fans.  So this is to thank them for having me.

The meeting was held at a library just across the river from me in Covington, KY, and it’s a pretty nice library that I’d like to visit again sometime.  To get there, I had to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done before, certainly not as a driver: cross the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, one of Cincinnati’s major landmarks and a prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge (also designed by Roebling).  I’ve always been afraid of suspension bridges in the past, but a while ago I saw a mini-documentary about the bridge on my local PBS station, which stated that the bridge was designed with kind of a belt-and-suspenders-and-belt approach, using three different kinds of structural support because the suspension technique was still fairly novel and Roebling didn’t want to take chances (or something).  So I figured, okay, it’s probably one of the sturdiest bridges out there.  Still, there were a couple of things I didn’t reckon on.  One, it’s very narrow, only one lane either way.  That surprised me, since it always looks so big in the pictures.  Two, the surface is made of metal gratings rather than concrete, I guess for lightness.  It was an uncomfortable surface to drive over because it felt like it was making the wheels want to jerk sideways — not an enjoyable sensation on such a narrow bridge.  I’m thinking next time I go to Covington, I’ll use another route.

  1. Ood Sigma
    February 23, 2010 at 10:42 am

    If you’re nervous about driving, you should probably stay away from the Brent Spence. Even though it’s much wider (4 lanes across), it’s much busier, and when you are going north (crossing into Ohio) you are underneath the south-bound lanes, which can make one a little claustrophobic. The Big Mac bridge (I-471) is probably the friendliest, but it puts you out in Newport. If you don’t mind driving an extra couple miles on surface streets in Kentucky, that’s probably your best option.

  2. February 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Funny you should mention that detail about “one lane each way”. I’ve yet to ride the span myself, but the Confederation Bridge connecting Prince Edward Island to the New Brunswick mainland is similarly set up. Not a suspension bridge, though…

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