Photo #1 was taken from the east side of the river, looking west. It shows the Bailey bridge that was installed there after the Deluge of 2010 that so devastated Meat Cove and washed out several sluices under the Meat Cove Road where swollen brooks and rivers backed up against the supports and were too much for them to bear. The Salmon River bridge was not carried away, but its underpinnings were so compromised that traffic was not allowed to pass over it. Within a week of the devastation, this bridge had been laid across the river.
Photo #2 was taken from the west side of the river, looking east. Part of the old bridge can be seen below the Bailey bridge at the right of the photo. Although too broken to bear the weight of a vehicle, it was plenty sturdy enough to bear mine, as I stepped out onto it for photographs.
Photo #3 looks downstream from beside the Salmon River Bridge at the Salmon River as it flows to its mouth in Bay St Lawrence. Before the new bridge had been put it place, a temporary road was built across the river here to allow the heavy machinery required for repairs to the road and for replacing the bridge to get across. At the left of the photo, you can see the path where that temporary road ascended from the river.
Photo #4 is a telephoto view of the mouth of the Salmon River. Like so many other rivers in Cape Breton, its mouth is mostly blocked by rocks and cobblestones, with only a narrow passage through which the water exits. The presence of all those stones, however, is an indication of the strong currents which, at certain times of the year, such as during the spring run-off and, in this case, the Deluge of 2010, have enough force to carry them on its way to the sea.
Photo #5 looks upstream at the Salmon River from the centre of the old bridge under the Bailey bridge. The source of the Salmon River is a small pond in McEvoys Barren on North Mountain east of Theodore Fricker Mountain in Inverness County; as it makes its way to the sea, it is joined by several other brooks and streams.
Photo #6 shows the Cape Breton Highlands that form the western side of the canyon through which the Salmon River flows; the river itself is at the bottom left of the photo.
Photo #7 was taken on the east side of the bridge looking across the Salmon River. The site of the existing, damaged bridge and the replacement Bailey bridge is clearly not the site of the oldest bridge over this river. The abutment at the right of this photo survives from a predecessor bridge over the river; it was matched by an abutment across from it that was still mostly intact when I stopped here on my very first trip to Meat Cove; however, it was largely destroyed by the Deluge of 2010. This one, fortunately, survived somewhat better.
Photo #8 is a close-up view of the surviving abutment. When I first noticed it a number of years ago, it appeared as it did in photo #9, taken in 2005, when it was still intact and much wider across than it appears in 2013: half of its stones at the left have been dislodged from the fine structure I saw then—the three large stones just below the top course were matched by three more of equal size to their left. That the beautiful stonework, which appears to have eschewed the use of cement, has survived the ravages of time and severe storms as well as it has, is a testament to the skill and dedication of those who constructed it many years ago.