A Love Letter to Maryland in Real Life: The Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Last year, my short story, A Love Letter to Maryland, was published in the anthology 30 Ways to Love Maryland. I wrote that story as a way to highlight some of what Maryland has to offer in both beauty and culture. It highlights many places in Maryland, some I've been to and some that are now on my bucket list. After the story was published, my husband came up with a great idea to take the book and see the places mentioned in my story. My first thought was, why didn't I think of that? My second? Let's do this.
We started taking the book 30 Ways to Love Maryland with us everywhere just in case we happened to pass by one of the locations I wrote about. One of the first places we happened to go was across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I know what you're thinking, this isn't really a place you can visit. However, in my story it sparks the beginning of Emma's trip down memory lane and opens the door for her to remember all the wonderful places she's been in the state of Maryland.
I was born and raised in Maryland so the Bay Bridge is very familiar to me and always evokes memories every time I drive over it. If you're from Maryland you know that most of us can only get to the Eastern Shore by going over this magnificent bridge. Every summer as a kid meant at least one trip over the bridge for beach time in Ocean City. Later as an adult I continued my trips over the Bay Bridge to visit one of my best friends who lives on the Eastern Shore. It made sense then, to have my main character feel the same way, while also using it to help me move the story along.
It was really fun too, having my story with me and reading the part that involved the bridge while my husband drove us over. It was still really fresh in my head that I was holding a book containing a story I wrote. Physically being on the Bay Bridge seemed extra exciting and magical.
So, whether you're heading into Maryland this summer or live here, make sure you drive over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at least once. You never know what adventure awaits!
Fun Facts about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge:
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened in 1952. (www.wtop.com)
When it opened, the Bay Bridge was the largest continuous over-water steel structure in the world. (www.wtop.com)
It was named for former Maryland Governor William Preston Lane Jr. (www.wtop.com)
The cost to build the east bound side of the bridge was 45 million. (www.wtop.com)
1.1 million vehicles drove over the bridge in it's first year. (www.wtop.com)
The second span of the bridge opened in 1973. (www.wtop.com)
As of 2017 traffic volume in both directions 27.2 million vehicles. (www.wtop.com)