Drawing of Hammett's Crossing in 1880


The road leading to "Hammitt's (sic) improved" crossing of the Pedernales River, near West Cave, sketched by Hermann Lungkwitz, ca. 1880.

Elnora Neumann and Florene Bond, standing on the recently flooded Hammett's Crossing bridge on the last day of school in 1934. Local lore has it that Travis County, strapped for cash at the time (sound familiar?), took up a collection in the neighborhood in order to fund the construction of the bridge in 1924-25. Elnora's dad, Arthur Neumann, along with other local folks, contributed so their kids could more easily cross the river to get to school. The men of the neighborhood also participated in the building of the bridge, hauling buckets of cement down to the river by hand. That's dedication.

Here's what the bridge looked like back in 1952 (same as it looked when it was finished in 1925). Anyone who can tell us who the bathing beauty is wins a free swim in the Pedernales.

And here's what it looked like April 22nd, 2004. Hasn't changed much, eh? Let's keep it that way.

The story goes that when it was completed, the neighbors all got together and had a picnic on the bridge. What say we celebrate the anniversary of that picnic with a picnic of our own every year? Anyone game? Let us know.



Hammett's Crossing flooded 6-23-04
Here is Hammett's Crossing Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004 at about 7:30 AM.
And here it was June 23rd at 1:20 PM, with a little water on the bridge.

HammettsCrossingFlooded6-10-04_6PM Hammett'sCrossingWithEMStruck
Here is what Hammett's Crossing looked like on Thursday, May 10th 2004 at about 6:00 PM.
Yes, that was an EMS truck over on the other side. I hope they were just sightseeing, not needed for an emergency over here.

Hammett's Crossing flooded 4/7/04 Rapids above Hammett'e Crossing 8/16/03
Here's the bridge on April 7th, 2004. Here is my Grandson Zac, playing in the rapids above Hammett's Crossing on August 16th, 2003.
Hammett's Crossing Sunday, October 3rd, 2004 at about 9:30pm. Note the piles of debris on the far side of the bridge left by the over-night flooding.
Hammett's Crossing November 18th, 2004, 4:30pm. Wha' hoppened to da bridge?
pumpkin sad
pumpkin on post
Here is Hammett's Crossing at about 8:00am on Monday, November 1, 2004. The pumpkins on the bridge are a Halloween tradition here. The one on the left is sad because he must know that, by about 10:00am, his happy brother up on the post will be washed away by the flooding river.
Hammett's Crossing Flood with tree
Hammett's 11/18/04
Here is Hammett's Crossing at about 4:30pm on November 17, 2004. See the bridge? The picture on the right shows the tree (center) that has the water level markers on it. This one's bound to keep us going the long way for a while, folks. Here it is at 4:30pm, November 18, 2004. It has come down quite a bit but you still can't see the bridge. You can see where some yahoo got too close, though. You can also see quite a bit more of the marker tree. Even when the water clears, that mud is going to be a real problem for a while.
Hammett's Crossing 11/27/04
Hammett's Crossing 3-7-05
Here is Hammett's Crossing at about 9:00am on Saturday, November 27, 2004. You can see the bridge slowly reemerging from the depths. It has since almost fully appeared and can now be driven over (that is until the next big rain, which could be today). Here is Hammett's Crossing at about 10:00am on Monday, March 7, 2005. The faint hearted might still want to take the long way around but I'd drive over it like this.
Hammett's Crossing 3/7/05 5:30pm Hammett'sCrossing 3/8/05
And here it is at 5:30pm, Monday. It's just a puddle. No sweat charging over. But, by 3:00pm on Tuesday, March 8th, this picture shows that it was back up to a little above where it was Monday morning. Crazy river just won't be predictable. By Wednesday morning (the 9th) however, it was all clear - not a drop on the bridge.
May 5, 2006, 9:30am - Last night the storm raged. The rain gauge showed 3/4" but during all the fury it seemed like a flood was falling. Word is there is flooding up at Pedernales Falls so the bridge might be underwater before the day is out.
May 5th, at 1:30pm - Here's the flood.
Hammett'sCrossing 5-6-06
May 6, 2006, around noon - Looks pretty peaceful, doesn't it? We're on a wild ride as this river yoyos up and down. You never know whether you can get across these days. May 7, 2006, about 10:00am, the river is not crossable, as evidenced by that stuck truck.
Stuck truck Hammett's Crossing 3-14-07
What were they thinking? A neighbor told me that last night the TV news showed a helicopter rescuing some folks from a red truck. Could this be the one? March 14, 2007, about 10:30am, the river is not crossable. At least they got the stuck Jeep off the bridge.
Hammett's Crossing Flood 3-27-07 Touriusts view flood 3-27-07
March 27, 2007, it was way up last night. You couldn't even see that sign with diagonal stripes. Down a bit now but more rain is forecast. Tourists gather on the other side of the river to view the spectacle.
Hammett's Crossing 6-30-07
Here's what it looked like the day before - June 29th. Not too different. Here was "Hammett's Lake" at 9:30am, June 30th, 2007. It was not moving because it was mostly Lake Travis backed up to here.
Hammett's Crossing Flood 7-22-07 checking the depth of the water
July 12, 2007, about 11:00am, it's up and brown but may soon be down. We'll check later. July 12, 2007, about 6:00pm, our neighbor Troy tests the depth with his paddle to see if he is going to bring the truck across or paddle as he has been doing for a while.
Crossing the river wide shot.
Crossing the river close.
He decides that he has waited long enough and will attempt the crossing by truck. He makes it, canoe perched precariously in the bed. He is bringing the boat home, hopefully not to be needed again for his commute for a long time. Of course, with Mother Nature (enhanced by a little global warming) who knows?
Hammett's Crossing 7-25-07
Hammett's Crossing 7-26-07
Here's the bridge 7-25-07 at about 9:00am. And it got worse later in the day. 7-26-07 at about 1:00pm, there is a little water on the bridge but nothing to stop even the wimpiest driver. And it rained like crazy upstream last night. Go figure!
Barricade & Sawyer the cat
Hammett's Crossing flood 7-27-07
7-26-07: The bridge is passable but the barricades are still up. The nice thing about the bridge closings (though enough is definitely enough) is that we don't have to fear for our cat Sawyer's life when he follows us on our walks. Here he is lagging behind as usual, meowing plaintively. 7-27-07 at about 9:00am, it's a raging torrent again. It's become positively biblical. Anyone wanna chip in for an ark?
Hammett's Crossing 7-29-07 Hammett's Crossing 7-28-07
7-29-07 at about 9:00am, here we go again. The cisterns are full and overflowing. Enough! 7-28-07 at about 10:30am, it's all clear but for how long? The forecasters are predicting another 60% chance of rain for today. But what do they know?
Stumps at Hammett's Crossing 7-30-07 River laps at the Hammett's Crossing bridge 7-30-07
7-30-07: A lineup of partially submerged trees on the upstream side of the bridge. 7-30-07, 9:00am: The river laps at the bridge's east side wall but, except for a few splashes, doesn't make it onto the roadway.
Hammett's 8-17-07 Hammett's 8-18-07
8-17-07, 9:00am: What a shocker to go out for our walk and find the river up this high. Note that the arrow and the tree with the 15' marker are not visible. And the level is a few feet above the "one lane bridge" sign. 8-18-07, 9:00am: This sandy beach on the Pedernales is what used to be Hamilton Pool Road. The sand itself is what used to be the sandy beach down below our house. Oh well, it comes and it goes.
Hammett's 8-18-07 Hammett's Crossing 8-20-07
8-18-07, 9:00am: You can see by the debris line, which is way above the "one lane bridge" sign, that the level came up even more last night. 8-20-07, 9:00am: The sand is still there but the bridge is clear. People with 4-wheel drive and/or guts can make it through. No serious problem going east but the return trip through the mud might be a bit tough going up the hill.
Hammett's Crossing 9-5-07 Hammett's Crossing dry as a bone
9-5-07, 3:00pm: The river came up fast. This morning I walked across going east and kept my feet dry. I went up the hill and then, on my return trip, the bridge was covered with water - wet feet. 9-6-09, 10:00am: So long without rain that the river by Hammett's Crossing is a rock garden with a few small puddles. It's a depressing sight but can't last, can it?
Hammett's Crossing after the rains - back to normal Hammett's Crossing flooded 10-22-09
9-13-09, 4:00pm: Hallelujah! We've had almost 4 inches of rain and the river is back up to its normal level for this time of year. 10-22-09, 10:00am: Not yet the big one but still a substantial flood. See the arrow? Well, by 11:00 the arrow was completely under water. But then it began to come down quickly.
Hammett's Crossing 10-23-09 Hammett's Crossing 10-27-09, 10:00am
10-23-09, 10:00am: And here it is 24 hours later - just a little trickle of water crossing the bridge. There's that arrow, standing tall. 10-27-09, 10:00am: The river is flowing fast and is just over the top of the bridge's side rails. It will probably be passable soon. I'll check it and update later.
Hammett's Crossing after the flood 10-27-09 Hammett's Crossing flooded 11-21-09
And at 2:30, the bridge is passable. There is still a little water on it but nobody should have a problem crossing. 11-21-09 - 10:00am: There was quite a bit of water rushing across the bridge. It went down pretty quickly, though.
After the flood, activity resumes Hammett's Crossing flood 9-9-10
11-22-09 - 2:00pm: The bridge is clear, the river is running nicely and several groups are down there enjoying the day (including 3 kayakers who had themselves a wild ride down from Pedernales Falls State Park. 1-30-10 - 10:00am: The bridge is covered but going down quickly. Yesterday late afternoon it was up over 15 feet higher but now (at 4:00pm) there's just a little water on the bridge and the crossing is passable.
Flood at Hammett's Crossing 1-30-10 HammettsFlood5-11-12Afternoon
1-30-10 - 10:00am: The bridge is covered but some brave (stupid) souls are crossing it anyway. The river seems to be going down and the crossing should be passable by this evening. 5-11-12 - 4:54pm: The wild river is now tame enough for a brave soul to leave his car on the west side and walk home to Stagecoach Ranch Road over the bridge.
HammettsFlood5-11-12-morning HammettsFlood11-6-13
5-11-12 - 10:41am: The river is roiling, roaring & rushing over the bridge. 11-6-13 - 10:30am: The bridge is covered but the river will be be passable by the next morning.
PrettyStumpStuckIn Bridge  
5-29-12 - 10:00am: The recent flood has left this beautiful, natural sculpture stuck in the bridge's upstream rail.  

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