No, it doesn't take 30 minutes to walk across the bridge and back. You have to work at it. You have to linger.
It's especially easy if you have things to think about, like the history of the bridge itself. First, there had to be something on the beach opposite Powder Point that one wanted to get to. In the early days, that was salt. In fact, the earliest names for the beach are "Salt House Beach" and "Salter's Beach." But it's not as if Duxbury Beach is an island. It could be reached from the Marshfield mainland, even before the first bridge was built in 1892.
But it was a hike. Building the bridge subtracted seven hours of travel from the trip from Duxbury Center to the Gurnet.
And the Gurnet, by 1892 home to Revolutionary War Fort Andrew, the twin Gurnet Lighthouses, the Gurnet Life-Saving Station, the Gurnet House and more. The fun started at a dance hall called "Old Sebastopol" in the 1840s and just grew from there. So beyond the raw resources of the beach and bay, there was enjoyment to be had, too.
The first bridge had so many stories tied to it, of plans for beach development, the economic panic of 1893, of repairs and ultimately of failure and fire. The new bridge is exotic, made from basralocus wood from Suriname - marine borer-resistant - and bongassi wood from West Africa. The former barely escaped its home country before a civil war broke out, but the whole deal was wrapped up by August of 1987, and 500 people walked across the bridge that day to make it an official member of the Duxbury community.
I wasn't there. I was 16 at the time, more worried about grades and baseball and girls than seeing history unfold, although by that time I already had that bug. So I walked it today, and will walk it again.
Time: 38 minutes,
New species: (Birds) white-rumped sandpiper, black tern (272).
Stranger hellos: 12 (476).
What else is going on: led our weekly 3 1/2 hour Friday bird walk at work; went on a Boston Harbor cruise on behalf of the Quincy Beaches Commission.