WV Bridge Day – Oct 2016

As a terra firma guy who enjoys keeping his heart rate steady and his feet on the ground, we joined good friends in Fayetteville, West Virginia for Bridge Day, a celebration that involves the longest span bridge in the world – and people who find it exhilarating to jump or rope off it.  What?

1-IMG_4912.jpg

2-IMG_4742.jpg

3-IMG_4872.jpg

4a-IMG_4873.jpg

Why do people jump off of an 876 foot high bridge? Excellent question; I will not even attempt to answer. The jumpers are called BASE jumpers – which stands for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth. I would be a contender if B stood for Bed. These extreme jumpers use parachutes that are specifically designed for rapid deployment. Not rapid enough for me.

5-IMG_4856.jpg

6-IMG_4858.jpg

Anyway, we trekked to Fayetteville and arrived the day before, which gave us the opportunity to explore the area and terrain where the jumpers and repellers would perform. Did I mention the bridge is almost 900 feet high? The bridge is the longest single-arch steel span bridge in the world.

7-IMG_5249.jpg

8-IMG_4779.jpg

The bridge spans the New River, which in this gorge is populated with whitewater rapids. Just above the bridge are the Class IV Fayette Station Rapids (you can see kayakers navigating – or not, through these wild rapids), and just below the bridge are the Flea Flicker Rapids. So for jumpers it behooves them to make it to dry ground! The river, by the way, is considered one of the oldest rivers in North America. We viewed the Fayette Station Rapids and some kayakers the day before to get a view of the terrain. Yikes.

10-IMG_4865.jpg

Fayette Station Rapids

11-IMG_4786.jpg

12-IMG_4795.jpg

13-IMG_4799.jpg

14-IMG_5264.jpg

15-IMG_5266.jpg

16-IMG_5268.jpg

We watched the jumpers from the bridge, and were treated to views of them leaping off the platform in the middle of the bridge, a pretty quick free fall of some 600-700 feet (I would guess), deployment of the chutes, and then navigation over the fast flowing river to (hopefully) the shore. From there, the jumpers would repack their gear and could jump again as many times as time allowed for this one-day-per-year event.

20-IMG_4827.jpg

21-IMG_4829.jpg

22-IMG_4834.jpg

23-IMG_4840.jpg

24-IMG_4871.jpg

25-IMG_4862.jpg

26-IMG_4931.jpg

27-IMG_4927.jpg

IMG_4900.jpg

Team jumping

In addition to the jumpers, there were repellers who would repel from the bridge to the river below. I can only imagine the intimidation of repelling down a 900-foot rope to the river below. One must be fairly trusting of the rope – there is no Plan B if the rope were to fail. Yikes.

30-IMG_4936.jpg

Repellers

31-IMG_4938.jpg

To view this event there is a fair amount of walking required, and getting there early in the day clearly provided us benefits to viewing and enjoyment. There are plenty of facilities and vendors providing food, snacks and bling.

40-IMG_4819.jpg

41-IMG_4820.jpg

42-IMG_4822.jpg

While I wouldn’t consider in a billion years doing this, we had a most fabulous time watching!

One response to “WV Bridge Day – Oct 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s