Whose celebrated the 33rd Anniversary of Bridge Day at the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia? I always wanted to go see this event for myself, but because of other events always on this day, I will not be able to attend, this year. Several of my friends, went in previous years and had a blast!
Some history about the Bridge and Gorge itself, “The main span of the Bridge is 1,700 feet long, and the total length of the Bridge is around 3,030 feet long. That is quite a walk. It is also a walk that is special for yet another reason. The Bridge you are walking on is actually 876 feet above the rapids of the New River. This may not seem very tall since you just walked 3,030 feet across the Bridge, but do not just push that number aside.We could move the Washington Monument underneath the New River Gorge Bridge and still have 325 feet left of empty space between the two.” (official bridge day website)
The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville, West Virginia, is the longest (3030 ft), highest (876 ft) steel-arch bridge in the Americas. Seen from the Fayette Station Bridge, near water level. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So you maybe asking what is Bridge Day all about, and I am here to tell you.
Its a celebration of outdoors experiences. According to the Official Bridge Day website, http://www.officialbridgeday.com/, “this festival, the state’s largest, is all about living. Our setting, the New River Gorge, is one of the world’s oldest places, and BASE jumping is one of the world’s most cutting edge sports. Above the famous white water rafting on the New River, jumpers, rappelers, and thousands and thousands of onlookers gather for the state’s biggest party of the year.” BASE jumping stands for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth. One of the awesome things about BASE jumping at the New River Gorge Bridge, more than 80,000 people are there to watch and celebrate the beauty around them. Keep in mind, most people are just there to watch, but it you would like to participate in these exciting feats, you have to register, have skydived and or BASE jumped more than 200 times and partake in several training courses, to ensure your safety. Even after doing all this, there are still chances someone might get injured or even die from these events.
If you are not a BASE jumper expert, but would still like to participate, in a experience of a lifetime, consider getting on a rope and zipping off the bridge. This is called the Highline, which has been offered for 7 years in a row during this event, and it stretches 600 feet down over the gorge. I would love to do this, if I ever have the chance, the only problem is someone would probably have to push me off the bridge to start with, I am not sure I am brave enough just to jump off a perfectly good bridge.
In addition to these two events, teams from around the world come to this event, to partake in the rappelling and ascending from the catwalk beneath bridge. These ropes vary from 700 to 850 feet long. The participants must be seasoned rappellers with proper rack training, and have completed 250 feet rappels before. Even if you meet these requirements, the only teams that get to participate, are the individuals who have registered early and were selected in the lottery drawing in June of each year.
Does this sound like a blast to you or what? Everyone who loves adventures and enjoying nature from your calendar for next year 3rd Saturday in October, and lets plan a trip!! For those of you, who can’t make the trip in person, or are scared of landing on a bridge that high, but would still love to see the action, check out the official bridge day website, and watch the live video feed. Follow Bridge Day events on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/bridgedaywv, twitter, or even download an app for your phones.