Bridge Day Weekend 2016

So, if you’re not familiar with Bridge Day, its a giant festival at the New River Gorge at the end of Gauley Season that is essentially a huge celebration of the one day a year when base jumpers can hurl themselves off the bridge. I’d been wanting to go for several years, but didn’t plan far enough out to actually be able to jump now that we finally made it. Womp womp.

However, a lot of my friends were in the area for Bridge Day and to go rafting, so we took it as an opportunity to relax a bit, check out the festival and watch some jumpers, and party with the raft guides. Not a bad consolation prize. We parked back over at Cantrell‘s, did some laundry and camper cleaning on Friday, then enjoyed dinner and a movie out while we waited for everyone to get into town.

Saturday was Bridge Day. We drove the mile into Fayetteville, planning on taking the shuttle down to the Bridge. However, after waiting for over a half hour, we realized we were young, healthy, and impatient, and decided to walk it. There were people EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t believe how busy it was, given the fact that only a few hundred people were permitted to jump.

There were vendors from all over the state–food, clothing, merchandise, outdoor gear, more food, even political parties (largely ignored, I should add). We made our way down to the bridge, and were greeting by a gorgeous view.

The Gorge really is spectacular, and incredibly deep. It’s really hard to get a sense of the scale in pictures. So that’s what the jumpers were jumping into. Here’s what they were jumping off of:

A 10×10 platform/diving board into the abyss. I like to do crazy stuff, and even I was a little intimidated by it–though I’m still gonna do it one day! Here’s a collage I made of three different crops of the same picture to give you an idea of the scope of the jump. Can you see the jumper in all three?

Like I said, it is WAY down there.

We watched those guys for a while, and finished walking the length of the festival, which is on both ends of the bridge. However, it was still unseasonably warm, into the high 80s/low 90s, and we were ready to go cool off. We made our way back to Fayetteville and the truck, where we snapped this picture of Rebecca with the beautiful mural on the side of the Fayetteville museum.

After drinking all the liquids we could find, and hiding out in the ac in the camper for a few hours, we were rejuvenated, and ready to go play. We spent a great evening having bonfires, telling rafting stories, and eating and drinking with a large group of friends new and old at a beautiful cabin they’d rented at the Carnifex Ferry Cottages. We were even treated to one of the best sunsets we’d seen the whole trip.

With the weekend — and the trip!! — over and done, we packed up our tacos and headed north for some fall foliage!

I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Virginia, and married a girl from New Hampshire, so I can drive the East Coast in my sleep. I love exploring, jumping out of airplanes, whitewater rafting, fast cars, comic books, and generally refusing to act my age. More practically, I love budgeting and financial planning, renovating and updating older homes (and now campers), and learning to make our family as self-sustaining as possible.


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