Have you ever been to Bridge Day? Have you even heard of Bridge Day?!? When we moved to our tiny town 10 years ago, I don’t think that I had ever heard about it, or if I had that it even registered in my brain what it is.
Then my Daddy said very casually one day, “Hey, you should take the kids to the New River Gorge Bridge, it’s pretty cool.” So we did. And it was astounding. Amazing. Crazy. Breathtaking. And it wasn’t Bridge Day!
I have to say, if you want to have a relaxing experience of the bridge in all of its glory, go on a day that isn’t Bridge Day. There are just so. many. people. But, you need to go on the weekend that they are holding Bridge Day too. It’s A-MAZING.
The New River Gorge Bridge is located just outside Fayetteville, West Virginia. The bridge is 876 feet ABOVE the New River. Did you read that? 876 feet. On Bridge Day they shut both sides of Highway 19 down and let people JUMP OFF OF IT!!! Want a visual of just how high that really is?
Yeah. We didn’t jump off of the bridge and it was exhilarating. I cannot even imagine the thrill that the people who were jumping were getting. Crazytown, people, crazy. town.
As you approach on the day, you will be very aware that you are not going to be able to drive across the bridge. They have it clearly stated along the way.
Since you can’t drive to the bridge and they don’t want 50,000 cars lined along the highway, they provide shuttles for $3.00 and will drop you at the entrance to the bridge. You can park at the local Walmart or five other places you can read about here.
The day we were there, our shuttle was a school bus. I don’t think I’ve been on a school bus since I was in the tenth grade. They’ve changed a lot! Did you know that school buses now are automatics!? Every school bus I have ever been on was a stick shift.
When they drop you off, you’ll have to walk down the highway to actually get to the bridge. Try to keep yourself away from the welding helmeted man with the kettle corn. You can try. 😀
And the Hillbilly Hot Dogs.
AND the thousands of people.
It’s truly not a long walk to the actual bridge.
I thought this was pretty ironic. You know, since there can be up to 100,000 people walking it on Bridge Day.
Good reminders along the way, especially if you have small children.
Here are some things you may see on the way…..
How. How do you lose your shoe, adult person, and not realize it?
And you are there! Lots of people will be hanging over the rails, watching the people who have just jumped. It’s a very long bridge. My advice is to head straight to the platform they have built over the edge for the jumpers.
This is where I thought most of the excitement of the day happened.
Two people taking the plunge. See the guys hand in the air? Yeah, he’s already airborne!
This guy. From what I gathered, he had been there all day. Watching people, jump, waiting, watching people jump and waiting. He was gathering his nerve.
He stood there a LONG time. But he did it!
I mean, come on! Look at that. Seriously, I honestly don’t think I could ever do it. Do you see that tiny red and white bull’s eye down there?
Yeah, there. That’s what they are supposed to aim for. Go back and look at the previous picture. Those are humans next to it. Uh-huh.
This poor guy didn’t make it to the bull’s eye. He landed in the water. That’s what all of the boats are there for. To get people out of the river. The frigid river. We had winter gear on and it was still cold. I can’t imagine what the river felt like. But these guys did it over and over. Jump, land, ride the bus back up, get on the platform and jump again.
If you’ve never been to Bridge Day I HIGHLY recommend it. There are a lot of other things happening during the weekend too and you can read all about the plans they have for 2018 here. Have fun!