It’s Bridge Day in West Virginia!
…and around the world, I suppose. But these West Virginia people are on their A-game when it comes to bridges, because as we all know, the longest arch bridge in the western hemisphere is in West Virginia.
Okay, probably nobody knows that. And honestly, I don’t know what even qualifies as an “arch bridge,” but let’s not let that deter us from celebrating this great accomplishment.
Bridge Day in Fayetteville, West Virginia is basically an excuse to stuff your face with a hundred different types of food, perhaps buy yourself a commemorative T-shirt, and, of course, jump off a bridge.
According to some random girl in the crowd who seemed to know what she was talking about, to jump off the bridge, you must first complete 50 solo sky dives and attend a six hour base jumping course the day prior to jumping off a bridge. It can be your first base jump.
On the Web site, they said there were going to be 450+ jumpers in a six hour period: almost 100 per hour. In my mind, I imagined 100-ish people lining up along the bridge at the top of each hour. And then a mass exodus.
This is not the case. In retrospect, that would be super dangerous, albeit very dramatic. Instead, individuals jump off the bridge constantly for six hours, one after another. I don’t know what the rules are, but occasionally they would let two or three people jump at the same time.
Bridge Day this year was extremely cold and windy. Which sucked for me, but it must have extra sucked for the people jumping off the bridge. I don’t know too much about navigating a parachute, but it seemed like some of the jumpers were struggling. And by struggling, I mean, they kept landing in the river and I think maybe it was due to the high winds. A boat would retrieve them from the river, but they must have turned into little adrenaline fueled popsicles in their soaked clothes, in the 40-some degree weather, with the wind chill and what-not.
No thank you.
Here is a video of a guy jumping off a bridge. This was the only jumper I saw sans helmet and also sans shoes.