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New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia  
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1423 times:

Has anyone on A.net ever been to the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia ? The reason I ask.......when I was at Krogers today, I glanced at the new June issue of Popular Science Magazine; there is a story in it about a guy who lives in Fayetteville, W.Va. (which is where the N.R.G.B. is at.)

For anyone outside of the U.S. (or anyone not familiar with the New River Gorge Bridge), it's the largest steel arch bridge in the world, (at least it was the last time I checked), and it's also the second highest highway bridge in the U.S. The highway on the bridge is like 872 feet above the New River. When they first built the bridge, they had a really big problem with BASE jumpers, jumping off of the bridge, and there were several fatalities. The state finally decided it was useless trying to keep people from jumping off the bridge, so they set aside one day a year as "bridge day", and close two of the four lanes to traffic, and guys from all over the world come to BASE jump from the bridge.

Back in the 70's when my kids were still growing up, we used to go to New River Gorge a few times every summer to go camping, as it's a spectacularly beautiful place to camp, fish, go rafting, and I took many rolls of film pictures of the big bridge, but somehow, I have never made it to bridge day, even though I have been wanting to for years and years now.

So today, while I'm checking out the new issue of Pop Sci, I read this article about a guy at Fayetteville, who has designed this "human catapult"........and when I read the story.........now I think I'm gonna have to go for Bridge Day this year !
They actually used this thing last year ON THE BRIDGE.......to "HURL" base jumpers 50 to 60 feet........off of this 872 ft high bridge ! That I have to see ! (And it's less than 500 miles from where I live !) Are there any other A.netters planning to go for Bridge day this year ? ( If there are.......and if you're a Democrat, perhaps I can use my "influence" to get you a "ride" in Jason Bell's big catapult ! ) Oh.....I just remembered.......better bring your parachute........you'll definitely need it !

In the meantime, check out the June issue of Pop Sci.........

Charley


Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1239 times:

Bridge Day is always the third Saturday in October. Not knowing that information, I was passing through there last October on the day AFTER bridge day.  

FYI, it's now the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_arch_bridge_spans



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently onlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2628 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1229 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 1):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...spans

China, quit hogging all the awesome bridges!!  



Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 1):
FYI, it's now the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world.

Thanks for the link ! I'll have to check out the other three; I haven't been to NRG for 6 or 7 years now, so I'm about due to take a trip down to retake all of my many slides with digital. I've had more fun shooting the big rapids under the bridge with an air mattress than I could ever describe; on one camping trip with my family, I was fishing just below the rapids and directly under the bridge, and I caught a 41 pound cat fish; ( Didn't even have a camera with me to get pictures of that monster, so we finally ended up letting him go.)

As much as I'd like to go on bridge day, it's so much fun to go swimming there, I'll probably go a month or so before bridge day so I can go swimming; It's much too cold that late in October.

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlinesteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9179 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day ago) and read 1144 times:

I've been to the bridge and across it. The first time I was at the bridge, I actually drove across it while on a long bus ride from Pittsburgh to Myrtle Beach for a high school music trip in 1999. I remember being a little scared as our bus crossed the 3,000 foot span. The following year, my cousin got married in Summersville, WV, which is roughly 25 miles from the bridge. My mom and I took a drive down to the bridge.

Truly is an engineering marvel.



Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 1111 times:

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 4):
The following year, my cousin got married in Summersville, WV, which is roughly 25 miles from the bridge. My mom and I took a drive down to the bridge.

Truly is an engineering marvel.

I hope you stopped in at the Rest Area at the end of the bridge and walked down to the overlook; it's a short walk, and the view is spectacular; also, the next time you're in the area and have any time, be SURE to drive down the old road at either end of the bridge; you will pass under the arch two or three times getting to the bottom, then you can drive over the old bridge, and take the same "twisty" road back up the other side, and come back to the highway at the other end of the big bridge. Also, If you're really "brave"..........you can buy a ticket and take a guided walk across a cat-walk beneath the roadway of the big bridge; What the State people don't know is.......I used to walk across that cat-walk years before they extended it clear to both ends of the bridge; we had to do some serious climbing to get onto the thing, but that was half of the fun !



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlinesteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9179 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 1084 times:

Quoting Geezer (Reply 5):
I hope you stopped in at the Rest Area at the end of the bridge and walked down to the overlook; it's a short walk, and the view is spectacular;

Oh yeah, my mom and I did that while in Summersville for my cousin's wedding.  
Quoting Geezer (Reply 5):
the next time you're in the area and have any time, be SURE to drive down the old road at either end of the bridge; you will pass under the arch two or three times getting to the bottom, then you can drive over the old bridge, and take the same "twisty" road back up the other side, and come back to the highway at the other end of the big bridge.

We did not do that, however...

Quoting Geezer (Reply 5):
Also, If you're really "brave"..........you can buy a ticket and take a guided walk across a cat-walk beneath the roadway of the big bridge;

Hmmm. I'm a bit adventurous. Maybe I'll do that. I'm crazy enough...

Quoting Geezer (Reply 5):
What the State people don't know is.......I used to walk across that cat-walk years before they extended it clear to both ends of the bridge; we had to do some serious climbing to get onto the thing, but that was half of the fun !

However, I'm not THAT crazy!  



Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently onlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6130 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months ago) and read 1054 times:
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Great thread Charley!

I love infrastructure and have a special love for bridges. It´s sort of my second passion. I also learned a lot of things I didn´t know. It´s a good day when you learn something new.



MGGS
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39693 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1043 times:

This is a neat looking bridge and I'd like to visit this place someday.


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1023 times:

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 6):
Hmmm. I'm a bit adventurous. Maybe I'll do that. I'm crazy enough...

If you're adventurous, just drive down into the gorge and take your swimming suit, a life jacket, and an air mattress with you; almost directly under the big bridge is the last big rapids that all of the rafters shoot; the raft trip can be fun when the rivers is high, but it takes a lot of time, and is fairly pricey. I always "shot the rapids" laying on an air mattress or a big truck tube.

Another thing my sons and I had a ball doing..........there's a huge rock, maybe 8 to 10 feet above the water, about 50 feet or so below the old bridge, which is maybe 30 or 40 feet above the water; I have a 150 ft length of poly-propylene rope, and we would tie one end of the rope to the underneath of the old bridge, then take the other end downstream, climb up on the big rock, and swing out, halfway across the river; at the far end of the swing, you were about 15 or 20 feet from the water, and you let go, went into the water, and fought the current to swim to the far side before the current took you on down to the rapids; the first time we had the rope up, all the people on the rafts coming downstream saw how much fun we were having and made the raft people stop so they could swing on our rope; everything went great for a while, but finally the people running the raft trips figured out that their customers were having more fun on our rope (for free), than they were having rafting, so they refused to stop and let people swing on our rope any more.

On one trip to the gorge we stayed 5 or 6 days, then left and went home. The very next day after we left, some guy who apparently was tired of living, stopped his car on the big bridge, directly above the side of the river we always camped on, and jumped off the bridge, landing in the huge rocks, 875 feet beneath the bridge; we were VERY glad we left the day we did, as his "impact zone" was only a few hundred below where we had been camping.

This is kind of funny........the first time we ever went to NRG, (with my first wife), we were deciding where to set up our tent; my wife asked me, "how high did you say that bridge is" ? ME: 876 feet; a few minutes later, I saw her taking these big steps down the river bank towards the bridge; I asked her what she was doing............she replied,,,,,,," I want to set the tent up at least 1,000 feet from the bridge, in case it falls over during the night" ! ( She's also been known to ask airline pilots how many hours they have before she'll fly with them.)

Before the state started having Bridge Day (and allowing base jumping and bungee jumping), there was a big problem with people base jumping; one guy made it OK until his parachute landed him in the river, and when his chute collapsed into the river, he was unable to free himself from it and drowned before anyone could rescue him. Actually, that incident was instrumental in getting Bridge Day started.

I have hundreds of pictures of the NRG Bridge, but they're all slides; I'm really hoping to take a few days this summer to drive down to West Virginia and take a bunch of new pictures with my D 300s.

There are a lot of very interesting things to see in West Virginia, beside the NRG Bridge; probably my 2nd favorite is the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, which is maybe 100 or 130m miles east of New River Gorge. They have a bunch of very big radio telescopes there, one of which is the largest steerable (on two axis) radio telescopes in the world; the thing is mind-boggling, it's so big ! I better google it before I quote any numbers !

http://www.gb.nrao.edu/gallery/gbt/index.html

You can see a lot of pictures at this link. The dish antenna of the GBT is 100 meters in diameter, and the thing is so big you need to get a few hundred feet from it to even see all of it. I just read that they use it about 6,500 hours per year for observing. I think the thing weighs something like a couple of battleships. The area around Green Bank (which is about 10 houses) is called a "radio quiet zone" and they go to great lengths to prohibit anything that creates radio frequencies.
For anyone having an interest in radio astronomy, this is THE PLACE to go !

While we're at it, here's a link to look at the NRG Bridge
For some strange reason, the link doesn't become "hyper"........just google "New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia"
q=new+river+gorge+bridge&oq=New+River+Gorge&aqs=chrome.0.0j57j5j0j61j62.14879j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
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