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