West Virginia Zipline
The first time I zipped off the New River Bridge, I thought to myself, why would anyone want to step off a perfectly good bridge? The excitement and thrill of just the thought of going down the zip line was almost more than I could fathom.
I went down under the roadway, to find a small camp-like set up, with people milling around, and getting organized. As I look around, I realize that I have a few of the bridge, and of the jumpers, that almost no one else has ever had. Looking up, and out, at the jumpers, and seeing the underside of the bridge, is something that very few have ever had the priviledge of seeing.
There was a small ladder leaning up against the wall, leading to the catwalk. I looked at it, and thought “No big deal. It’s just an extension ladder.” I was right. It was no big deal, to climb up the ladder. However, moving from the ladder to the catwalk WAS a big deal. It’s only a little more than 2 feet wide. Only has two rails on either side to hold me in, and it leads out over the ground that disappears rapidly, as one walks out toward the middle of the bridge. Being the gorge, the wind picks up considerably, the farther one walks out.
I don’t know if anyone ever noticed, but there are what appear to be ‘trap doors’ on the catwalk, that lead to small ladders that hang down. I wonder what those are for. Someday, maybe I’ll have an opportunity o investigate.
Finally, when I get to the starting point of the zip line, the person in charge tells me to stand on the lower rail. (Right!) Then he hooks me up, and tells me to swing my right leg onto the left rail. (HA!). Now, climb over, and hold on.
Now, step down onto the flange. It’s only about a 6” x 6” piece of steal. Trying to do this blindly is certainly a test of faith.
Then he says, there’s another flange below that. Step down on that. Now THIS is a faith journey!
Once upon that, he says, “Lean back slowly, and let go.” Who’s he kidding? Let go? You got to be kidding.
But…once I let go, and start down the line, I have the most wonderful, exciting ride I’ve ever had. The adrenaline is rushing, and there is more to look at than there is time to take it all in.
I land at the bottom, and only wish I could do it all again.
What a great time!!!
Special Guest Post By:
The Rt Rev W Michie Klusmeyer Bishop of West Virginia