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Author: Subject: 29th New River Gorge Bridge Day Festival Oct. 19-20th- 200,00 plus

Zen Peach





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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 02:06 PM
My home state of West Virginia hosts the 29th annual New River Gorge Bridge Day Festival on the third weekend of October. It is when one of the most amazing bridges in America and the world that spans the New River Gorge is opened up to folks from all over the world, (Western Hemisphere's Longest Steel Arch Bridge) including base jumpers who parachute off the side of it once a year. Most make it. There are parties and jams all over the campgrounds, and there are many as this is ground central for the New River Gorge whitewater rafting scene. Anotheer cool thing about the festival is that it is meant to take place when the New River Gorge foliage is colorful and bright.









http://www.wvbridgeday.com/

www.officialbridgeday.com

quote:


Bridge Day was first celebrated in 1980, to commemorate the completion of the New River Gorge Bridge. Since that time, the annual festival has grown to include parachutists jumping from the Bridge to the river below, rappellers dangling from ropes under the bridge, over 200 vendors selling food and arts and crafts, and fantastic entertainment. All of this combined with the spectacular Fall foliage of the New River Gorge and the sheer size of the crowd of over 200,000 makes for an unforgettable experience.

Bridge Day is the largest extreme sports event in the world and is held on the third Saturday in October every year in Fayette County, West Virginia (WV), USA. Hundreds of BASE jumpers and nearly 200,000 spectators are expected to attend this year's Bridge Day on Saturday, October 20, 2007. We will be celebrating 29 years! The New River Gorge Bridge, 876' tall and the world's second longest single arch bridge, serves as the launch point for six hours (9am-3pm EST) of safe, legal BASE jumps.

Not just anyone can leap from the New River Gorge Bridge: jumpers must register months in advance and must make 50 prior skydives or "BASE jumps." BASE is an acronym for the four types of fixed objects from which they may leap -- buildings, antennas, spans, earth.


2007 marks the 28th Anniversary for the New River Gorge Bridge Day Festival. What started out in 1980 as a small festival, giving people a chance to walk out onto the Western Hemisphere's longest single steel arch bridge, later grew into West Virginia's largest one day festival! See the Schedule of Events. The New River Gorge Bridge Day Festival is now celebrated by thousands of people from all over the world!
Get a taste of Southern West Virginia's finest cuisine at the annual Taste of Bridge Day, one of many activities you can enjoy at this year's Bridge Day Celebration. The TASTE event is always held on the Friday before Bridge Day--this year will be October 19th.

Time is on your side--at least for six hours! Come and enjoy the view from the best overlook in the gorge. This year our sponsor, the West Virginia Dodge Dealers, will have several 2008 models on hand for you to check out. Enjoy browsing through hundreds of vendor's booths, finding just the right souvenir for the day, or purchase Bridge Day products online. The New River Gorge Area also offers some of the best mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing in the region. Some like it wet, so join us on "America's Best Whitewater -- the New and the Gauley Rivers! Whatever your interest, you can find it in New River Country "Wild Wonderful West Virginia!"



 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 02:37 PM
I was at the Nationa Park Canyon Rim visitor center there earlier this year and learned some of the history there with the mining down in the gorge...very pretty and interesting history.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 02:47 PM
The New River is believed to be the second oldest river in the world, the Nile being the oldest. Even though the New River starts in North Carolina, with the headwaters east of the Eastern Continental Divide and not far from the Atlantic Ocean, the New River flows west and north, away from the Atalantic Ocean. That is because the river is so old that it still flows towards the inland sea that existed where I am at here in Ohio millions of years ago. Most of the older fosils found here along the Ohio River, except for the more recent Ice Age mammoth and other finds, are of the ocean animal kind. I constantly find horn corals and other underwater fauna, and trilobytes and other cool ocean fossils are also common. Of course, the depth and age of the New River Gorge has allowed the New Rive to continue its flow westward that now ends up in the Gulf of Mexico via the Kanawa, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers.







 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 02:57 PM





 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 03:23 PM

Splashdown: Many jumpers choose to land in the New River -- because, as the saying goes, "clothes dry faster than broken bones mend" -- but some glide expertly into landing zones onshore. Rescue divers stand by to lend a hand.

quote:
Video: See What It's Like -- Watch Videographer Stuart Ware Follow Fellow Jumper Dave Urbanski Off the Bridge on Jump Day

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6369946

This past Saturday, more than 145,000 spectators gathered near Fayetteville, W. Va., for 27th annual Bridge Day, to watch nearly 400 jumpers make about 800 leaps from the center of the span, free-fall for several seconds and then open their chutes for a soft landing, 876 feet below.

But this year's festival at the New River Gorge Bridge turned tragic when 66-year-old pioneer jumper Brian Schubert, credited with making one of the first BASE jumps back in 1966, died after he failed to deploy his chute quickly enough and hit the river at the bottom of the gorge.

The event was briefly delayed after Schubert's death, but soon jumpers resumed their radical descents into the gorge. It was the first Bridge Day death since 1987.

Unlike skydivers, BASE jumpers use a parachute to free-fall from four types of platforms:

• Building

• Antenna

• Span (bridge, arch or dome)

• Earth (cliffs or other natural formations)

Active BASE jumpers seek to jump from all four types of platforms, and some even earn "points" for jumping from elevated spots deemed more difficult than others.

The New River Gorge is considered by BASE enthusiasts to be a world-class jump with a safe landing zone, and jumpers from all over the globe descend on Fayetteville for Bridge Day.

Jumpers use special parachutes that are built much like kites, with control devices that allow the jumper a tremendous amount of control over how and where they land.

There's no ripcord, however -- a jumper holds a smaller parachute called the pilot chute in one hand, and after about four seconds the jumper simply releases the pilot chute, which pulls the main chute open. At that point, a jumper is falling at about 75 mph.





 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 03:36 PM
When I was at the visitor center I purchased a modern day photo that looks like it is the exact photo location of this photo of Thurmond circa. 1915, a nearby town :


 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 03:43 PM
quote:
I was at the Nationa Park Canyon Rim visitor center there earlier this year and learned some of the history there with the mining down in the gorge...very pretty and interesting history.



At the New River Bridge??

The mining histiry in that part of the world is extensive. My grandpa, who lost his whole left arm in a coal mining accident in 1951, worked in the Otsego Mine about an hour as the coal flies from that part of the New River, and that coal ended up on the trains that ran through the gorge in the town of Thurmond. Back in the early 1900's and during the following world wars, mining was so huge that business was booming. The longest continuos 24/7 uninterrupted poker game in history went on in Thurmond during the boom years of the early 1900's, and it was a rough and tumble town. The poker game, with folks constantly sitting in and dropping out, lasted 14 years.

The famous train route that follows the New River through the gorge is still there and on the Chicago to Washington DC Cardinal train as we speak. I took it myself and had some friends pick me up at the rain station at the bottom of the gorge while on my way to the Clifftop Music festival. There have been many songs written about that New River train, and the road that follows the New River through the gorge is where Hank Williams Sr. died.


quote:
http://www.loc.gov/folklife/news/Sum-Fall93.txt


The region called Central Appalachia has historically played
the role of frontier to the Eastern Seaboard, an identity
elaborated in historical interpretations. Thurmond, the turn-of-
the-century railroad town destined for reconstruction by the Park
Service, is often termed the Dodge City of the East, site of the
Dunglen Hotel, where the world's longest poker game, by some
accounts, was played nonstop for nearly eighteen years. In
Thurmond, some say, it was not unusual to find the dead bodies of
union organizers along the tracks. "When my grandfather went up
there to see about this hotel job," said George Carper, of
Cincinnati, Ohio (whose grandfather, George Flauts, was the
barber at the Dunglen Hotel), "he went up to see what the job
would be like, and he stepped off the train and he said he almost
stepped on a dead body. And it was the body of a union
organizer."

"You talk about the Wild West," Carper continued, "This was
it."


[Edited on 9/30/2007 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 03:51 PM
Yep Thurmond...this from http://www.nps.gov/neri/index.htm

Thurmond

During the first two decades of the 1900s, Thurmond was a classic boomtown. With the huge amounts of coal brought in from area mines, it had the largest revenue on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. Having many coal barons among its patrons, Thurmond’s banks were the richest in the state. Fifteen passenger trains a day came through town—its depot serving as many as 95,000 passengers a year. The town’s stores and saloons did a remarkable business, and its hotels and boarding houses were constantly overflowing. With the advent of diesel locomotives, and less coal coming in from local mines, the town began a steady decline. The many businesses closed down, and most residents moved on.

Today, the town of Thurmond remains surprisingly untouched by modern development. It is a link to our past, and a town with many stories to tell. New River Gorge National River invites visitors to experience the impact of the industrial revolution, and the mission of the National Park Service to preserve our nation’s heritage.

To reach Thurmond, take U.S. Route 19 to the Glen Jean exit, north of Beckley. Follow the signs to Thurmond, seven miles down WV Route 25 (Route 25 is a narrow, winding road and is not recommended for RVs and trailers).

and let me add Derek, that I know nothing about the area other than what I saw at the visitor center, which I happened to be cruising by last year on a Goldwing tour I happened to be taking.

Awesome photos posted by the way.


[Edited on 9/30/2007 by heineken515]

[Edited on 9/30/2007 by heineken515]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 03:57 PM
quote:
http://www.cmt.com/news/articles/1506545/20050727/williams_sr_hank.jh tml?headlines=true

Hank Williams Museum Planned for West Virginia
By: Edward Morris




United by a passion for Hank Williams' music, a small-town mayor, a retired judge and an avid collector of Williams memorabilia have teamed up to establish a museum at the site where Williams' lifeless body was discovered on the morning of Jan. 1, 1953.

The principals are Barbara Hickman, mayor of Oak Hill, W.Va., the town in which Williams was found dead; Herbert Pauley, a former magistrate from Charleston, W.Va., now retired to Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Maryam Sherif, a collector originally from New Jersey but recently transplanted to Oak Hill along with her Williams artifacts.

Pauley, who led an effort in the early 1990s to erect a Williams memorial in Oak Hill, has volunteered to oversee fundraising for the proposed museum. The West Virginia state legislature has also earmarked $30,000 in "seed money" to get the project started.

As told and re-told in books and documentaries, Williams was on his way from Montgomery, Ala., to a New Year's Day show in Canton, Ohio, when he died in the backseat of his powder-blue Cadillac convertible. His driver, college student Charles Carr, sensed something was wrong with Williams soon after they crossed the West Virginia border. He rushed to the town of Oak Hill, where he stopped at a Pure Oil service station to confirm his suspicion. It is this same service station the planners intend to turn into the museum.

"We have people all the time stopping by here wanting to see where it was that they found Hank Williams dead," Hickman tells CMT.com. "I have a draft of the lease [for the property], and I'm waiting for the city council to get through asking all their questions. Hopefully, I can get this done within the next couple of weeks. After that, we'll form a [fundraising] foundation. ... The building has to be renovated. It's been sitting there for years, and it's deteriorated." She adds that the property has space for expansion.

"If we can get by on $100,000 for renovating that building, we're going to be lucky," Hickman says. "I'd like to have an architect come in, and I know one, and then have someone go in and give us an estimate of what they think it would take. We have to put in a handicapped-accessible bathroom because of the grant money I'm going to apply for. I would love to have it all done by next fall [2006]. I've been in city government 27 years, and my term is up next year. I'm hoping to have it finished by that time, so I won't have to run [for office] anymore."

Oddly enough, it was Hickman's husband, the late Elmer Hickman, then a disc jockey at Oak Hill radio station WOAY, who made the first public announcement of Williams' death. "After he signed the station on that morning," she recalls, "he said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I have some sad news.' That's how he started it, and then he told about it."

Sherif, who never saw Williams perform live but who has been collecting material about him for more than 50 years, says her treasures include one of his shirts from 1948, his hand-tooled leather wallet with his name on one side and the figure of a guitar on the other, a scarf he wore "circa 1950-51" monogrammed with the letter "H" and a dried rose from his grave in 1953.

"I feel that our museum will compare with anything they've got in Montgomery or Georgiana [Alabama]," says Sherif, who relocated to Oak Hill in June. "I hope I live long enough to see this take place." [Williams, an Alabama native, resided in Georgiana and Montgomery before achieving stardom in Nashville.]

Another book on Williams' life and early death, Paul Hemphill's Lovesick Blues from Viking Press, will be out in September.


 

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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 03:58 PM
hey derek,looks like a really cool Festivial,and the view looks awsome.enjoy and take care,matt
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 04:15 PM
quote:
hey derek,looks like a really cool Festivial,and the view looks awsome.enjoy and take care,matt



Beautiful country, good people, and pinto beans and cornbread, half runners cooked with pork for at least 4 hours, ginseng and ramps to eat, but no fresh lobster. Hope you are doing good up your way.

DH

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 11:03 AM
Interesting post (as always ), Derek - thanks for sharing! And the factiod about New River being 2nd oldest river in world - wow! I love the pics you posted with - looks like a lovely place and the fall trees are gorgeous!

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 11:08 AM
Super Fantastic pictures. What a crowd. I have always wanted to jump off that bridge. Looks like fun. West Virginina is a beautiful state. We may have to do it soon. Are their just certain times you can bungi jump off that bridge or is it open for jumping all the time????

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 04:45 PM
quote:
Super Fantastic pictures. What a crowd. I have always wanted to jump off that bridge. Looks like fun. West Virginina is a beautiful state. We may have to do it soon. Are their just certain times you can bungi jump off that bridge or is it open for jumping all the time????




Hey rotten. Actually, no bunji jumping off of the New River Gorge Bridge at all. But BASE jumping, as in jumping off a static platform with a parachute, is allowed for six hours on only one day a year, and that is on Bridge Day. You cannot do it the rest of the year because it is a working bridge on route 19. On Bridge Day they cut off the southern two lanes so folks can walk out on it, take in the festivities, music, and food, and BASE jump with a parachute if you are qualified. But, not anyone can do a BASE jump off the bridge on Bridge Day. Below;

quote:
Not just anyone can leap from the New River Gorge Bridge: jumpers must register months in advance and must make 50 prior skydives or "BASE jumps." BASE is an acronym for the four types of fixed objects from which they may leap -- buildings, antennas, spans, earth.



But, there is always hard rock climbing and rappelling in the gorge itself that you can do on your own, or with an outfit. Here is a list of climbing and rappelling outfits as well as info on those ventures in general,

quote:
http://www.newriverwv.com/Recreation_Rock_Climbing_.php


West Virginia's New River Gorge region is the most popular rock climbing and rappelling destination in the eastern U.S. Rock climbers can choose from thousands of climbs along the rim of the New River Gorge, and rock climbing guides can be secured almost any time of year. Guided rock climbing adventures, suitable for novice or advanced climbers, are offered by several rock climbing guide companies located in the New River region.




..and, of course, whitewater rafting from easy to the class five levels are the main attraction from April to October.

DH

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 05:54 PM
That last photo is also awesome, Derek!

 

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