FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — The 876 foot fall from the New River Gorge Bridge never disappoints.
That the sentiment from base jumpers gathered Saturday in Fayette County for the 39th annual Bridge Day.
“It’s just my favorite day of year,” South Hampton, New Jersey resident Harold Herzig said. “It’s like Christmas and New Year’s the 4th of the July and my birthday all rolled into one.”
Herzig said when you take that jump it at first feels like an elevator going down followed by a jolt and then a landing. He prefers to land in the New River.
Experienced base jumper Ross Reichenbach of Indianapolis, said the Gorge bridge’s height separates it from all others.
“You get more time to do aerials, more time to stay in the air and get free fall time. This bridge is absolutely amazing,” he said.
Reichenbach said he likes hitting the point of no return.
“You’re body weight is going over and you can’t go back then your mind shuts off and you’re just free. It’s a good feeling,” Reichenbach said.
Pittsburgh resident Melissa Petitto described her jump as wonderful and euphoric.
“It’s the closest thing to flight that you can get without an airplane,” she said.
Bridge Day organizers said approximately 360 people were scheduled to take part in the jumping that this year included a swing.
WMOV Radio reporter Joe Stevens contributed to this story.