I realized today how much I love living in a small town with unique, memory making things to do. You have to be creative and come up with fun things to do, you can't go to the movies whenever you want, or arcades, or anything like that. I have tons of great memories that were created because I thought that I didn't have anything else to do. This is what I did today and I love it. I will be telling the story for years to come.
What are some of your most cherished memories of growing up and doing fun things?
When you leave the town I live in and right before you get to another there is a pull off that leads to the James River Footbridge which leads to a part of the Appalachian Trail. The Bridge is at least three hundred meters long and (at the level of the base) roughly 35 feet above the water. On the wilderness side of the river where the bridge meets the trail there are large stone "steps" that lead to the water. It's a popular place to go swimming and for the more adventurous it's fun to jump off those stone steps. (Different levels of steps for varying levels of courage.) I started with the steps and jumped a few times, then had fun trying to climb up the rock walls, falling back into the water any time I'd made significant progress.
For the truly brave you can jump off of the last pylon that's at the end of the bridge as well. It's about level with the bottom of the bridge so my guesstimate would be about 35 feet above the water. It is pretty fun jumping off the pylon, the jump is high enough that you actually get that weightless feeling of free fall right before you hit the water. You have to make sure you land correctly though or you might find yourself hurting. On clear days, which it was today the pylons are also large enough and in the sun enough that they are perfect for sunbathing. The only significant thing about that is that you might find yourself unable to jump because a girl might have claimed your spot.
Out in the water under the bridge there is what looks like a former pylon that you can swim out to and climb up on if you are a) physically fit, b) tall, or c) have friends that are a) or b) that are willing to help you. You can climb up on it and use it as a smaller, more personal jumping platform. We got even better though, some guys that were hiking the Appalachian trail today had set up some ropes between it and the second pylon out and were trying to slackrope walk across. It was pretty funny because you can't pull a rope very taut as it is, and the one that they chose had a lot of slack on it anyway. We tried it and it was their turn to do the laughing at us falling off the rope.
After we had spent some time doing that it was time for us to return to the bridge and for me to perform my masculine rite of passage. I'd already jumped off the pylon that was level with the bridge, but I had yet to jump the bridge. This is different from the pylon in several ways. There is no easy way of getting on the other side of the guardrails, you have to climb through the truss, and hold on for dear life as you lower yourself to the bottom rail of the truss, then you have to find a way to turn around and face the water all the while holding on. This is because with the trusses built the way they are there is only room for you to stand leaning outward so if you let go you fall and end up doing a thirty foot bellyflop. However, I overcame my trepidation... and jumped.
There are those crazy enough to jump off the top rail of the bridge, (Which is another nightmare of climbing up. And 10 feet higher) I have yet to join their ranks, but I plan on going back...
Posts: 208 | Registered: Sep 2007
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I grew up in a small town in the far northeastern corner of California. There was a hill just a few blocks from my house that was completely unimproved except for a few roads and the town's water towers. That hill was my playground the whole time I lived there. There used to be a large house at one end that had burned down many years previously, and the ruins were the best thing ever for a kid. My favorite part was the courtyard with a stone pool which presumably used to be a decorative fishpond.
The hill was also a great place to fly kites, sled in the winter, and learn how to control a bicycle when hurtling down a rocky trail. Just behind the hill there was a pioneer graveyard and the Pit River, although technically I was not allowed to play at either of those places. That didn't stop me from sneaking over, though. They were just too interesting to resist.
Small towns and rural areas do have a lot of fun and interesting things, as long as you're willing and able to be creative.
On the first page is a collection of pictures - in the first one, that's my twins playing in the water (the older child behind them is not mine).
Our town has a haunted house (so local legend says), historical buildings, underground springs and a high school football team that everyone shows up to support on Friday nights. Last week I was driving down Main street and passed a local store with several cars in the parking lot and a horse hitched up outside.
Posts: 14428 | Registered: Aug 2001
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