After 8 hours hiking in rain and extreme wind on a trail that has a suggested hike time of 8 hours and we were definitely still at least 2 hours out….we saw “The Bridge”. Bridges don’t freak me out usually but this one was the exception. To give you an idea of the bridge, it was about 50 yards across, wide enough for one person, at least100 yards above the ground, wood slats spaced out about 8 inches apart, no side rails except for the cable wire and intermittent small cables that tie to the bottom of the bridge By a not so unanimous decision that I’d go across first, I started my climb up to get to the top of the bridge. Carly was off to the side of the bridge so that she could get pictures and videos of me crossing. I could hear her nervous laugh as she witnessed the terror on my face as I had went about 6 yards and huge gust of wind struck the bridge. It started swaying like crazy and I “hit the deck” pretty quickly. I crouched down as low as I could crouch waiting for the gusts to subside before continuing on. Then with immense concentration and a slow calculated pace all while in a low squatting position, I inched my way along the bridge to the other side. The only thing going through my mind when I crossed was “OMFG , I MADE IT…I MADE IT!” If you’re familiar with the Kevin Rudolph song “I Made It”, this is what played on a loop inside my head. That being said…I totally forgot that Carly still had to cross…
When I looked back across, she had a guy crossing ahead of her so it was the two of them on the bridge. She made it very clear that she wasn’t exactly happy that he kept stopping on the bridge. Every10 seconds or so I’d hear her yell, “Don’t stop! Keep going!”. As soon as she made it across we both vented about our terror when crossing that bridge which Carly was quick to nickname, “The Bridge of Death”.
It didn’t take long for Carly and I to realize that we handle fear in different ways. The GoPro that we had strapped to ourselves for these occasions made it quite apparent that when I’m looking fear in the face, I don’t speak. I think that I may even hold my breath and don’t breath for an extended period of time. Now Carly on the other hand is…let’s just say, a bit more vocal. She talks her way through the scary moments and it’s quite hilarious. The videos documenting her fear were much more entertaining than my mute moments.
To our dismay, about 15 minutes after crossing the “Bridge of Death” we had a second drawstring bride to cross. This one was not as far across but was definitely higher up. It was much easier getting psyched up to make the trek across this time, as Carly had went ahead of me. We even got a little cocky crossing the second bridge and took a quick pause for some pictures while crossing. You couldn’t help but be awestruck by the beauty of the giant glacier that was getting closer and closer to us the further north we hiked. Neither one of us had ever seen anything like it which made crossing both bridges twice (once headed north and once headed back south) very much worth it!