The first thing to know is I don’t like heights. And I get vertigo. But, about a month before my 65th birthday, I decided I wanted to climb the arch on the International Bridge. It helped that my son-in-law, Jeremy Sprague, works bridge maintenance and that my daughter, Sarah, has made 3 or 4 trips up there. And, so, the plans were laid that if the weather was good, I’d take on the challenge.
August 23rd dawned and it was an absolutely perfect day to climb a bridge! Warm but not too hot, low humidity, light breeze. Meet up at the maintenance garage on the U.S. side. Get the safety harnesses on…..those things are HEAVY! Pile into the maintenance van (2 other maitenance workers and 3 summer students joined us) to get a ride up to the gate in the bridge fence. I had been warned that the hardest part would be climbing over the big concrete block to get onto the 18 inch wide walkway…..I sure wish I had longer legs but I made it! I was so focused on latching and unlatching the safety clamps that we were at the top before I knew it……and that focus also kept me from experiencing any vertigo. Once up there, the view is so spectacular that again I did not feel any dizziness. My husband, who was watching with his binoculars from the boardwalk on the Canadian side said we hit the top at exactly 12 noon. The 20 minutes or so up there was amazing. And, boy, do you feel special when you come back down. Not just because you actually climbed the arch…..the van comes back from the Canadian side to pick you up and they have stopped northbound traffic at the bridge plaza so you get to whip right by all the other southbound traffic. How cool is that ? Talk about feeling important!