I've been coming to this area every spring for at least eight years to participate in the New River Birding & Nature Festival. SIDEBAR: If you want to have a lot of fun, see scads of birds, AND lots of other biodiversity, CHECK OUT THIS FESTIVAL.
The bridge is a point of fascination to nearly everyone who comes here, and it was to me as well. When a company called Bridge Walk opened their doors four years ago, offering people the opportunity to traverse the span on a narrow catwalk under the roadway, I couldn't wait to do it. Well, it took until last weekend to finally knock this one off my bucket list, and it was worth the wait. I connected with my friend and festival co-organizer Rachel Davis, hooked up with the nice people at Bridge Walk, and away we went.
If you think walking the catwalk would be daunting, it is an absolute cakewalk compared to what it must have been like to be a steelworker assembling the bridge. Or, one of the inspectors who regularly clambers over every beam to make sure that all is well.
A falcon glares at our group from his perch on a beam. The birds are quite use to human interlopers, and are relatively undisturbed by people. Not so with the Rock Pigeons, who, Rachel tells me, have largely abandoned their roosts under the bridge now that Peregrine Falcons are in the house. I can scarcely imagine how cool it must be to be a bird that, at will, can soar hundreds of feet above ground level and hang out on the beams of one of the world's biggest, coolest, tallest bridges. And from its lofty perch, spot a hapless flicker or cuckoo crossing the river far below, drop like a torpedo, and whack the prey in midair.
A short video showing one of the falcons dropping from a bridge pillar, and soaring out over the canyon. My wide-angle landscape lens wasn't up to the task of following the bird, but you'll get a brief sense of the viewscape offered from the bridge's catwalk.