A 200 feet (61 meter) tall bridge over a streaming skinny river deep down in the gorge. And right next to it a 1400 feet (427 meter) high green covered perfectly cone formed mountain. The river is the east fork of the historic Lewis River in the south of Washington State, and the name of the green cone is Tum Tum Mountain. I mean, is this for real? The mountain looks like a big hand gently pushed the exact amount of soil together to form the thing, and then covered it with leaves and evergreens so tight there is now way you could get through the greenery. After a 3,5 hour drive south from Seattle we have landed right in the middle of a Tolkien saga!
It wasn’t me that gave my sons the nicknames Trouble 1 and Trouble 2, it was their American grandpa Harold back when they were 4 and 6. Although my oldest one has always been an adventurous soul, climbing and jumping before he could walk, a childhood accompanied by a lot of “no, no” and “watch outs!”. When he grew older he was the magnet for all the like-minded kids in the countryside where they grew up, Trouble 2 tagging along of course. They jumped sandpits, roofs, rocks and trees, most of it shot on video, the starting school for Trouble 2 and his friends, now in the film business. And the physical activity turned into the extreme sport Parkour 8 years ago.
So, it’s not a big surprise that Trouble 1, when in Seattle, is looking for a real good bungee jump. With the amazing nature and sceneries around here, there should be one around. And of course it was. The Pacific Northwest Bridge is a private bridge, sat up in that Tolkien setting just south of Mount St. Helen’s; Amboy, only for the purpose of bungee jumping. And that’s where we headed yesterday.
The people on that bridge yesterday prepared for their jumps in different ways, different emotional state of minds. Some very concentrated, some laughing like crazy, some walking back and forth. Trouble 1 was all-calm, and with that sparkle in his eyes you see only when he is about to do something really dangerous. Well, that’s the mother talking. Being slightly more neutral I would use the word challenging.
And then he jumped. There was no hesitation, and nothing forced about it. Only concentration and expectation. And the eyes sparkling. The first one forward. He raised his arms, made himself as big as possible and then jumped. Taking off like a swan out over the river 200 feet below. The perfect jump. Like he had been preparing all his life for this. Like this was what he always had been doing. And then the next one right on, backwards.
Did I mention this was the highest bungee jump in the US? I don’t think I did. And that there are so many reasons to go back to this place. There is a third jump. Which you are not allowed doing the first time. It’s the jump where you run out of the bridge. The perfect business idea, cause you’ve got to get people to come back of course! And for a young man at 26 to meet a man his mothers age, Casey A. Dale of Bungee.com, who started out as a crazy kid himself and has turned his wild behavior into a successful and safe living for himself and his crew, giving high risk people the opportunity to fulfill their desires in a secure environment.
And then there was this mountain. The perfectly cone formed volcanic dome of 360 acres (145 hectare) with a 360° view. Which was for sale! How crazy is that?! Buy your own little mountain and put a flag on that perfect top!
So, I am asking Trouble 1 what he would do with the mountain. The answer is straight on: He would build a ropeway from the top of the mountain down to the bridge to build on the bungee jump with the perfect pre jump experience! And what en entrance for the highest bungee jump in the US! So, Casey A. Dale of Bungee.com in Amboy, are you up for adding on some more height on your work initiated by a young man who jumped before he walked and still, to be honest, gets quite a few “no nos” and “watch outs”. He just got to see that spreading your wings on a height trusting the landing will be safe can be a life. And that going high can be safe.