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You are currently viewing an archived story.
Click here to return to the archives for Sunday, November 6, 2005

MEAGAN THOMPSON/The Times-News
Bryan Jones, of Kendrick, Idaho is introduced to the sport of bungee jumping Saturday while taking his first jump off the Hansen Bridge east of Twin Falls.
Bungee jumping for a cause
By Michelle Dunlop
Times-News writer
HANSEN -- Perched on a foot-wide slab of concrete overhanging the Snake River Canyon, Dave Nevins looks remarkably calm.

As a large truck full of sugar beets drives by Saturday morning, the entire Hansen Bridge shakes a little -- but not enough to shake the smile off Nevins' face. The slender Boise-resident simply leans forward slightly to keep his balance, to keep himself from falling -- at least just yet.

With his face to the road, Nevins can't see the deep purple and brown rocks along the canyon wall. He doesn't notice the water cascading halfway down the south side of the canyon and plummeting into the chilly Snake River.

The November breeze does little to ruffle either Nevins' resolve or his blonde, spiky hair. The man has something to prove: if I can do it, you can, too.

Having successfully managed his diabetes for 30 years, Nevins wants to show others with the disease that they can lead a full -- if not downright adventuresome -- life, too. His nonprofit organization, No Limits, teamed up with Over the Edge Inc., to raise money for diabetes by bungee jumping off the bridge.

"It'll go to getting people out there and doing things," Nevins said.

Trever Alters, also of Boise, was one of a dozen who gathered to take the plunge and aid Nevins' cause. Also a diabetic, Alters takes to heart No Limits' message.

"The goals are to educate and promote a healthy, active lifestyle for everyone with diabetes," he said.

Since Alters became involved with No Limits, he has pursued those goals for himself, taking up swimming and jogging. The exercise has paid off, keeping Alters' blood sugar levels stable and helping him "just feel better."

"It makes a huge difference," Alters said.

Alters, who has bungee jumped before, laughed and joked with his fellow jumpers when his turn to take the plunge arrived. Nevins asked Alters whether the Hansen Bridge was high enough for him while Marcus Rojas, of Over the Edge Inc., attached straps to Alters' ankles

"Yeah," Alters said. "Actually, could you give me another couple hundred feet?"

A line of semi-trucks barreled across the two-lane bridge passing within a few arms-length from where Alters sat waiting to jump. Letting out a little whoop, Alters plunges head-first off the bridge down to where the Snake River weaves its way through Magic Valley. As Alters reaches the end of the cord and swings under the bridge, he allows another "woo-hoo" to bellow up the canyon walls.

"That was great," Alters said. "Oh yeah."

First-time bungee jumper Bryan Jones doesn't seem quite as enthusiastic or laid-back as Alters while Rojas readied the Kendrick, Idaho resident for his jump. Admittedly nervous, Jones had one last minute question.

"Has anyone ever soiled themselves when doing this?" he said, with a smile.

The smile evaporated as Rojas began the jump countdown.

"Five -- four -- three -- two -- one," Rojas shouts.

For about a half second, Jones hesitates before doing the recommended swan-dive approach, leaping face-first into the depths below. Jones doesn't remember what crossed his mind in that moment. But, he had plenty to say as the "rope-crew" pulled Jones out of the canyon.

"That's one of the coolest things I've done in my life," he said. "I want to go again."

There's a first time for everything, but Saturday wasn't Nevins' first time bungee jumping. Having bungee-jumped 14 times before, this was Nevins' first off the Hansen Bridge and his first effort jumping backwards with the cord just attached to his ankles.

"I've got to keep it challenging," he said.

With little show, Nevins high-fives Rojas and lives up to one more of life's challenges.

Times-News reporter Michelle Dunlop can be reached at 735-3237 or by e-mail at mdunlop@magicvalley.com.

No Limits promotes both fitness and fun for diabetics. To find more about the nonprofit organization, contact Dave Nevins at (208) 863-9928.

Story published at magicvalley.com on Sunday, November 06, 2005


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