The Iron Arch

The New River Gorge Bridge, the original iron arch. Photo: E. Yakim.

Iron Arch Media is the website for author, photographer and content provider, Jay Young. Jay WAS hard at work on a follow-up to his book, Whitewater Rafting on West Virginia’s New and Gauley Rivers: Come On In, the Water’s Weird, tentatively titled, The Rubber Room. Come On In is the definitive objective history of the rafting industry on the New and Gauley Rivers, and it’s every bit as odd a history as you might expect.

But you know what? Screw it. There’s no money to be made in this anyway, so Jay decided to give it all away here gratis. The Rubber Room stories published herein will attempt to paint a portrait of the West Virginia rafting industry from the perspectives of raft guides by relating their tales of terror and hilarity—and you won’t have to pay a dime to read them.

Jay lives snugly on seven hollered acres in Fayetteville, a tiny town in rural West Virginia. Fayetteville in turn occupies the south rim of the New River Gorge, which is a focal point of adventure-recreation tourism in the eastern Unites States. The undeniable centerpiece of the New River Gorge is the Bridge. Along with whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, the Bridge itself draws visitors in droves from the world over.

When Jay needed a name for his website, it seemed like an obvious item to work into the mix, but there was a problem. The Bridge as a symbol is overused. In marketing circles, the poor thing is more of a cliche than globes, compass dials and stylized people all rolled into one. So, the question was: “How can I include the Bridge without dredging the depths of triteness?”

The answer was simple. The name needed to convey strength and integrity. That’s where Iron comes into play. But he also wanted it to indicate adventure and creativity of concept and content. That’s the Arch. In the Iron Arch Media logo, the Bridge symbol is tangential to Iron and Arch. In this way, Jay pays homage to the grand old girl without reducing her to a platitude.