Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Bridge to Nowhere

I'm not the adventurous type of girl by any means. Given the option, I'd rather sit at home and be a homebody. But every year, I find myself willingly dragged into an extreme adventure trip - Six Flags, paintballing, etc. The thought process goes like this:
  • (before the trip) Alright! I'll go with you guys even though I'm scared out of my wits. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, how can I miss out? We are going to have so much fun!
  • (during the trip) Wow I am such an idiot for going on this trip. As long as I get out of here alive, you'll never convince me to do this again.
  • (after the trip) I'm alive! I will never do that again. Okay, it wasn't that bad - maybe I'll go there one more time? Oh, who am I kidding?!

This year, we decided to go bungee jumping off the Bridge to Nowhere in Azusa, California. The catch is that the bridge is literally situated in the middle of nowhere. In order to reach the bridge, people have to hike 5 miles (one way) over uneven terrain and cross the river 6 times. 


The Bridge to Nowhere, which spans the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, was built in 1936 as a means to connect the San Gabriel Valley with Wrightwood. However, a great flood in 1938 washed out all the roads in the vicinity, leaving only the bridge intact.


Anybody who thinks that this trail is easy is clearly delusional. Either that, or I'm extremely out of shape (which I won't admit to). The trail up the mountain is very rugged. There were times when I was hugging the rocks, praying that I wouldn't fall off the mountain because the path we were walking on was literally as wide as my right foot. There were other times when I was sliding down the mountain on my butt because the ground didn't look stable enough to walk on.

The river crossings were challenging yet surprisingly fun. Despite the fact that the water was thigh-high and the current downstream was strong, we all made it across.


"The key to crossing a river is to walk like a crab," our guide informed us, "you've never seen a crab fall over, have you?"

The highlight of the river crossing was that it acted like a natural ice bath for my right ankle, which probably would have swollen up considering how many times I rolled it while hiking. Lesson of the day: unsteady stones masquerading as stable rocks are not your friends.

The wilderness here is pristine. The five mile hike over rugged terrain limits the amount of human destruction that reaches this area.


The San Gabriel River was crisp, cool, and refreshing. The climb down the mountain to get to the river? Not so much.


Bungee jumping was wicked fun. There were a number of different jumps that people could do - the forward jump, the backward jump, the forward trust fall, the backward trust fall, the elevator jump, and the ankle jump. Surprisingly, the elevator jump turned out to be the crowd favorite while the backward jump was the easiest to execute.


I'm queasy from dehydration and exhaustion. All of my muscles and joints are making their displeasure about the 10 mile hike known. I'm also three shades darker than I was before the hike. Despite it all, I had a great time at the Bridge to Nowhere.


But it's a hike you'll never convince me to do again.

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