|The Bridge To Nowhere|
With the record year of rain and snowfall, the local mountains have been full of water in the creeks and rivers late into the summer. The East Fork of the San Gabriel River is a popular spot for many hikers, gold panners and day adventurers as they are drawn to the cool and refreshing waters of this river that are so easily accessed in the mountains above Azusa, CA. The most popular hiking destination in this area these days is the Bridge to Nowhere, a bridge built in 1936 deep back in the canyon of the East Fork. The history on this bridge is quite interesting but in summary it was built to complete a road that got washed out and was later abandoned in 1938 leaving a bridge, in the middle of nowhere, that dead ends into the side of a mountain. A very strange sight to come across in the middle of the wilderness indeed!
A group of eight of us headed back to overnight somewhere near the bridge. It has changed a lot since I did this when I was around 19 and mountain biked/hiked my way back there with a few friends. Back then we wore backpacks and rode our bikes mostly on trail but a little on portions of the old road. Back then we slept on the bridge itself. Today there are only vague traces of the fact there was a road there at all as most has been washed away. Amazing what 20 years of erosion has done this area since I was last there. The bridge is also now overrun by bungee jumpers and us hikers are allowed to cross but not loiter on the bridge. Back when I went there on a mountain bike the three of us on the trip were the only people that made it to the bridge that day, now nearly 100 people are gathered on it on the weekend.
|Jason's piece of driftwood points the way.|
The trip back to the bridge is not necessarily difficult but does require a little determination. The trail in areas can be hard to follow and multiple use trails and river crossings make this task more difficult. It can get rather warm during the summer but the cool water is very refreshing, in fact we looked forward to the water crossings as an opportunity to cool off.
|Jason and I practice our rock climbing technique and anchors|
|Mike enjoys our swimming hole adjacent to camp|
|Clark's chicken quesadillas, always a great appetizer|
We all ate so much at dinner that the only dessert that was shared was some astronaut ice cream. The fresh popped pop corn and cheesecake would have to wait for another trip. We opted instead to drink more fluids to replenish ourselves, hot tea, electrolytes, San Peligrino and lime, and even a little wine. Just before going to bed a few even decided to go for a swim by headlamp. Apparently the headlamps really are waterproof! Under a full moon, we all headed to bed around 11PM.
|Heading out through the Narrows in the morning.|
|A bungee jumper takes a leap of faith!|
|Our group photo on the bridge.|
All in all it was great, relaxing trip with lots of fun. I liked it better in the old days with far fewer people but at least they are getting to enjoys it as well. This is definitely a great hike for intermediate hikers looking to have fun in the water and enjoy playing in their surroundings.
1/2 cup freeze dried ground beef
1/2 cup taco TVP
1/4 cup freeze dried corn
1/4 cup instant black beans
1 T taco seasoning
1 T dried onion
2 C boiling water
Flour tortillas (about 7) or hard taco shells or Fritos (you figure out how you want it!)
Store bought grated mexican cheese blend , 8 oz. (holds up well on the trail)
Favorite salsa or hot sauce packets (Chick-Fil-A Jalapeno Salsa is our favorite)
Avocado and or fresh tomato if desired
Place all above dry ingredients in a 1 quart Ziplock freezer bag. Add the hot water, seal the bag and place in an insulated cozy for 20 minutes. Remove and stir and spoon into tortillas, place over Fritos, or for low carb just eat it out of the bag. Use cheese, salsa, avocado and tomato if desired. I get the meat, TVP, corn and beans from Shelf Reliance.