2010 starts tomorrow and I haven’t finished posting about 2009. The last few months have been a blur of activity and compositing so Live Journal updates have suffered. Fear not, my three readers, a flurry of updates has arrived!
Karl of Extreme Things has been trying to get us all to jump off a bridge for months now. He had arranged a bungee jumping event on two separate occasions that were each canceled because of circumstances beyond any of our control such as a huge wildfire in the Angeles National Forest. Thankfully, the third attempt was successful and a few of us were able to bungee jump off the Bridge to Nowhere. I’ve made this hike a few times prior and I always enjoy it. It includes my favorite aspects of hiking: stream crossing and rock scrambling. This time, although, I was able to jump off the bridge with the help of Bungee America.
I flew three times and each experience was different (See a list of jump styles here). First, I tried the front swan dive. It was fun, but not especially frightening or jarring. The backward plunge, on the other hand was quite exciting. Not being able to see where you are falling or anticipate when you will stop is quite a rush. Lastly, I tried the Elevator Drop. I have never felt so aware of acceleration before. Streamlining your body and leaping straight down is a frightening, but fun experience. Karl said my eyes were huge.
At the moment I have no photos of my own jump, but Karl and Trails promise to send me pictures and video in the future.
2 More Photos
I’ve been relatively silent for the last couple of months.
Thus, it’s time to play catch-up.
Here is what has been going on between April and the present.
After being beaten by the unrelenting Strawberry Peak, I accompanied Extreme Things for an overnight backpacking excursion into the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. I had a newly purchased Camelbak, four quarts of water, ample foodstuffs, water shoes, a light tent, and everything else Erika and I would need. This time I would be prepared. Unfortunately, neither Erika or me were well-versed in the multitudes of backpacking sleeping bags. While everyone else could compress their sleeping bags down to the size of a football, we lugged oversized cottony Swiss-cake rolls six miles into the wilderness (as you’ll see in the photos). The learning never ends.
The hike brought us back down the path to the Bridge to Nowhere. We continued past it heading deeper into the mountains. By nightfall, our group of over a dozen squeezed multiple tents into a small area overlooking the mild rapids of the river. I quickly regretted my decision to leave behind a jacket as temperatures plummeted with the setting sun. My regrets paled in comparison to Karl’s after his drunken stumble into the ice-cold river after midnight. We had a great time joking around and dining on mediocre camp food while admiring two of our group cooking carne asada, rice, and later, eggs. I am awaiting the debut of his outdoors cooking program any day now.
The next morning we all hiked six miles back to our cars. Our hike was probably considerably more enjoyable than the man we met earlier who had gashed open his knee after slipping on a rock. My highlight was an uncomfortable deposit beneath some bushes along the river’s edge.
Egads! More Adventure Awaits!
Saturday, a hike I have been anticipating for months finally came to fruition â€” The Bridge to Nowhere. In the 1930s a bridge was built in the wilderness north of Azusa intending to connect two under-construction roads. A flood washed them out and now decades later we have a bridge in the middle of nowhere (or the Sheep Mountain Wilderness if you prefer) people like to leap off attached by a bungee. A dozen of us set out under the leadership of Karl, head of Extreme Things. Before us was a 9-10 mile round-trip hike with multiple river crossings and some rock-scrambling. There was also a wild-card, a poodle named Max would be coming along. He would become a small furry ballast for some river crossers.
The hike was great. We crossed the river roughly ten times and I never grew tired of it despite its frigid and often turgid waters. Its depth ranged from shin to waist deep. I would love to return, hike to the bridge, then kayak back. At one point we were greeted with the option to cross via an overturned tree acting as a small bridge. Miles away was the actual bridge where we stopped for lunch and some exploring. It rises dozens of feet above the river. For a fee a Bungee group will let you leap off, bounce a few times, then reel you back in. In the future, I may give it a try.
The hike took us about three hours longer than anticipated, but it was time well spent. I’ll gladly return multiple times in the future. Patrick even made it back in time to meet his date.
See More Here, Sucka!