Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Hike Day: Bridge to Nowhere {revisited}

Examples of the trail...dry, dusty, full sun, river crossing, sand, gravel and rocks.
Right before we finally reached the bridge, I think we were all feeling discouraged. My six year old had started whining and nearly crying. I was feeling frustrated and voiced my concerns maturely, "Freakin A! Where's the effin bridge!?!"

We first visited this trail last March and did not reach the bridge. We wanted to return ever since but knowing it's a very long hike, we didn't have the time until now. It still took some figuring but we did find the part of the trail that we missed last time, leading to the bridge. As I shared the first time, the hike is NOT stroller friendly in any way. One hiking site reviewer called this hike easy. No way. 

It's about 10 miles round trip from the parking lot. If you are in shape, hiking with other adults in shape, you may arrive sooner but it took us about 6.5 hours round trip and that does not include the time we took to eat lunch and swim. 

We made it this time!
Bridge to Nowhere.

We saw the private property sign welcoming us to the Bridge to Nowhere and felt excited--we had made it. Except it's still a ways and out of sight. It's really just the sign indicating you are entering private property and are welcome but not for camping, mining or digging etc.

Finally the bridge was there and we felt accomplished. The view is rather spectacular.

Hiking to the river, from crossing the bridge and down the side of the canyon.
I am so proud of our kids though. I mean come on--10 miles!?! My 6yo hiked 10 miles! While other adults were leery of joining us, my 6 year old was crossing the river and traversing cliff sides...for 5 miles each way!!!

Stopping for lunch at the river under the bridge was refreshing. The teens found a small but deep spot they could jump into. The water looked like a river of chocolate milk. It was muddy but cool. It was a very hot day. The trail is often in full sun unless you try to stay close to the river. The end to the bridge though, you can't stay near the river if you want to get to the top of the bridge.

We had a lot of water but I believe we still needed more. After the hike, at the base of the mountain, we each got a liter of cold bottled water and drank it down like nothing!

I strongly recommend hydrating the day before and bringing MORE water than you think you need..and more after that. For my family, we each brought a liter and we still felt thirsty. Remember, you drink it as you go so your pack only gets lighter as you hike.

A small waterfall and swimming hole below the bridge.
Also sunblock. I missed some spots and now have funky tan/sunburn lines on my arms, calves AND my scalp. My hair was split into two braids so my scalp is sunburned along my part.

This hike is not simply a long walk. The trail consists of ups and downs. There is some climbing up and over rocks. There are a few spots of stone stair like ascents and descents as well as large wooden plank stairs.

I know the hike could be more enjoyable if you start earlier, like very early in the morning. We've got two larger vehicles full of kids (and usually more!) so we just couldn't get out there before 11am. Peak sunshine and heat. I think it would be fun to return and not hike but just hang out at the river and swim. There is a trail leading from the gravel parking lot, in the opposite direction, to the river that looks like it would be relaxing.

Again we passed gold prospectors. We say hello, ask them how they're doing and keep moving. Most are friendly back, with a smile and one sentence chit-chat. We always use caution when hiking and that includes passing people on the trails.

When we encounter a potentially treacherous spot along a trail, we are shameless. We lay down our pride just as quickly as our butts when necessary. We are not ashamed to sit and slide down a steep descent, hold on to cliff walls and each other. We do not consider our hikes solitary endeavors...but that is a post for another day.

I feel proud of our kids. They are and were awesome. I wish my Bird had been with us though. She was out of town with her cousins. The river makes this hike fun, the trees beautiful, the climbing and endurance required adventurous.

We saw larger lizards and the most dangerous situation we came across was a very large black widow in a rock crevice we would have placed our hands as we climbed. Always stay aware of your surroundings.

Until next week...Be Adventurous! 

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