One of the most talked about hiking destinations in Los Angeles county is the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, in part because it is a great wilderness experience, and in part, because the hike leads to an abandoned bridge that is still intact after eighty years. Invariably, however, any discussion of the hike either begins with, or ends with the fact that one can jump off of the bridge with Bungee America, who has held a license to conduct jumps since 1993. As with any extreme sport, there are two types of people; in this case people who would jump off a bridge; and people who would not. If you’re the latter type of person, this experience is not for you; but the hike – and the opportunity to watch people risk life and limb remains an excellent experience. As for me, I am the type of person who would jump off a bridge, so I set out to find out what the experience was like with Bungee America.
With miles of pristine beaches, rolling chaparral covered hills, and a constant semi-arid desert climate, San Diego will never be identified as one of the hot spots for waterfalls or hikes to waterfalls. However, unbeknownst to many people, from December through Memorial Day, San Diego does have a number of great seasonal waterfall hikes that highlight some of the best features of the county’s backcountry. As all of these waterfalls are seasonal, timing is everything, and also somewhat dependent on the weather pattern for the year. During wet winters and springs, these waterfalls will have high flows, and creek crossings; and during drought years, there may only be a trickle and dry stream beds. Similarly, with respect to timing, at the right times, these waterfalls can and will appear spectacular – but at the wrong times, may be a letdown after a hot, dusty trek. Keeping all that in mind, these hikes can also be great gateways to explore other regions of San Diego County, and again, at the right times, great spots to view spring wildflowers. I’ve listed the below hikes in order of difficulty, and let me know your thoughts about them, or any additions you have to the list below!
Irrespective of season, the most important thing of any adventure is ensuring that one stays properly hydrated. And no matter what one is doing, without water, things usually take a turn for the worse fairly quick. Although the various times of year each present their own challenges to staying hydrated, in my mind the most difficult time to stay hydrated is during wintertime. Unlike say, summertime, when everyone is hot and sweaty and therefore obviously thirsty, during cold weather, the body’s thirst response is diminished, and sweat evaporates faster in the cold air, leading one to conclude that they are not dehydrated when they are. Also, in cold temperatures there is an increased rate of respiratory water loss, which when combined with normal alpine respiratory water loss, leads to faster dehydration as well.
No matter how old you are, or what your situation is, chances are you know someone who has been affected by a disease. Such is the nature of modern life. Despite the horror diseases cause on victims and their friends/families - the suffering of a loved on can also bring people together, causing them to take on challenges or rally round a "cause." Such causes/challenges often are often undertaken to spread awareness or raise money for research toward medical treatment or hope for a cure. They normally entail pushing limits - whether dumping ice water on ourselves, walking for a whole day, or running long distances - we push ourselves in order to encourage other people to sponsor us or share our stories.
From the North to the South, and the East to the West, Ireland is a country with extraordinary natural beauty. While there are a plethora of sites and National Parks to choose from, the country’s top and most well-known natural feature is the Cliffs of Moher. With over one million visitors yearly, and in recent years, over 1.5 million visitors, the Cliffs of Moher are not just the top natural feature in Ireland, but one of the top overall tourist destinations overall, second only to other iconic Irish destinations like the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the Book of Kells, and the Giant’s Causeway (in Northern Ireland). One of the reasons the Cliffs of Moher are so iconic is because in modern times, they have been featured in all sorts of movies like Harry Potter; but the main reason that they are so popular is because they have been a tourist destination since the eighteenth century, and a historic spot for centuries before that.
The emerald island has 3,171 kilometers of stunning coastline. Some of this coastline – like the Cliffs of Moher, and the Giant’s Causeway is well-known, and well visited. Other areas, however, feature pristine, off-the-beaten track gems with no tourists, and no locals. In the middle of this spectrum is the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, the island’s only extreme historic coastal adventure. Created over three hundred and fifty years ago by salmon fishermen to connect Ireland to Carrick a Rede Island, the rope bridge was originally a single handrope which crossed the distance – some sixty feet (20 meters)– and depth – some hundred feet (30 meters) from bridge to ocean. At that time, the local fishermen crossed this rope with their fishing gear and catch to work at the fishery on the island. This fishery operated only during the summer months, and the bridge was dismantled and stored in the winter.
Julian is one of the most popular destinations in all of San Diego County for a number of reasons – in the winter; it is one of the few spots in the county that receives regular snowfall. In the fall, it is also one of the few spots in the county that allows apple picking. Year-round, however, it is popular for its distinctive – and tasty pies. While there are a number of trails one can select in the area in an attempt to mitigate the damage from pie and donut consumption in town, the easiest and most family-friendly with the best view is at Inaja Memorial Park, which is located some six miles to the east of Julian.