Bridge to Nowhere - Bungee Jump

Bridge to Nowhere
Bungee Jump hosted by Bungee America
Sheep Mountain at East Fork Road
Azusa, CA 91702

Type: Outdoors
Category: Thrills
Company: Only the fit and fearless
Cost: $79/jump (discounts for multiples) plus $5/car parking permit

Quick-Rec: Make sure you are athletically prepared to hike 10 miles across every possible type of terrain in wet, sloshing shoes. We were gone from 6 am until 5pm, so this is an all-day adventure. Dress according to the weather and pack food, water, sunscreen, your camera, and a change of footwear to put on once you return to your car with wet shoes and blistered feet.

OTC Tip: Please don't bring your dog unless you want to carry him/her across the river or up and over walls of rock. Pay ample attention to when/where you cross the river - you will be making the return trip without your leader (unless you want to return at 8pm) and the path is sometimes, simply, wet footprints.

Strong currents: not for the weak at heart or knees
Shout-out: Chris, our "guide-to-instruction" was "buckle-me-over" hilarious. He kept it real, kept it short, and said things like "Now, you hook on the carabiner. If you are screwing or unscrewing anything, the only thing you are screwing is yourself." The entire team of Bungee America instructors was comprised of professional bad-asses who offered kind advice, patience, and instilled the utmost sense of confidence in the equipment and what they were telling us to do.

Thanks for a fantastic day, guys!

Beginning of hike: This is Azusa
It's funny the affect that adrenaline will have on your perspective. I'd say it's almost blinding, as when you are at Bungee America's website reading about the jump from the Bridge to Nowhere you will find your heart beating so fast with anticipation that you will, very probably, casually gloss over the fact that a "5 mile hike to the bridge" should be doubled when calculating the round-trip (so this is really a 10 mile hike syncopated by a jump off of a 100-ft bridge over a river) and that "river crossings" are more like brief episodes of "knee-to-waist-deep river fording."

Now that we've got that fair warning out of the way, once you've decided you are cool with the above here's the deal:

1. Purchase your jump through the Bungee America Website. You will be a tad confused, because you have to buy your jump as if it were a "gift card" which you then have to pay a few bucks to have it emailed and mailed to you. You then receive an email confirmation number which you then use "reserve" the date you would like to hike/jump. As the date nears, you get a call confirming you and your group for the jump (and you select your meeting time: 6am or 7:30am?)

2. Make sure you print out the directions as once you leave Azusa and enter the canyon, you will have zero cell reception and must follow the print out. You will arrive at the correct destination. Once you park, you will fill out waivers stating you are not pregnant (nor drunk) and get weighed in. Yep, they don't trust your drivers' license, and if you lie and say you are lighter than you are then you might dip in to the raging river - if you over-estimate, you won't get any bounce at all.

Wet to my hips
3. An hour later, you start the 5 mile hike to the bridge. During this hike, your feet will experience gravel, sand, dirt, rock, desert, bark, and cold water - at such frequent inter-switches that your shoes will be soaked, heavy, and tempura'd with sand. You will also shimmy along the trail, as well as "crab-walk" across the river around 6 times, which is definitely easiest for those 5ft-5'4" or those who are big and sturdy. I'm 5'7", and was absolutely, irrationally, terrified of each crossing because instead of the current hitting my stomach or my thighs, it struck right at my knees, which made the situation feel a lot more precarious than it was to anyone else, in actuality.

4. About two hours later you will reach the bridge. We went with the 7:30 group so we got to watch the nervous nellies from the early group attempt and occasionally succeed at their "jump" (fall) - all while listening to Chris discuss safety and jump technique. Since you are dying to know, jump order goes by weight grouping and by degree of desire. The first group is 90-135lbs, the second 135-150lbs, and the last 150+. I was in the first group, and I went third. No waiting for this gal!

Bungee America's Chris giving the bridge lesson
5. Now, there is a lot of talk about the "invisible wall of fear" you will face once you climb over the railing, but truthfully, if you don't hang around long enough to let you brain register your predicament and just JUMP (aggressively, or else your facebook pics will suck and get mocked: you've been warned) you will find that bungee jumping off of a bridge is much like going to the gyno in the sense that it's not as scary as everyone implies. In fact, I was more petrified by the rushing-river crossings than I was leaping off the Bridge to Nowhere.
Watch my jump!

6. The great part about jumping first is that you can eat some food and commence your hike back to the car at a relatively decent hour. This is where noting the places for traversing the river come in to play - you won't be hiking with a guide, so pay attention and be wise by hiking within eye-sight of another group as the trail varies in degrees of existence.

7. Once you make it back to your car and find cell reception, text your family/friends that you are alive then start reading Alex's post on Skydiving Lake Elsinore as you are now an official jumper - and after you've jumped - you are most certainly ready to dive.

Now go on and grab a friend or forty (my group had about 50 people in it) and check out the Bungee America's Bridge to Nowhere!


wonga said...

Awesome read, the trek to get there almost sounds more exciting than the jump itself!

Sallie said...

Thanks! Both are fabulous - and how often can you say you did a 10 mi hike plus a jump off a bridge all in one day?!

Anonymous said...

Cool post. I was there on that day also and remember seeing your awesome jump! Def. got to go back one day.

Sallie said...

Super fun day, wasn't it? I'll go back, but I think I'm going to go bigger and try skydiving next...Thanks for checking out our blog :)

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