2012 Jul 07 | 4th of July with LABV, Bridge to Nowhere hike

That guy was loading up on $1 boogie boards for the Fourth.

It's weird seeing women driving around trucks with these.

I love Toyotas if only because it's fun to see which letters fall off.

I usually get peanut butter or jelly all over the edges or not spread enough. I think this is the most perfectly I've ever done this.

When I do a variety of activities in one day am not coming back to my apartment between them, I have to carry a lot of stuff.

Watching the European soccer streaming online championship at work.

Dumb $1 knives have a security blocker on them so you can't take them out, and all the scissors in the area have straps holding them open. But the sewing section has these mini-scissors in the little sewing kits, so I can cut a knife out with that.

Had a few little things wrong in the apartment and they weren't fixing them. Then the fire sprinkler in the bathroom started dripping and that got them interested; they fixed everything the next day. Except they didn't bother to clean up after themselves.

I ordered a grilled combo at KFC because it was a lot cheaper. The cashier said they were out of grilled breasts and asked if I wanted two wings instead. I said no, how about a regular breast. She said those are more expensive, so she couldn't. Um, pretty sure good customer service is that if you have some sort of production problem, you're supposed to give me more to make up for it, not try to give me less.

"Please do not throw trash in the water because it will cause pollution." Sign at the local lake with a lot of trash in it. Very cute sign, though.

Some PETA protestors. They were right outside a hotel with megaphones telling all the guests they couldn't sleep until the motel stopped doing whatever it was doing to animals. I usually don't mind them too much, but that's definitely crossing the line into being an illegal nuisance.

I went to the ESPN Zone to watch the UFC fight. They showed the first few on a TV here and then switched all of these TVs to baseball games.

Apparently there was a $10 cover to watch the UFC fight in this room. However, these people and I could see it from our tables at the bar, so we just stayed here for free.

Mmm, that sampler platter looks good.

She's using his leg as a purse hook.

You usually have to get to the beach pretty early to reserve some volleyball nets and find a parking space, but the Fourth of July was especially bad. This was at 7am and almost all of the parking spots are already gone. One of the members in our group actually got to the beach at 5am to reserve some courts.

Us early birds starting some games.

Tam was there early as well, but she was texting people on her phone. It was still a bit cold, though, so I went and grabbed a blanket I had in the Jeep for her. She ended up cocooning herself inside.

A bit short.

Maybe this will help.

Lots of yummy food.

When people first started signing up with what they were bringing, 95% of them were chips. Troy told people to bring other items, but it worked to well and nobody brought any at all. So we had various types of dip and no chips. Thankfully later on people brought some.

God bless America.

Tam is always having fun even if she doesn't win. We actually ended up playing a lot of doubles together at the end. Normally I don't like doubles because the other players are much better at me and kind of whine at me when I make mistakes, but she didn't, so she was a perfect teammate, even if we didn't win much.

Everyone at the net.

We had four regular courts plus a fifth court we put up ourselves.

Soemone having fun on the sign-up sheet.

Neat reflection in my sunglasses.

It's nighttime. No more volleyball, time for fireworks.

Someone brought sparklers.

We could see the Culver City fireworks from here.

There were some neat ones.

The finale.

It was actually faster to go south, away from home, first because of the traffic. It was really fun driving back because I could see fireworks going off all over the city.

Saturday morning was another early day. Up at 5:30 to get to Bridge to Nowhere. Because there is so little parking, you want to get there by 7:30 or so to get a spot. Even then, the parking lot at the end was already full.

As were the spots down the road a bit. We found a spot not too far, though. Also, carpooling is strongly encouraged because of the parking situation. I drove three other people.

You have to buy a parking permit to park in this area. You can either buy a yearly one for $30 or daily ones for $5. You can buy them at the ranger station or any major sporting goods store. I bought some daily ones which ended up working out because some other people didn't buy them in advance, so I just sold them to them. Apparently, though, the fine for not having one is only $5. Which is really nice; I guess they realize a lot of people don't know they need a permit, but they don't penalize them for it. Parking where you're not supposed to, on the other hand, is a $63 ticket here. And there were a ton of cars with those tickets all over the place when we got back.

Our group ready to go.

Heading out.

Some people panning for gold.

Our first water crossing. You could mostly stay on the rocks to avoid getting wet.

Up a hill.

The second water crossing. A bit harder, but jumping from rock to rock kept you dry. Normally I don't think the hiking poles would be that useful, but they seemed people to help a fair amount for this.

I saw there was another route this way.

And tried that. A lot steeper, but dryer.

Into a dry area again.

A third crossing, this time on a log. Although you weren't likely to stay on the log without poles, so most people just walked through the water.

Up some steep rocks.

This bridge was really nice.

An arrow pointing back to the start. It didn't seem like a place most people would get lost, though.

Some pretty small foot holds.

Here you could go to the left and there was no way to avoid getting wet...

... or to the right and hop rock to rock.

Some red flowers.

And some yellow ones.

This log was a bit bigger, so it was fairly easy to stay on.

And another one.

Also fairly wide.

An arrow made out of rocks pointing the way.

Spider web.

The plants were amazingly sharp and stiff. I ran into one and got jabbed in the thigh hard enough that it bled a bit. Thankfully in most areas the rangers had chopped off the pointy edges, but this area was like a gauntlet dodging them.

Pretty view.

Aw, this dog had little booties on. It was also leashed to the little dog in the back.

A little line of trees going up the ravine.

Apparently the bridge is private property. They rent it out to a bungee jumping corporation.

I wonder how that rock got into the middle of the plant?

A windsock for the bungee jumpers.

And we're at the bridge.

We left the parking lot at the same time as a group of people who had pre-registered for bungee jumping, but they were about an hour behind us. It was approximately a 5-mile hike there, so obviously they'd go slower than an actual hiking group. One guy in our group took advantage of the fact that nobody else was in line and jumped.

The bridge from the other side.

Down below was a slow-moving river with lots of people hanging out in it.

Neat little area.

Although you had to cross this fairly steep and slippery area to get down there.

Some people in our group went for a swim or waded in the river.

Having lunch.

People were jumping off this boulder. This woman would start to do it and then back out.

After a couple of false starts, she decided to go for it.

There she goes!

Finally the big bungee jumping group got to the bridge. Here's one guy jumping off.

You could actually walk right under the bridge in the shallow river.

It was a fun angle to watch the jumpers.

This was pretty scary. It looked like the girl was only a few feet away from the bridge on her first bounce back up.

Some rangers on horses.

On the way back, most people didn't bother to stay on the logs. Actually, since it was so hot, it was nice to get your feet wet at the crossings. Some people even dipped their shirts in the water to cool off, too.

A dry area.

That looks like it could be poison oak.

Some people brought a net to play volleyball in the water.

Some berries.

Aw, the connection on my phone is out, so the pictures don't update on Sexy Snake.

I like the Add-on idea.

Have to order in the next 11 minutes to get it by Friday for free.