A short distance into the Bridge to Nowhere hike, you have to cross a rickety, crooked wooden bridge over a small gulch to continue on the trail. As of this weekend, that rickety old wooden bridge has been replaced by a much sturdier, wider, reinforced wooden bridge, thanks to the US Forest Service, the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps, and the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders.

Fredric Rice sent in a link to a great write-up of the day’s events, including photos of every step of the process. He also posted a ten minute video of the bridge parts being lowered in by helicopter, as well as some short but incredible footage taken by the rigger as he flew through the San Gabriel Mountains, hanging from the bottom of the chopper:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO9s80U9cF4&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.crystallake.name%2Ftwork%2F15may09%2F15may09.php&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

nullThe bridge is named for John Seales, a former Wilderness Coordinator for the San Gabriel River Ranger District. Seales was a life-long forest advocate and tireless volunteer, living and working at Camp Williams and in the Crystal Lake area of the Angeles National Forest. Seales spent many hours patrolling and protecting our local Wilderness areas, so it’s fitting that his namesake bridge is located just a few yards away from the Sheep Mountain Wilderness boundary.

Just remember, the next time you’re enjoying a trail on a weekend afternoon, volunteers are the people who keep that trail in working condition. Thank ’em. And maybe even join up once in a while!

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