5 must-see bridges

Going on a road trip? Check out these 5 bridges.

  • Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Taos (New Mexico). At 650 ft above the Rio Grande, it’s the fifth highest bridge in the USA. Rio Grande Gorge is a rift valley and a stunning landscape. There’s a nice hiking trail along the rim. The bridge has appeared in several films like Natural Born Killers, Twins, Wild Hogs, and Terminator Salvation. The sad story about this bridge is the number of suicides committed here, more than 115 in the past 20 years.
  • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco (California). As one of the recognized symbols of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see attraction in Northern California. It’s already the most photographed bridge in the world, so go ahead and shoot some photos too. Walk across or ride a bike if you really want to feel the majesty of this bridge.
  • Navajo Bridge, Marble Canyon (Arizona). Navajo Bridge is actually two bridges similar in appearance spanning the Colorado River. These two bridges, one historic and one new, crosses the Colorado River’s Marble Canyon, which marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon. The bridge is also where I did my first bungee jump. My initials BGJ are to be found somewhere midways on the bridge railing.
  • Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Omaha (Nebraska). This is by far the coolest pedestrian bridge I’ve ever seen. The footbridge across the mighty Missouri River is a new landmark of Omaha. The bridge is 3,000 ft long, including the landings, and it’s the longest pedestrian bridge to link two states.
  • Bridge to Nowhere, San Gabriel Mountains (California). You can’t reach it by car, you have to hike. The Bridge to Nowhere was constructed in 1936. It has never been in use as there’s no road leading to the bridge. You have to do a 10 mile round trip hike to reach the site. If you want to feel a rush like you’ve never experienced before, jump off the bridge with Bungee America.

My 5 Must-See Bridges

Salt Lake Overlook

Salt Lake City is lovely, but I’m also the kind of person who can’t stay too long in a big city. If you feel the same way and need to get away from cars and concrete, SLC has plenty of hiking trails in the nearby mountains. I was in Salt Lake City during the record hot month of July 2013. Some said it was too hot to go hiking, but it wasn’t for me. I was in the mood for an afternoon hike. The Desolation Trail to the Salt Lake Overlook is perfect in summer as it’s very shaded. At the overlook you can see the entire metropolitan valley, or most of it. Behind you, as you would have noticed on the way up, is the magnificent Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

The trail is 4.8 mile out and back, and rated easy to moderate. There are lots of switchbacks and you gain roughly 1,300 ft, so it takes some uphill work. Actually, the trail goes further and can be combined with other trails. The overlook is a perfect place to sit down and eat a snack, and to me it was the best way of saying goodbye to Salt Lake City before moving on to the south.

Overlook Photos

2 days in New York

I actually like to visit big cities, just for a few days, and I don’t mind doing all the touristy stuff. I’ve been to New York City twice, and I’ll probably come back again. This is my 2 cents on what to do in The Big Apple.

People Watching. It’s practically impossible not to be among people in New York. You’ll see all types of people, so why not make it to an activity. You can do it at Times Square, just keep in mind that you’ll probably see more tourists than New Yorkers. There are other cool places, Central Park and Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, just to name a few.

Landmarks. They’re all over the city. Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, the list goes on and on.

Look Down. Skyscrapers are the mountains of New York. Get up and look down. For a breathtaking view in all directions, head to the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center. This is known as the Top of the Rock. Go all in and buy a Sun & Stars ticket.

Look Up. By looking up, the city becomes even more spectacular. It also sparks new photographic angles.

Money. Wall Street, the infamous Financial District of New York City. This is Gordon Gekko-land with suit and tie as dress code, although there are lots of tourists as well. Anyway, don’t’ forget the bronze sculpture Charging Bull in Bowling Green Park. The oversize sculpture is a real Wall Street icon.

Memorials. Strawberry Fields in Central Park. This area is dedicated to John Lennon. The former Beatle and his wife Yoko Ono had their residence in the Dakota Apartments adjacently located to this area of the park. He was murdered and shot dead in front of his home on December 8, 1980.

Politics. United Nations Headquarters. You’ve probably seen the iconic building in the news. Walk up to the area, maybe you’ll get a glimpse of some world leaders. There’s also a visitor center.

Diversity. If you’re looking for immigrant enclaves and ethnic communities, you’ve come to the right place. Let your personal interest decide which ones to visit, but Chinatown is worth a visit. It’s one of the oldest and largest Chinese communities outside of Asia.

Food. Grab a hot dog! Street food is just the way you eat in New York. Want to sit down? Say hello to Big Daddy’s, a hip 80’s styled diner with tasty food to fuel your day.

New York Shots

Morning hike in Montana

Spontaneous hiking! I think it must be what I did in Helena, Montana. I was getting ready to leave the city early in the morning, but before doing so, I decided to cruise the streets. What really caught my attention was the mountain visible from every direction. I wondered how to get there, because I would love to hike up for a super view of the city. The mountain is named Mount Helena and is part of Mount Helena City Park, a huge and popular area for runners, mountain bikers and hikers. Being persistent helped me to get closer to this intriguing mountain and a trailhead. I found one at LeGrande Cannon Blvd.

There was no information on how to get to the summit, so my hike started into the unknown. My first shot was the Ambrose Trail, but a local runner told me it wouldn’t take me to the top. I walked back and followed Swaney Trail and then Prairie Trail. At some point I could have taken the 1906 Trail, but instead, I decided to follow what appeared to be a trail. Soon after, I must have gotten off trail. I didn’t meet anyone, and it got really steep. I had to scramble a few sections but managed to reach a highpoint that I believed to be the summit. Now it was just a matter of deciding for a spot to settle and enjoy the view. The hike back down was a challenge because of the steep descent. Later on I realized that I might not have been at the official summit, and there’s probably an easier way to the real summit. Anyway, my view was picture-perfect and I had a great morning hike in Helena.

Trail Photos

Red Rock Wonderland

Ask me why I love to travel in Utah, and I’ll show you my photos of Arches National Park. This dream-like landscape of contrasting colors is simply why I find Utah so attractive. I’ll describe this park as surreal, kinda like a Dali painting. Here you’ll find thousands of stone arches as well as hundreds of pinnacles, fins and balanced rocks.

To me, the main attraction is Delicate Arch. During my full day at Arches I made it to Delicate Arch twice. I spent several hours at the arch in the late morning, and then also in the evening when I went back to shoot sunset photos. The hike is a 3 mile round trip, strenuous but not difficult. It’s actually a nice trail with wonderful scenery all the way to the arch. The arch is heavily visited, so don’t expect a solitary experience.

During the sunset, some photographers became clearly annoyed because people were standing beneath the arch. Although I understand a photographers mind, I also find it important to be courteous to other visitors. Besides, people can add scale to a photo of this 65-foot-tall landmark. I got plenty of photos with and without people. The hike back in the dark with hundreds of people using headlights was a magic ending to a perfect day. During the day and in between my Delicate Arch visits, I roamed the park to see some of the other arches and stone features. Most attractions in the park require only a short hike. There are lots of hiking trails, most are considered easy to moderate, but there are also some few strenuous trails, which I’ll consider for my next trip to Aches.

Arches National Park