I made an unexpected trip to So Cal this past week as I wanted to attend the funeral of a friend. It was a sad reason for a visit. But the service was a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. Lots of tears. Lots of laughter. I’m so glad I was able to be there.
As usual, I stayed at my big brother’s house. We did some fun things while I was there. One of those things was this!
Phil, his kids and I, went on a hike. We went to the Santa Paula Creek area of Ojai in search of a waterfall. My brother has this book of California waterfalls. It’s most cool. It lists the waterfalls and gives directions on how to get to them. This was one his family had not yet gone to. The book promised a 3 miles in/3 miles out hike with the holy grail being a series of “punch bowl” pools connected by small waterfalls leading to a 30 foot waterfall at the end. The hiking instructions would have lead us to a campsite overlooking the pool which fed the larger cataract.
Somewhere along the way we got off the trail and ended up hiking the river’s path. I came across this lovely little creature in a dry part of the river bed. It measured about a half an inch across!
While this diversion provided what promised to be a “direct hit” on our target, it also entailed multiple rock crossings of the river, some ankle twistings and one occasion where we had to work our way along a rock wall using toe and foot holds which nearly had me at my tolerance for the heights and falling “thing” I have! But with the patient help of my brother, and the occasional hand holding by my nephew, Richard, I persevered.
I like this picture soooo much. I call it “Album Cover – No Band”.
We hiked and hiked and hiked. It was getting late. We found what we believed to be the punch bowls, but no big fall. We thought we’d probably passed it when we ended up off the trail. We took a moment to rest and drink water before starting back out of the canyon. But Richard (who LOVES to rock climb) ventured farther up and in and came back with the news that he’d found the fall. “Is it too scary, or can Aunt Lou make it?” The answer was “Yes, she can.”. So, me included, we decided to continue to climb our way in. Very worth it! The directions would have had us over looking the fall, but since we came up by way of the river, we were instead at the bottom where it filled a large deep pool. We were so glad that we’d ended up off the path. The algae on the rocks at the bottom of this crystal clear twenty foot deep pool lent the most gorgeous emerald color to the water.
The pool was surrounded by rock walls and a small rocky “beach”. Evidence abounded that many had gone before us. There was the sad bit of trash, a towel that looked like it hadn’t been there long, a few charcoally spots where fires had been built, and of course, graffiti. And you know what? I wasn’t much bothered by the graffiti.
Today’s graffiti are tomorrow’s “prehistoric” cave drawings…
A good time and place for one of my “foot pictures”!
It took us about a third of the time to hike back out. Why is that? Just wondering.
All in all, a wonderful smallish adventure. We were all tired and sore at the end (and for the whole next day!). Especially Avie. We’d barely started the hike and she was complaining that “it’s a terrible time to be a kid”. She’s growing, and her legs are sore. But she stuck it out. Barely. Had that hike been a tenth of a mile longer, one of us would have been carrying her!
Two days later we got to see Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. But that’s another post!