Monday, March 6, 2017

Falling for Water Falls

He got up and tried it again
For lack of persistence is surely a sin
As he stood by and waited to be called

He looked to the lightning with glee
And admired his vessel for its symmetry
Feeling twelve units shy of a bachelor's degree

As he stood by and waited to be called
He stood by and waited to be called
He stood by and waited like the others before
For his turn to go over the falls
~Primus, Over the Falls

If I stop and think about it for a moment, I'm not really sure what is so compelling about a waterfall. Maybe it's the novelty of seeing the glistening silver thread of water against the dark hue of the rock. Or perhaps it's the cool mist that sprays you when you stand at the base of the falls where the water plummets violently into an aquamarine pool. Whatever the reason, there is something about water cascading over a rock face, especially in arid Southern California, that is so mesmerizing that it draws me like a moth to the flame. And I know I'm not alone. The collective "we" find waterfalls irresistibly irresistible. 

So with the recent rains, I've been out hunting waterfalls some. Right after the rains I attempted the falls in Escondido Canyon, but the route was closed and a ranger was stationed at the trail head to enforce the closure. Cops at the trail head. For my safety of course. I've actually never encountered that before. I then made my way up the PCH to La Jolla Canyon but was similarly shut down. There, the trail was closed and the creek was flowing strongly making access shall we say "difficult." The next day, I shot for the falls in Trail Canyon, but passed on the opportunity when I discovered the trail head literally thronged with other similar-minded adventurers. I don't mind hiking with a few other folks, but hitting the trail with 75 other friends for me defeats one of the main purposes of getting out. Next I tried for the falls at Rose Valley, but was stymied just out of Ojai as the Maricopa Highway was closed going north. It would have been nice had the CalTrans website accurately reported this closure before I made the drive of shame.

But I'm a determined fellow and I was insistent on seeing some falls before our wet spring gave way to the impending and inevitable dry spell to come. That determination finally paid off this past weekend when a solitary sojourn to the back-country paid a handsome dividend: a split-level waterfall devoid of people and unmarred by trash and graffiti.

Although some of you will recognize the terrain and these falls, I'm not going to identify the location. It is certainly not a secret, but it apparently is not sufficiently known to the cadre of cooler-carrying, paint-spraying dumb shits that feel compelled to mark their territory like the animals they are that it remains relatively pristine. If you recognize it, cool. Go visit while the water is still flowing. But beyond that, don't blurt out the location. Let it be. Otherwise, this location could become Santa Paula Canyon where one can really become one with nature.


  1. Nice find. Determination is the key to success.

  2. Cool waterfall. Wherever it is, it looks safe from taggers. Water is flowing even down in Orange County. Nice while it lasts.

    1. Ain't all the water great teke? Been missing it, but it's gonna be super buggy this spring. Get ready to bust our yer bug net.