Saturday, July 28, 2012

D-bag Retreat at Hermit Falls

Thank you, Mr. Romero, for the pic of your party times
"Did you got to Bass Lake?!"
Um, no, well...I thought I was going hiking. And swimming, but by the looks of it, yes? I did?

Let me tell you the story of how a hike led to inadvertent participation in a doucebag convention. A few days ago I wrote about my homesickness for Portland, Oregon. I find Oregon to be superior to California in almost every conceivable way, but my job and boo have anchored me in Southern California. (That's for anyone tempted to yell "then why don't you go back?!" at me.) As I mentioned, there is an abundance of concrete here in Southern California. You'd need to use both hands and feet to count the number of freeways in the area, and even city streets (in some areas) are huge, multi-lane monstrosities with speed limits nearing those of Oregon freeways.

California Dreamin'.

I admitted that unlike most Oregonians, I was never even all that outdoorsy. But in a lot of Portland neighborhoods, all you have to do to see some nature is step outside your door.
I'm in the forest!!
Unfortnately, the residential neighborhoods in 'SoCal', with their identical, generic landscaping and lack of mature trees, do nothing to satisfy my longing for the lush, green gardens and tree lined streets of my youth.

"Put concrete where the grass is and it's perfect" - boo, a hyper-Californian
In an effort to find things other than sunshine to appreciate about Southern California and surround myself with some foliage, I grabbed my boo and headed into the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains. The mission was to hike to one of Southern California's few fresh water swimming holes, complete with a little waterfall that doesn't even dry up in the summer! It only took us one hour to drive up to the trailhead at Chantry Flats, which is less time than it takes me to get to work everyday. The parking area was pretty crowded, and there were emergency vehicles everywhere. NBD. There were human traffic jams all along the trail, which was frustrating. As we walked, I noticed a lot more litter than I had anticipated, but I tried to ignore it and focus on the beautiful trees and creek.

Once we got to the actual swimming hole at Hermit Falls, my heart sank. It was like all the ugly stereotypes of what young Californians are like were playing out in front of my eyes! Not to mention the graffiti and litter everywhere, including where we were swimming. As U.S. Forest Service officials finished cutting down a hazardous tree, one summed up my thoughts by asking "what is this, the douchebag convention?" 

YES, IT WAS! Get to know the cast of characters in attendance:

As the aroma of mari-huana filled the warm afternoon air, drunk, stoned,  high, and/or otherwise generally idiotic people jumped from rocks anywhere from 15-60 feet from the water. Nevermind the fact that by 2 p.m. that day three people had been airlifted out after jumping. Nevermind the fact that someone is severely injured or killed there at least once a week, according to one of the officials I talked to.

Ugh. It was so gross. I finally gave in and swam a little, even going down the natural granite "slides" a couple times. The whole time I had this sense that we should leave before we witnessed someone fall to their death. How naive I was to think that I would be mostly surrounded by people who had come to the swimming hole for the same reason I did.

The search for enjoyment of California's natural splendor continues.

1 comment:

  1. loving your blog! glad i found you (via La Maison Boheme)!


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