Tuesday, March 07, 2006

mourning a waterfall

One of my favorite places to visit and sit in Ojai is off a small private road in the east end. Situated just past an orange grove is a small creek that runs down the mountains. You have to drive on a road marked "property owners and their guests only," but somehow that never bothered me much. After driving up this private road you park off to the side and walk along an unmarked dirt path for about 5 minutes before you hear the crashing of water to your right over some bushes. After brushing the bushes aside you see an amazing waterfall pouring off of rocks about 30 feet high, into a small "bowl", which then flows into another small pond before continuing down the creek. Some of my best high school memories are swimming in the bowl, jumping off of the waterfall, or just sitting on one of large boulders near by.

Today, I decided that my oldest daughter was old enough to go and see "the waterfall". I told her that we were going to go and see a waterfall and she kept repeating "oh boy! waterfall" over and over. Our family loaded up in the car and drove to the "trail head" only to discover barbed wire, no tresspassing signs, and a newly planted orchard of some kind (no visible fruit). I actually don't know how long the orchard, signs, or barbed wire have been there, as I haven't even visited the waterfall in at least 5 years. Despite my prolonged absence, I kind of liked just knowing that it was there...it made Ojai that much more special to me. On the car ride home I was feeling a little crushed, as I got home I just plain started feeling depressed. It's really sad to me that someone "owns" this amazing haven, and hard for to me to swallow that I'll never be able to take my daughters to see it and enjoy it with me. Now I'm kinda on a mission to find the owners and see about getting permission...we'll see...

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