February 09, 2010

Stream Hiking

A view typical of the tamer parts of the creek we splashed through.

On Sunday, a group of my friends went on a hike through Seven Falls Trail here in Santa Barbara. Because this is such an arid climate, the falls are only active during the winter rains. I use the word winter very loosely. It was 65 during this hike.

This trail is famous for having stepped pools where the falls have eroded pits in the rock. It was amazing. There were groups of young people in bathing suits and wetsuits using the falls as natural water slides and just generally having fun. None of us had swimming clot
hes on, so we weren't too keen on running around soaked afterwards. However, Nell and I were interested in how the rest of the pools lo
oked. You can't really see all of them from where the trail comes in, so viewing the rest requires some climbing. Nothing major, as at some point there were little foot pockets carved into the rock, but probably intimidating to someone who has never done any kind of climbing before.
Right Photo: Looking down on the pools where people swim. We climbed up this.

We braved it, knowing that if we fell, we'd just be wet and get over it. We said goodbye to the rest of the group, planning to meet them where the trail reconnects to the stream. I suppose we should have planned that in actual words though. We continued scrambling up boulde
rs, through the stream, for 2 to 3 hours after that. We were sure that if we kept going, we'd find the trail. Turns out, the trail came back right after the pools, which was not even 10 minutes after our separate. Whoops. All in all, we were hiking for roughly 4.5 hours. Granted, we spent some time ogling the scenery.

Despite worrying our husbands, ruining our pants, and being utterly exhausted afterwards, this was the best hike of my life. Generally the water was only a foot deep at most, though there were some places you could fully swim in, and some places unexpectedly were up to our knees or even our hips. The water was also COLD. We did a lot of jumping from rock to rock, and scrambling up the bigger boulders. There were so. many. water falls! We kept picking out the ones that would make the best natural showers for when we decide to live in the forest.

Seriously people. Hiking up a mountain stream is the best. We even found this big rock face covered in different kinds of moss. There were teeny tiny little mushrooms growing out of it. So adorable. And so soft! I'm sure that's where the magical fairies live.

We had both left all of our belongings with the group when we separating, because we didn't want to get anything wet. So I have no pictures to share. However, I did search the internet, and I'm sharing what I found out there. These aren't mine. Some are linked to websites that have even more photos if you're interested.

This photo is with a lot of other cools ones, and an article. I recommend it. This is also a good example of the more difficult stuff we had to do to not go swimming. There wasn't quite so much of this as you'd imagine.


kimberlina said...

gorgeous!! i can see why you wouldn't have brought your own camera. *laugh*

*Monica said...

What a pretty place to spend a day. I am glad you had fun

my word verification=restive

rest+ festive, just like your hike!