For months, my brother-in-law has been telling me tales about some secret waterfalls near Los Angeles. Not just any secret waterfalls. These waterfalls are guarded by killer bees and giant snakes. If you are lucky enough to make it to the waterfalls alive, the reward is well worth the risk. Not only can you jump off of one waterfall, but you can jump off of three… in a row!
After plans with my brother to go to the secret waterfalls fell through for the second time, I decided to find them on my own. I still have not confessed to my brother. David Elliot, if you are reading this, I hope you will forgive my determination.
I recruited three adventurous ladies to join me on this quest. We set out early Sunday morning, following some sketchy directions from a blog article I found online, which led us up a winding dirt road for 4.8 miles. When we reached the trailhead, we could hear the buzzing of the bees vibrating in our ears.
After hiking two miles down to the creek, the trail ended. We started heading upstream, but our instincts told us to turn around when we saw no more footprints in the sand. On our trip downstream, climbing over boulders and dodging pools of green, murky water, we finally crossed paths with a real live person. He told us we were only a ten minute hike from the mythical waterfalls.
At last, we reached the secret waterfalls, and it was time for our grand leap. My little sister (who had been skydiving the day before) gracefully leapt off the rock and into the water below. I forgot that I was afraid of heights until I was about to jump. Even after my sister’s second jump, I was still frozen with fear. Then some fancy pants climbed up onto the rock behind me and asked if he could jump over my head. After that, I don’t remember deciding to jump or even stepping off the rock, but I did. By the time I jumped, the crowd applauded they were so relieved!
As we were leaving the waterfalls, we witnessed a man walking across a makeshift tightrope. Another guy reached down between some rocks and held up a giant snake by its head. By that point, I was sure I was hallucinating, since we only had one bottle of water each and a bag of almonds to split between the four of us. Needless to say, we were not fully prepared for this adventure. We started our trek back… from the opposite side of the creek as the giant snake.
We were dehydrated and exhausted, but we managed to make it back up the mountain in half the time it took us to get down. Ice cubes and watermelon awaited us in the car. For the days following the hike, the soreness in my muscles was a welcome reminder of the adventure we had. Now if you ask me where the secret waterfalls are, I will have to remind you of the definition of the word “secret”. Good luck!