Somewhere in my closet, I have a valentine from my 5th grade crush with a lemon-flavored Lifesaver stuck to the back. The front is a picture of a purple octopus next to the words, “You’re My Main Squeeze.” Boy, I really wanted to be his main squeeze. I didn’t care that he gave the same valentine to every girl in the class. But when he spoke to me, I forgot how to talk. Also, I turned redder than a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
Since 5th grade, I’ve learned a few things: 1) don’t go for the guy passing out valentines to every girl in the class, 2) red is totally my color, and 3) you don’t need a sweetheart to get out and celebrate in the name of love. How about a walk to a heart-shaped waterfall?
My fantasy version of this story goes something like this: Woman meets tall, handsome mountain man with finely combed beard. Mountain man takes woman to heart-shaped waterfalls. Mountain man and woman drink champagne from a blue-speckled tin cup and take turns plucking petals off a daisy. “He loves me. She loves me. He loves me. She loves me.” (An excerpt from my upcoming romance novel)
The true version of this story goes something like this: I typed “heart-shaped waterfall near Los Angeles” into my internet search engine, and wouldn’t you know it, there actually is a heart-shaped waterfall near L.A. in a town called Valley of Enchantment! I shall add adventure psychic to my list of exceptional skills.
My pirate brother Mike, my sidekick sister Kyrsti and her friend Marisa joined me on this walk of love to Heart Rock Falls. I told Mike he had to wear pink. He showed up wearing pink pants, while the rest of us were dressed in all black.
We arrived at the trailhead around 11AM and walked along the footpath. The hike was pretty easygoing, so we climbed down into the creek bed to explore some of the caves and rocks below.
We encountered a couple of warning signs that made use turn back to the main trail, including a naked Barbie hanging from a tree and the word “HATE” carved into a dead log. Someone had clearly been practicing voodoo up in these woods, and I did not want to find out who.
Back on the trail, we followed painted white arrows pointing to a blue heart. Our trail directions told us to “hang a left at the Harry Potter tree.” You think it would be difficult to spot a tree in an enchanted forest, but this one stood out.
We nearly walked past the waterfalls, but we noticed some hikers looking especially excited. Just as I imagined, the rock was carved into a perfect heart next to a 20-foot waterfall. We enjoyed the falls from a steep overlook and then hiked to the pool below.
Further down the creek, we shared a forty from a brown paper bag and stuffed sunflower seeds into our cheeks. Brother Mike taught us how to crack open the shells with our teeth and spit them out without making a mess. By the time we made it back to the car, I could spit shells like an AK-47.
While I do enjoy a good romance, I love a true story with a happy ending even more. Until I meet my handsome mountain man, I am grateful to have so much love in my life from family and friends. Every day is like Valentine’s Day to me. Happy un-belated Valentine’s Day to you all!
Heart Rock Falls Trail
- Trailhead: Located across the creek from Camp Seeley in Crestline, CA. The trail begins from a dirt parking lot off to the right side of the road and is marked by a sewage pipeline cover.
- Trailhead Parking: You must purchase an adventure pass to park at the trailhead. We bought a 1-day pass for $5 at the 7-Eleven in Crestline, open 24 hours. Click here for more locations.
- Road Trip: 1.5 hours from Los Angeles
- Trail Length: 1.7 miles round-trip
- Fitness Level: Easy, good for families and first dates
- Source: Go to World of Waterfalls for turn-by-turn trail directions.
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