Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Water - Ojai, California

Checking over the website, I printed out info for any springs on my driving path on-route for spring bike training in southern California.

enjoying the views at the peak of Hwy 33 north of Ojai, CA

A spring west of Helena, Montana was missed as I needed to make it to my couchsurfing home before dark. I stayed in the cute mountain town of 250 residents in Basin, Montana with couchsurfer Joanie, her husband and Tori (2nd French bulldog I've met). Meanwhile, I had a couchsurfer stay at my place while I was travelling... works out real nice!

Next day, with a 16-hour drive ahead of me, I still took a detour to East Ogden mountains to search for spring water. Loaded up my backpack with all my glass bottles... hiked in on a hot day and due to sketchy directions (Kristin Spring or City Spring) and spring run-off, I did not find the spring. Still, a nice break out of the car. Made my destination to my friend Leslie's place in Newbury Park (west of L.A.) that night almost before dark. typical scenery up Hwy 33 with fresh yellow fragrant blooms

Les joined me on an epic out/back ride on old Highway 33 out of Ojai, it was fun to have a friend join me on a spring water venture to find Belly Ache Spring just outside of Ojai. There was a steep hike up to the top of a waterfall to get the spring from its source.
Les saw the waterfall on our ride in at Mile marker 22.35. We parked the van, packed up all our bottles and hiked up a vertical climb next to a waterfall... I'd almost call it 10.5 scrambling in places. There was a sketchy trail mostly in brush on either side of the waterfall, though easier to just walk up thru the water. It was pretty adventurous, and reminded me of the adventure race days.

At the top of the waterfall, the spring was flowing up out of the ground with the main stream out of a pipe for ease of filling bottles. We both loaded up. Somehow we both ended up carrying 5 gallons each (Les is twice as tall as me!) so that's, oh, roughly 40 lbs each! The descent was now a little trickier.

I freaked when I saw a water snake in my path! though Mr.Snake kindly moved to land for me. Les pointed out the poison oak so I wouldn't grab any of those bushes.

All in all... it was well worth the effort to get this water, and supremely brilliant tasting!!

Highlight as well that day was stopping at the largest online raw food warehouse in Ojai, The Raw Food World. I was excited to get to walk around and shop.
Bonus for my little white car getting the supreme wash treatment from Leslie's kids, Lei & neighbour buddy Ben, with Naomi and Alf inspecting!

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