Saturday, January 3, 2015
Hike 2014.066 -- Switzer's Camp, Angeles National Forest
The creek, meanwhile, ran thick with sediments. Probably would have been a good day to try panning for gold, if I were so inclined to want to pan for gold on a mountain stream. I'm not, though. :D
Still, I enjoyed my time. Took lots of pictures of the colorful leaves that still clung to trees, and of the riffling water. No wildlife spotted to speak of, though.
"avid hikers could managed to get lost here, and, especially, to have their boots stolen by a fox (!).
But that would be in the future. For today, I merely walked quickly, trying to put some space between me and the loud hikers I just passed.
From there, it was another 1/3 of a mile or so of creek criss-crossing to get there. But, as always, the reward was worth it.
As opposed to a deep pool I had found at the base of this falls on previous visits, a sandy bottom had been built up by the sediments i had seen being washed down from above.
After taking a dozen or more pictures just at the waterfall, I then shot a few looking downstream. Didn't include any of those with this post, though.
My trip back down was a little delayed there, however.
There's a short, maybe five-foot segment of the scurry along the rocks to get from one level down to the next. It's not really dangerous, in the sense that, even if you fall, it's probably just a slide of 6-8 feet, into a pool of water (assuming your foot doesn't get caught and send you tumbling down the longer fall of about 15 fee).
Rather than push on when there was doubt in my mind, I briefly retreated, and let the moment pass. Then I completed my rather ungraceful traverse, and made it to the safety of the tree that overlooks the falls. From there, there's plenty to hold on to and little danger of a fall.
This probably means it's a good time for me to reiterate, just because someone else does something, it's not necessarily a good idea for you to follow. The views aren't worth it.
I happen to think the risks on this particular trail are acceptable, but even the risk of small tumble can get into your head and cause problems. If you have even a little doubt heading a certain direction, stop and turn around before you get yourself stuck on some "point of no return."
On this hike, I saw someone who literally spent hours taking pictures before even reaching the part where the trail splits and then drops you back into Switzer's. He got a little defensive when I made a comment about how many pictures he had taken, but I meant no insult by the observation. I mean, *I* take a LOT of pictures, but I took them all and still went on to the falls, took many there, then returned. That doesn't mean I had anything against someone able to immerse himself on the upper portions of this trail. It IS beautiful.