Monday, June 11, 2012

destination ojai! wheeler gorge and rose valley falls

we took dylan camping to ojai last weekend. wheeler gorge was perfect---no crazy, loud, neighbors or blasting heavy metal or oompah music; everyone was respectful of each others' space and privacy. sites were spacious and shady, which i loved, and our site was right next to the creek! those are the good--now the bad: poison oak, bugs (a few flies and mosquitoes), the vault (stink-y) toilets and the absence of showers. but those were minimal discomforts.

seriously---what's not to love than sitting under leafy oaks, listening to rushing water, reading a book, cooking outdoors, or just doing nothing. 

we had just dug out my dad's old coleman tent from my parents' garage--so we had to take it out camping, natch. it felt great to be able to camp in the same tent we used when we were kids growing up. i have fond memories of my dad and his love of camping. stuffed into the boxes of old tents, poles, sleeping bags, stoves and vintage lanterns was even an old map of ojai wilderness that he had saved.

so this past weekend, we found ourselves driving up highway 33, past ojai and up to los padres national forest.

IMG_1500 by deniro and mangosetting up the tent couldn't have been easier. here was the view of the creek from inside the coleman tent--its upright walls made it feel more like a 'house' than a tent.

resurrecting old memories and my dad's old camping stuff was like him being there for us all over again--and finding that old ojai camping map--i could feel his guidance as if were handing us his blueprint for adventure and happiness.

his happiness is ours!

i miss you dad and dylan misses his papa! we appreciate all the love and affection you generously bestowed onto us while you were alive on this earth. we miss you greatly, every day, and feel your presence always.


django rock-hops up to rose valley falls--the trail to the falls is easy, only one mile in and is accessed from lion campground in the los padres national forest.


here i am, trying to climb up the falls--one slippery, mossy rock at a time. i imagine in winter and fall, after the rains, the falls is lush and spectacular. in early june, the falls wasn't so much a rush but trickles and then streams cascading over mossy rocks. still very pretty and worth the short hike in. lots of people were picnicking and kids were splashing about in crags and little caves here.


dylan climbs up the highest peak at rose valley falls with a friend and chats up the locals.


django fiercely guards against the occasional redneck happy camper crashing our site. good old django!


the creek was just steps down from the creek and dylan managed to have a hella good time trying to catch all sorts of bugs.

right now, we're wishing we're back in ojai, catching bugs with dylan and chatting with campers.   a weekend convening with nature always allows us to press the 'reset' button on our lives and our souls. happy!

see more photos here and here.

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