Monday, February 28, 2011

Hiking experience to Sturtevant Falls

One fine day on a Monday morning in the month of March 2010, my friend Sharmistha came to my house and told me her hiking experience to Sturtevant Falls. She vividly described her experience. While she was sharing her experience at that moment I made up my mind to visit the place very soon. I told my husband about my desire. He was not very interested however after seeing my excitement he half-heartedly agreed to go.
We knew that we had to go as early as possible as summer was about to start. For 3-4 weeks we planned but due to some unavoidable circumstances we were unable to go. At last on a Saturday morning in April we went there without any prior plan.
                     Chantry Flat-- The Begining of the trail

On morning suddenly my husband suggested to go there. Although it was difficult, however I managed to make all the preparations. We started from home around 9 in the morning, which was already late. After reaching Angeles National forest, we found that people parked their cars beside the narrow mountain road. We didn’t understand why. First we decided to park the car like other people did as we also got a space but soon my husband suddenly wanted to go to the visitors’ center of Sturtevant Falls without parking the car. When we reached the area we understood that why people parked their cars on the side of the road. The space was small and was already full. Then we went downhill to find some space without success. I told my husband that if we had parked our car on the first place which we got, we would have started our journey by that time. We were going down and down but all in vein. I became impatient and suggested to go back. At last after going down 1.5 miles we got a very small space. He somehow squeezed our car there.
A rattle snake
Then we started our journey. It was already 10:30. After buying the forest pass from the visitors’ center when we went to enter, the forest official directed us to put the pass in the car. My husband went 1.5 mile downhill to put the pass in the car. When he came back to the entrance of the hike he was already tired. I was thinking how we could manage to reach the falls.
Then our actual journey started towards the falls. The first half of the road was downhill and that was concrete. So we didn’t face much problem and also my son agreed to sit on his stroller.  Only problem was the scorching sun. However that time we didn’t feel any loss of energy. One funny thing happened when we were going down through the concrete road. My son was sitting in his stroller idly. A team was coming back and they were climbing up. One person of that team told that he was a lazy person like my son and his team made him to go hiking. While we were going we saw a rattle snake beside the road. It was lying idly on the side. We took some picture of it. In my life I had never seen a rattle snake. However we didn’t spent much time there because it was poisonous.
Crossing the river with sleeping baby
Then we reached one small bridge over a small beautiful mountain river. The water was gushing over the rocks and the scene was amazing. We stood sometime there to feel the beauty of that. After that the actual rocky road started. Then there was no option but to take my son in arms. I took him in my arms and we started our journey again. It was really a treacherous journey, scorching sun overhead and harsh and dusty road down. That time I was losing my confidence but no question of telling to my husband. I knew we had to reach our destination.
Walking with sleeping baby
The road was very narrow, one side was the mountain and other side was the river. A little misbalance could land anybody into the river. Little later my husband took my son on his shoulder so that I could get little rest. Then the point came where we needed to cross the river. There was no such bridge, only few big logs were kept on the rocks. One had to do a balancing act over the logs to cross the river. It was a difficult for us to cross the river with a small child. We decided to cross one by one. First I crossed the river to keep the backpack and the stroller on the other side. Then again I came back to help my husband cross the river. After a while my son started sleeping on his shoulder, so again I took him back in my arms. Then another point came to cross the river again. This time there was nothing, but one had to jump from one rock to another to cross. This time my husband crossed the river first to keep our belongings on the other side. This time I crossed halfway by myself. The third time again we had to cross the same river by jumping over the rocks. This time one lady help me to cross halfway, then my husband help me to cross. By that time we ran out of energy. However after crossing the river when we heard the   roaring sound of water. We realized we were very near to the falls.
Crossing the river

When we reached at the bottom of the falls I was stunned by the spectacular view of it. I was wondering that there was a so beautiful place so near to our home but we took so many days to know about it. Though the weather was very hot but that particular area was very cool. I was feeling like to sleep there. Surprisingly the water was so cold that we couldn’t even keep our feet more than few minutes. It was amazing that people were bathing in that ice cold water. We ate some little snacks as I did not get time to take a good amount of snacks for hiking which was very much needed. We sat there for half an hour there then we started our journey back.
At the falls

Again by the same way we crossed the river three times. Up to the bridge we managed to come and then we sat for a while. I thought that from there as the road was concrete we were not going to face much problem. However I forgot that that it was not plain but we had to climb up. It was a wonder that my son suddenly showed interest to sit on his stroller. We put him on that and started pushing the stroller up. Then I realized how much tough it was going to be. After sometimes my husband started pushing the stroller. He was pushing up that with great difficulty. Sometimes I feared that he was running out of oxygen. That one mile road seemed that thousands of miles, 5 minutes seemed an hour. When at last I saw some cars I realized that at last we reached the visitors’ center. From there again we had to walk another 1.5 miles to reach our car. It was 2:30 when we reached. It was a great relief after sitting inside the car. From there we went to Subway to have our lunch. At the end of the day I was feeling happy because we accomplished the hard task which took total 5 hours.

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