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Yesterday Alan and I went on a hike in Arcadia with a group of our friends. It was our first time there and we had an awesome time. After spending a few minutes trying to find parking, I knew it was going to be a good day when a man leaving saw us arriving and gave us his parking pass (normally $5). It’s these kinds of random acts of kindness that remind you that there are good people in the world. And when someone does something like this for you, hopefully you will go on to do something nice for someone else. Small things can go a long way.

Anyway, the trail we took is called Hermit Falls. While the hike itself is only a short 1.2 miles, we had a few adventures along the way. At the start of the hike, I was leading the group and walked right past a rattlesnake chilling on the edge of the path. Alan, who was right behind me, saw it and held the rest of the group back as we watched the rattlesnake leisurely cross to the other side of the path. As long as you respect it’s space (as with any wild animal—after all, we are in their territory) you have nothing to worry about. Which is why, looking back, I think I got pretty lucky since I literally stepped a few inches in front it as I walked by… It is important to be aware of your surroundings!

After that little bit of excitement, the rest of the hike was pretty easy since it’s all downhill (all uphill on the way back) and we made it to the falls in about 15 minutes. This is where the true attraction is. There are two cliffs you can jump off into small pools of water, which makes it a popular spot for young people. The biggest cliff is supposedly 50 feet, but I would say it’s more like 35 (if you’ve ever jumped off a high dive, it’s about the same height). Anyway, as soon as we got there I went for the big one, and ended up doing the jump 2 more times. It’s quite the adrenaline rush with a 2-3 second free fall. Most people take some time to make the jump, mentally preparing themselves until they can build up the courage to jump (don’t let the butterflies win!). I was pretty stoked that everyone out of our group of 9 eventually jumped. Warning: If you’ve never been cliff diving, and you decide to go, make sure to keep your body as straight as possible and your arms tucked in, otherwise you will be in a lot of pain.

At the falls, we also met a cool group of guys in an Indie Folk band called The Last Bison (if you like Fleet Foxes or Mumford and sons, you should definitely check them out). One of them also helped us find my friend’s GoPro camera that we had lost in the water. Another one of the guys in the band also gave my friend a lizard (named Ralph) they had picked up along the hike. Ralph was a chiller, and my friend almost ended up bringing him home to keep as a pet, but decided it would be best that Ralph go back to the wild where he belongs. We’re going to miss you Ralph.

Ralph

Overall, it was an awesome day of sober fun. Go outside, get out of your hometown, enjoy nature, do something physical, do something exciting, and enjoy your summer!

I’ll definitely be revisiting this hike sometime during the school year. Click here if you’re interested in visiting Hermit Falls.

Peace and love,

Stefano

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