Last night before bed, I got the sudden urge to go hiking. I looked at some of the well-known trail sites and found hikespeak.com. I found some in Malibu Creek State Park, which is just a few miles away, and decided to choose on there. This park is extremely popular with hikers, mountain bikers, and rock climbing. It is also known as the filming location for MASH, Planet of the Apes, and others. I was going to visit MASH, but instead thought a “traverse through a difficult-to-reach gorge” sounded exciting. I’ve been up for more adventure lately, and felt a little risky. Not standing on the edge of a cliff risky, but the kind that lets me still feel in control with danger just out of reach.
Several of the following photos come from the site listed above. The hike involves a significant amount of scaling near-vertical rock faces with water just below, climbing over 10-20 foot boulders which lie geologically and seismically jumbled throughout the gorge, creating a path where none exists, and several instances of trying to find a way across the water.
Confession: I took off my shoes and socks and walked through water once, slipped and fell into a pool once, and relied to the invaluable guidance of two couples who separately guided me through particular moments when I felt completely stuck and thought I’d have to return the way I came.
After over 3 hours, I had covered the 2+ miles culminating at a dam, at which point a couple showed me the way out, climbing up a hillside, scaling the barbed wire-covered barrier and swinging around a fence which hung over the dam.