Apr 7, 2011

The Best Kept Secret in SoCal

…shortly after we started our drive the houses and electric wires disappeared, leaving behind any sign of civilization. The narrow single lane road winded into the mountain forest exposing endless views of valleys, stream and pure nature beauty...
When reading this description many places may come to mind, but not crowded Southern California. We were surprised too.
Almost Heaven - Ortega Hwy

A week with my son

Thursday, April 7th, 2011 – Spring break is on! – that means the kids are out of school for the whole week. My son already told me he want to spent every minute he can with me. My daughter, you know…
My son is driving the boat on the lakeDrove on Friday evening and picked up my son and since then we are together. I just don’t know how to express it, but we are getting closer and closer, and creating a very unique experience together. This is a great feeling.
On Sunday we spent some time at the Game Stop and he got some new games for the XBOX and his computer. That keeps him busy (and happy) when I need to work.

A day on Lake Elsinore

Gone fishingOn Monday we decided to spend the day on the lake. We drove down the hill to Lake Elsinore got a fishing pole, and rented a pontoon for the day. We had a blast! Patti showed him all the fishermen ties, and how to bait and I showed him how to run the boat. I think we spent at least 5 hours on the lake laughing swimming fishing and enjoying the views around us.

LakeElsinore 074

The secret

Crossing the riverTuesday flew by. After a day off I had to catch up with some work related issues. On Wednesday we planned to go hiking. I also got a phone call from Oren – a customer of mine (yes – the one from AZ). He is in Irvine and arrived a day early for a training, so we decided to spend the day together.
Pure NatureOur first choice was a bigger state park – Limestone Canyon, just East of Irvine. We drove there and found nothing but farms and security cars who told us to go away. Our second choice was a smaller park south of Mission Viejo, named Thomas Reilly Wilderness park. When we arrived we found a small property surrounded by houses with nothing interesting to explore.
The upper FallsSo when plan A and Plan B are depleted – you got to find plan C.
I remembered that the guy who drove me from the GMC Service facility told me about some nice falls around the area – Teneja falls. The road to the falls starts on Hwy 74 – Ortega Highway, where our campground is. When we took that turn we saw some houses and power lines around us, and I was thinking – no matter where you are, in Southern California (SoCal in short) you will always see some sign of civilization. but I was wrong!
TenajaFalls 071just 5 minutes later the road became a narrow gravel road, the houses disappeared even on the adjacent mountains, and so as the power lines structures or anything that resembles human intervention. The only sign that people were here was the road we drove on.
The road was narrow and curvy, two cars would not fit on it and there was no place to turn. One side is the mountain up, and the other side is a cliff down. but for the whole time we drove, over 30 minutes, we did not see any car in either direction. All the other trails we looked at were full, but this place was just empty!
TenajaFalls 054At some point we started hesitating if we are on the right way, but eventually we arrived to the parking lot that had a small sign that said Teneja Falls.
TenajaFalls 017We parked the car, put the hiking gear on – vest, hat, camera and walking stick and all four of us started our hike on the trail – Oren, My son, Patti and I. After a short distance the trail crossed the river and started climbing up towards the falls. The hike was not too long but the falls were magnificent. This time – no writings on the rocks (Almost.. There were some, but not near as bad). The fall itself was in three separate levels with pool at the foot of each stage. It was just us and the nature and it was so peaceful and nice.
It was unbelievable that we could find such a place in this area, and it was a great ending to a clumsy start. We drive back home, and Patti prepared for us a wonderful dinner – Chicken roulade, and chocolate soufflĂ© for dessert. Can you ask for more?
The road to the falls

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a great week, it is really great you & your son have time to rebond and enjoy your time together,A Son or Grandson is a Blessing you will cherish forever, Enjoy all the minutes together you get. As you get older You always worry about how many more days God will grant you with your kid's, I know I do and treasure having the Grandkid's so close right now.Take advantage of every minute. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.