Do you know what’s hard to do in LA and its surrounding areas? Have an adventure! Ok, it’s easy to have an “adventure”. Just drive right up to Hollywood Boulevard and people watch for a bit. But it’s hard to have a spontaneous adventure. You always need to plan ahead. Make sure you leave before traffic sucks all the adventurous spirit out of you. Always have SNACKS in the car. And the crowds… Everywhere is always so damn crowded!
I will stop now.
Bry and I decided last week we wanted to go on an adventure, but because of the reasons stated above, we thought it should be more planned than spontaneous. We had three ideas:
1) Ride the Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier – We have been trying to do this for over two years now. We went to ride it our first Valentine’s Day together and let’s just say the experience was quite traumatic. It took us two hours to get to the westside and once we did it took us another two hours to find parking. Luckily we had just started dating, so we laughed it off. But since the experience was so brutal, we have yet to ride that thing…
2) Disneyland!!!! – Bry and I have both only been to Disneyworld in Florida when we were really young. We don’t really remember it and have been dying to go here. Except those tickets are $99 a piece! Chicka-whaaaaat???? We broke…
3) Angeles National Forest – By the name of this blog, I bet you can guess that we decided on this one!
We came to the conclusion that we wanted to go for a hike in the Angeles National Forest because it was a) free b) pretty c) hiking class for myself (Bry and I are going to the Grand Teton National Park this summer with his folks and I’m not the best hiker… So he’s been teaching me!)
Bry did some research (remember, no spontaneity on this trip!) and he decided on a hike that didn’t seem too extreme and also had a WATERFALL! He knows I love waterfalls, so this was the trail for us.
We left around 11, got to the trail, and started our hike!
The hike began in a neighborhood
Between two houses
We realized quickly that this trail was quite… Rustic. It looked like no one had ventured on this path in quite some time. And it was only a couple of feet wide. It was also a really hot day, so I started to panic because this looked like the haven for my BIGGEST fear.
Here’s a little tidbit of information about me you may not know: Indiana Jones and myself have two things in common: 1) We are both renowned archeologist and world travelers. 2) WE ABSOLUTELY EFFING HATE SNAKES.
Maybe only one of those is correct. I HATE SNAKES. I. HATE. SNAKES. Again… I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE SNAKES. Even when we went to the San Diego Zoo and they were all in glass cases, I had a panic attack.
Alright, back to the story…
So we started to get higher up this mountain and I started to get extremely scared. I was hiking just fine. But we were seeing lizards everywhere and where there are lizards, there are snakes. I finally told Bry I wanted to turn around because I was a huge baby. We did just that. Even without seeing the glorious waterfall. We actually think we took the wrong way since we were heading up the mountain and the waterfall was supposed to be at the bottom of the it.
We were SO close. Seriously, SO close to being done with this hike with not one snake siting until I spotted it. The black and orange thing just hanging out in a bush right on our trail. Soaking up the 80 degree rays. Bry made it past the bush because he didn’t even see it. I, on the other hand, did not. I jumped back and started hysterically crying. I mean hyperventilating and hysterically crying. It was quite attractive, really.
“BRYAN. BRYAN. THERE’S A SNAKE IN THAT BUSH. THERE’S A SNAKE IN THAT BUSH. OH MY GOSH. OH MY GOSH. OH MY GOSH. I CAN’T. I CAN’T MOVE. I CAN’T MOVE. I CAN’T BREATH. OH MY GOSH. I’M DYING” Yep, all of these things came out of my mouth. Tons of tears came out of my eye holes.
“Babe, it’s going to be ok. It’s going to be just fine. It’s more afraid of you than you are of it. I think it’s dead. I don’t even see it’s head. And it’s not moving.”
Oh, HELL no. He was not going to talk me out of my hysterics. There was NO way I could pass this snake. I kept envisioning trying to pass the bush, and the snake springing up right for my jugular. It would poison me and bleed me out. Yep, I knew one thing for certain: I was going to die on this mountain before I went past that snake.
We stood there a good 10 minutes. Me crying. And crying. And almost puking. Then crying some more. We were trying to figure out a way I could pass the bush without me looking at the snake. I tried running past it. Nope. Couldn’t do it. I thought about walking around on the other side of the trail, but it was a total death trap as well. There were probably more snakes there…
I was about to tell Bryan that he needed to call some kind of helicopter that could air lift me off this mountain when I saw my saviors: A man and his dog.
“Sir, there’s a snake in that bush, so I would be careful that your dog doesn’t attack it and get bitten when you pass it,” Bry said.
“Oh, we are actually taking a snake class this week so we know what to do when we spot rattlers,” the man said. Then, he and his dog got RIGHT up to the snake. Inches away.
“Oh yeah, this isn’t a rattler.” Right then I ran behind him and the dog, made sure they were between me and the snake, made sure that dog was protecting me, and passed that bush.
When I made it across, I was rushed with hope. I may make it off this mountain! I cried a little more. Bry and I hugged like we had just been through a tornado that surprisingly didn’t take us or our house. And then we laughed. And laughed. And LAUGHED. Because this was seriously RIDICULOUS.
Post snake run-in. WE SURVIVED.
Thank GOODNESS for that man and his dog. If it wasn’t for me hiding behind them so I couldn’t see the snake as I passed the bush, we could have been stuck there for days. And thank goodness for my boyfriend who stayed calm the whole time. He now wants me to go on an “Extreme Fear” episode of Maury. I’m holding out for a paternity test one, though…
After we finally got off that God forsaken trail, we decided to take the 210 freeway to the 39 and drive through the forest a little more. And stay in the car for safety.
Taking the 39 into the mountains
The Angeles National Forrest is incredibly beautiful, and I highly suggest driving the 39 in to the mountains. And I also suggest the hiking! Just watch out for those snakes. I hope this post made you feel a little better about yourself today. Happy Trails!