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California is notorious for its high cost of living, but just like anywhere else the Venture Addicts go, we manage to have the time of our lives at a price anybody could afford...

Mac, Tim and I are addicted to adventures, and it comes as no surprise when we chose California as our next destination. We’re 3 guys attempting to break the norm, and create a unique new way to help people travel on a budget. California is notorious for its high cost of living, but just like anywhere else the Venture Addicts go, we manage to have the time of our lives at a price anybody could afford.

From long days of surfing at La Jolla, to snowy hikes up in Yosemite, we thought we've done it all in California. However, when we heard of the sand dunes way south in Glamis, we knew it would be a perfect start to a reunion with the West Coast. To spice up our visit to the Algodones Dunes, I pitched the idea of attempting to sled down the hot sands. Despite not having an actually sled, we stopped at a local store and bought a skateboard, that we then removed the trucks and wheels to create a “Sand Board”. We also bought a storage box to use it’s lid as our “Sand Sled”. Even though both contraptions didn't work as effectively as hoped, we still managed to have a good time at our first stop.

As the sun rose on our second day, we headed out early to make it to San Bernardino, and proceeded just north of the city to our next venture. A few miles down the Pacific Crest Trail, along Deep Creek, lies a beautiful watering hole, with a peaceful sprouting waterfall known as Aztec Falls. Just after 20 minutes of hiking, we knew we were close as we heard the water splashing and the laughters of the cliff jumpers. When we arrived, all the kids were lined up to jump off the 20ft cliff into the cool water. On the other side resided a much larger cliff, twice the size to be exact, with spray paint marking the jump “42 Feet”, and a shorter line for the more brave kids. We spent all day jumping and flipping off the smaller cliff, and eventually worked the nerve to jump the bigger one. As the sun set, we made our way back to the car, and our night came to an end as we drove towards LA.

We woke up early once again, and drove to Malibu to capture the golden hour at El Matador State Beach. A short visit here it always enjoyable for anyone, from the scenic caves and arches in the eroding rocks, to a breathtaking sunset if you visit later in the day. As the morning turned into the midday, we decided to hit up another watering hole I had on our list, just under an hour away in Thousand Oaks. Paradise Falls, such a lovely name for what we assumed to be a lovely place, but little did we know that our second day would be ravaged. It was an incredibly hot day, as we hiked towards the falls in Wildwood Park, we began to anticipate just how great the cool water will feel. Nonetheless, as we approached just yards away, a musty smell began to grow in our senses. As we approached the roaring falls, the smell lurked around us subtly, but was easy to ignore on behalf of how graceful the waterfall was. We investigated the area shortly, only to find a sign with a solution to our smell. While most signs around watering holes simply advise no swimming for unnecessary reasons, this warning ceased our excitement, for the sign read “Urban Runoff”. We promptly decided to head back to our car and pursue our plan B. We headed back down to LA and took a quick visit to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign. Infamous for its heavily trafficked tourism, all stress aside, makes for a spectacular spot for a sunset.

On our final day, we headed down the coast towards San Diego, with some picturesque detours on the way. Half way down, we stopped in Laguna Beach to check out the Pirate Tower that stands tall on Victoria Beach. Best visited for the low tide, the waves come in close to the cliffs that hang over the beach, and a fun hike along the ocean. The water felt refreshing for this time of the year and crashed into the rocks that were scattered across the sand. We continued our drive until San Diego, and popped in at the Sunset Cliffs for another round of cliff jumping. We were relieved to see a cluster of people already gathered on the arch that stretched out into the ocean like a small cape. As they leaped courageously into the cove, we could assure it was a safe jump for the Venture Addicts to partake in. We spent our last moments doing what we do best, at the appropriately named cliffs, as the sun set over the horizon for one last perfect venture in California.

Jacob Stiler


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Tags: California, PNW

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