Exploration: Century Lake

My life has been a little lacking in exploration lately. When we first got to LA, all I did was drag Toby off on random adventures, but then the obvious happened: we settled in. In an attempt to do some reverse settling, I decided to journey out to Malibu Creek State Park awhile back. Adam and Toby came along for the ride, and we all agree that it ended up being one of those spontaneously wonderful days that are impossible to plan and just have to unfold on their own. 

We were (okay, I was) on a quest for Century Lake; it was the "Lake" part of the name that got me, really, what with everything being so dry around here this summer. Maybe I was subconsciously craving a good, old-fashioned Minnesota July day. But I wasn't sure what to expect. In southern California, the word "lake" is sometimes synonymous with "pond"...and sometimes that "pond" has been totally dry for ages. I figured it was worth a shot. 

However, it took us awhile to get to our destination. We wandered along the trail for probably a mile longer than we should have, with no water in sight, and when we came across the old M*A*S*H site (the location where they filmed much of the show), we knew we had gone too far. 

We snapped some photos and headed back along the path. A random decision to veer right and look at a forest trail brought us to a pond filled with lily pads, and then we heard splashing and shouting, so we went a bit further and found...this:

Let the record show: Century Lake is a real, bonafide (albeit small) lake. After staring in awe for a few minutes, we quickly reversed our tracks and found our way to the other side, where it was easier to get in and out of the water. And then, we swam. 

Wanna make me happy? Give me a beautiful summer day and an unexpected adventure in nature, and I'm set. Unlike the popular rock pool about a quarter mile away, which was FULL of people, this little gem of a swimming hole was almost completely devoid of activity. It was deep and cool and scattered with lily pads, and as you can see in the photos above, bordered on one side by a concrete dam; you could hoist yourself up and look over to the next level of the creek, hundreds of feet below. And of course, there was...rock jumping? Dam jumping? Awesome jumping. It was absolutely what we needed after so much walking in the hot sun. I'm glad I remembered to bring my swimsuit. 

We hiked back to the car afterwards, refreshed and pleasantly exhausted, and ended our day in Santa Monica for pizza and sunset viewing. I need to be honest with you here: I cannot recall why we decided to drive all the way down to southern Santa Monica after spending the day in Malibu. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Because why not keep the day going strong until the end? These are the days I need in order to remember that life is to be enjoyed. 


Happy Hump Day!