Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spending a Day at the San Gabriel River

Hey there friends.  You know what the tough part of having a birthday on a holiday is?  It has to be better than just a regular birthday.  My daughter's birthday is July 4th, the same as America's birthday, and every year we try to make it just a little more interesting for her.  This year, we decided to take her and the kids to the San Gabriel River.  Just a short drive away from downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel River runs though the Los Angeles Forest.  The wife and I both went there as kids and thought that it would be great to go and take the kids to a spot that we visited back in the day.

First of all, the trip into the forest is a bumpy one.  As you venture into the mountain, the road is narrow and you are driving pretty close to the edge of the cliff.  You definitely need to keep an eye on the road and tread carefully.  After a few miles in, you'll come across a sandlot space used for parking and that pretty much signifies that you're there.  You'll need to walk down this steep path leading to the river.  Once there, you start looking for a decent spot to set up camp.  The early birds will take up the best spots.  Those spots will allow you to set up a hammock and have your gas powered grill (no charcoal allowed) in a safe location while other not so good spots will land you on rocks and in the sun.

The river itself has a strong current.  It can easily take you down the river if you don't plant your feet well.  Which reminds me... water shoes are a MUST!  I went in my sandals and I had a tough time keeping traction and planting my feet while in the water.  The river runs over huge rocks so it's tough to walk without some good cushioning on your feet.  This lead to me slipping and falling many times.  Good thing the kids had water shoes so they were good.  The wife and I, not so much.  lol

The kids enjoyed it and have already asked to go again.  My youngest daughter learned the hard way that she cannot jump knees first into a river.  She ended up with many bruises and scratches up and down her leg.  Actually, we all came home a little bruised up.  Nevertheless, we all had a great time and enjoyed our time in San Gabriel River.  This is a great gem within the Los Angeles boundaries that every family should visit.  The scenery to get there is also breathtaking.  You cross through the mountain taking in the green view.  You also come across a dam and the kids marveled at it.  We also some some 4 wheelers and trucks getting down and dirty.  Even saw one of them getting stuck in the mud.  lol

If you're in the Los Angeles area and you're looking to step away from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a short drive to the Los Angeles national forest and visit the San Gabriel River and take in some of the awesomeness of Los Angeles nature.  Check out some of the pictures from our trip and let me know what you think.  Later!
Me and the boys
The kids enjoying themselves
The girls are loving it
Enjoying himself some SPICY Doritos
The wife and I
On our way home with my brother in law right behind us
Truck stuck in the mud!
Must be nice to have a home right in the middle of such awesome scenery

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