{a dip in the springs}

   Do you believe in the fountain of youth? We do ... well, maybe more like the fountain of health and hydration. Municipal water, especially in the dirty fish bowl of LA County, is not something that we feel comfortable pouring down our throats. The human body is made up of 70% water, much like the earth ... every cell and atom is plump with the fluids you choose to drink. (makes you think twice about that fizzled brown Cola and radioactive green energy drink) Some people think we're a little eccentric climbing up the side of a mountain to bottle our own drinking water from the virgin source, but hey, we're junkies for a taste of the past when things were still clean.

   Back in the day, everything was organic ... and we didn't have to pay more for it. Today, to be Certified Organic, poisoned land has to sit unmolested by the chemical sprayers and crop dusters for years before the earth can undo the damage and replenish the depleted soil back to it's mineral-rich, pure state. Our water carries all of this junk too. Industrial waste, like perchlorate - a chemical found in rocket fuel and fireworks as well as arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, chlorine and fluoride. And we wonder why cancer has become a family tradition - grandma (both sides), grandpa, aunt, uncle ... we need to keep those cells clean, people, please, stay healthy and happy with us !! 

   .... So, hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to the springs we go. When we need a little recharge, and our tanks are running low, we organize a carpool and buzz up north to two sacred spots in Ojai, CA.

   Stop one: up a winding hillside to a small dirt pull off. At the bottom of the trail, a beautiful three-teared waterfall rolls down the slope between trees and over mossy rocks. The tapped source is about a half a mile up, and much of the hike up is spent clomping through streams, hop scotching stepping stones, and limboing under hanging tree branches. It's a different world.  

With our back packs and tote bags full of empty water bottles (some glass) we set out to the fountain.

Our friend Lisa (elemay) came along with us to experience the springs, 
and she took a bunch of great pics on her Iphone : )
{thanks lee lee}

   Somebody always slips and falls on this steep part of the trail - normally on the way down, when strapped with 60+ lbs of water (water weighs 8 pounds per gallon). Without a buddy, one can be quickly damned to the fate of an over turned turtle. It's quite difficult to get up with so much weight on your back. We usually need to help leverage each other up from the ground - man down ! 

   For anyone who's going to trek up this path - look out for this little plant. The rule is "leaves of three, leave them be." This is poison oak ... and boy, if you get this stuff on you, you'll itch to the bone. And something that I found out the hard way: when you itch the original spot, the poison oil can get under your nails and then spread to any other unrelated part of your body that you happen to scratch.

   Around the final bend, just as the path is mellowing out, there it is: a single four inch pipe poking out of the side of the mountain. The bees are always up there drinking, and we've even seen a pretty monstrous rattle snake slithering beneath the stream : )  Hissss !! 

   The water from a natural spring runs through an aquifer deep underground, and it's naturally filtered by the sand and stone and all the elements as it travels upward and finally pours out of the earth. We love our spring water! It's pure and packed with minerals ; )     

   The springs are a pretty far hike from where the Winnie is parked, so we really try to load up on water whenever we make it up there. Most runs send us stomping back down the hill with 17 gallons of water strapped to our backs. It feels like we just stepped onto some strange planet where gravity pulls twice as hard. 
    Also, an interesting note/ test on the spring water: we do a lot of sprouting of beans and seeds for food, and when we soak them in bottled water, it takes several days for the seeds to wake up and start growing their little roots, but when we soak them in the spring water, they literally sprout over night. Talk about life force! Even household plants are branching out when we give them a sip : )

   These beautiful yellow (locoweed) flowers line the winding mountain roads in Ojai - they're from the wild pea family and unfortunately if eaten are both toxic and poisonous (so no snacking please). They smell so sweet and delicious though... like citrus blossoms ; ) And when in season, we pick bouquets to display in our old antique bottles. These lovely lil locoweed blossoms bring the golden glow of spring into our Winnie ; )

   And after all of that hard work, we head off to soak and relax in the magical hot springs. There's three hot pools - one large pool at the top (this one's warm), another tiny one in the middle, (warmer...) and then a nice deep medium sized one at the bottom (Hottt!!) We love the bottom pool.There are so many perfect little nooks to recline, the rocks are smooth, and cat tails and bamboo stand about swaying in the breeze. The water is heated by the molten core of the earth, and it carries so many medicinal elements into the brew. It can be a pretty strong detox as the water pulls all sorts of toxins out through your skin, (most toxins exit through the pores on your hands and feet) We've nearly passed out and danced on the edge of hallucination some extended late nights in the springs ... Mmmmm Bliss ; )

 Thanks for reading, love, 


..... oh, and if this article has inspired any of you to start filling your cells with clean, energetic H2O, and you'd like to find a spring near you, check out the link below : ) It's a special site where people from all over the world post the location of their local springs and where others can type in their area and find a spring near by !!!

Here's the link: Find a Spring dot com 


  1. I was just wondering to myself how I would find a local spring. Thank you for sharing the link at the bottom of the post. I have found some while on local hikes, but it is generally after about 6 miles. I hope to find a spring soon!

    I recently purchased a book titled Healing with Whole Foods, Asian traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford. In the book fluoridation in water is discussed, which is used in many cities water treatment to "prevent tooth decay". Little did I know that fluorite is already used as a tranquilizer in traditional Chinese medicine and it is in the antidepressant medicine Prozac as well. Fluoride is just a tiny speck in the midst of all the things that are added to our drinking water, as you mentioned. It is important that people know they have other choices. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and adventures with others.

  2. Realistically, I love reading about you guys. I enjoy the fact that other recognize that life is not about riches, rather than the people you spend it with, and the travels you share. To me, that’s what being rich is.

  3. I love your blog, it rocks my socks. Your pictures totally describe the mood of the adventure and I really need to visit a hot spring ASAP!

  4. Thank you for your post. Loved it. Hiking in Northern California my significant other touched poison oak and got a bad case of it on our travels up the west coast on HWY 101. However, some people are lucky enough NOT react with the oils that make you itch, I am one of them. I found this out one summer when I walked across a patch of Poison Ivy every morning on my way to work in flip flops - one day the grounds man was killing the plants I walked through and asked him why - he told me it was poison ivy....

    I currently live in Alaska. I love it here because it is so easy to get clean resources. Our water and food sources have mostly not been contaminated with other people's poisons.

    Hurray for clean, fresh, unspoiled H2O

  5. just curious, when you bottle your water, how long are you able to keep it around for safely? there is a spring a little ways from my home, and i would just like to know how much i could bring home at a time?