These photos came from a recently-developed roll of mystery film, evidently taken back in Fall of 2011 when I went soaking in Ventura hot springs. To get there, the freeway turns into country roads which then turn into weird dirt roads with no trespassing signs. After passing only bikers and hikers for several miles, you discover a hidden trove of cars parked in the woods, yet no sign of life around them. Park alongside the other cars, then there’s a short walk into the woods before you stumble upon the huge rock pools.
The pools are always nearly-full with a variety of people – we saw an older couple, a group of friends our age that l can only describe as “hippies”, and yes, a token naked bather. Participants change clothes in the nearby woods or remove layers out in the open and jump right in. Belongings are draped across the large rocks nearby. Everyone is friendly yet peaceful, all there to enjoy the same relaxing soak in nature before getting back on the freeway.
I was shocked to see that the pools have a strange dark hue and look almost black until the sun hits them – then you see how deep blue they truly are. The water is blissfully warm and smells like sulfur (I got used to it quickly and learned to like it, almost). We met a girl who asked if we wanted to see the creek nearby. After warming in the sun and hot springs, she led us barefoot across a bed of rocks and jumped right into cold running brook. The original adrenaline rush.
Categories: photography, travel | Tags: hot springs, ojai, sulfur, ventura | Leave a comment