Hidden in the rocks on the border of a drought-ridden big city adjacent to mine lies a secret. Free flowing water over the edge of towering painted rocks. In this parched residential area the waterfall has been reduced to a steady flow that struggles to maintain a creek running along the length of a dusty trail. Pass under the branches of two trees coordinating the natural tunnel to the rocky staircase and the myths come alive. An artist’s paradise, a sinner’s grotto; The Falls are a sanctuary for any young person feeling trapped. Towering rocks displaying years of painted imagination surround the flow. The experiences I have had at The Falls facilitate my desire to return. Outside of spontaneous sunrise hikes before an eight hour workday and semi-planned mini-adventures with friends, I enjoy solitary trips here as a means of escape. Getting knee-deep in the pools of water, bouldering up the rocks around dusk to chase the sunset, finding those little areas off the beaten path and coming home with the battle wounds are what I live for. The view from the top accompanied by trickling water frees my mind and fuels my passion.
Content and Photograph by Alex Rager
In the middle of horse trails in Norco, a city just up the freeway from Corona, lies the abandoned and crumbling remains of a building unknown, dubbed by those who visit, the warehouse. An escape from the ordinary, a myth, the embodiment of youthful expression. This building has become a piece of art and apart of Norco. Boredom struck, so, naturally my friends and I started thinking about what we were going to do about it. Hiking, yet again, skyline or the falls sounded mundane so our sights were set on this fantastical building coated in imagination somewhere unbeknownst to us. A friend in the group had been a while back and new the general whereabouts. That was good enough for us. Off we went into Norco without really a clue what we sought out or where it would lie. It wasn’t one of those “you can’t miss it” places – this took some effort. Eventually, after walking a dusty horse trail near a nursery that became our only reference point, we found it. We took time to marvel in awe at the structure, the colors, its art. The amount of artistic talent showcased throughout these off-shoot cities continue to intrigue me. Where and who are these rebel artists? After looking around and having a mini photoshoot we said our goodbyes to this place. We have yet to return but one day, maybe with the same or other friends, I am sure we will return to add a piece of ourselves, and leave our mark on the vibrant walls of our sinner cathedral.
Photograph and content by Alex Rager