Adobe Falls is much more than a waterfall; it’s a right of passage for any pothead freshman that comes to San Diego State University.
Adobe Falls is one of many secret little gems hidden right by SDSU. It’s entrance is covered by trees and the second you start going in, it’s like you’ve been transported elsewhere. It’s under a freeway, but the noise gets cancelled out and replaced with that of waterfalls as you walk further and further in. You travel from the power-washed clean walls that make up our wonderful campus to brilliantly colorful, spray-painted walls that create Adobe Falls. It’s underground, it’s easily looked over, it’s covered in a balance of graffiti and nature, you’re technically trespassing when you’re in it, but it’s a precious gem.
I’m a senior honors student with a 3.7 GPA who, until freshman year of college, had never tagged or vandalized anything. I did, however, smoke my fair share of weed senior year of high school and have been doing so since then. When I moved into the dorms my freshman year at SDSU, I had to find my follow stoners to build a community and friendship with. The beautiful gem that is Adobe Falls turned out to be my answer.
A few weeks in to the school year, all of the residents’ true colors came out, and all of us stoners got to know each other. Including some stoners who had quickly gotten to know the upperclassmen stoners. On October 7th, I got the treat of being introduced to Adobe Falls for the first time; I was shown the way there by the fellow residents with the upperclassmen connections. There, we lit up and claimed the spot as ours too by adding to the art around us and tagging the wall with “Maya 2014” (our dorm name and year).
That day was special. Everyone that went was in the honors program just like myself, yet everyone was also a proud stoner. We were a perfect balance of “good” and “bad”. And we could relate to Adobe Falls which is in the same balance. It’s full of waterfalls and nature (the good), yet is covered in graffiti and is a place where people do illegal activity (the bad). Getting to go there was our validation; it was our right of passage.
Now trespassing is definitely very illegal. Smoking weed at that age and time was definitely illegal. But why? Why was “trespassing” into an underground little area that didn’t belong to anyone that was using it or ever would use it illegal? Why was going there to smoke and hang out with friends we all so desperately needed illegal? We were all good kids in need of a way and place to relax. Skaters have their skateparks, stoners from San Fransisco have Hippie Hill, us students should get Adobe Falls without too much fear of getting in any form of serious trouble. Yes it’s illegal, but it’s a place of art. The walls all look beautiful, the subculture it creates allows for expression, and it’s a symbol for so much more.