One of the very, very best things about living in Los Angeles are the dozens of cool locales within day or weekend trip distance. I'm no stranger to Palm Springs, have spent countless days in San Diego, and have done the trip up the coast to San Francisco a number of times. So when Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water presented me with a chance to explore (by helicopter, no less!) one of their spring sources near San Bernardino, I was very intrigued! Even though it’s just 90 minutes from downtown LA, I wasn’t at all familiar with the area before our adventure. However, it turned out to be one of the most interesting California experiences I have had to date. I got to see firsthand the care and consideration that goes into caring for the land, being a part of the community and bottling the water from the springs-- something the Arrowhead brand has been doing in this same location for over 100 years!
Once the chopper was fired up, we headed up to our destination in the mountains. I have to be honest, when I heard we were going to see where Arrowhead operates, I expected a huge crew of people working amongst a variety of machinery and buildings. It's actually the total opposite! If you didn't know this was where the magic happens, you could completely miss what's going on beneath the surface. Plants grow wildly in abundance in all directions with the only telltale giveaway being the small metal pipeline that bends and weaves with the natural curvature of the mountainside. We learned about the wildlife in the area, smelled the most beautiful California Bay trees, learned that around 80% of the mountain spring water Arrowhead sources in California is delivered in California, and trekked through the wild greenery following the path of the springs. We learned that the springs, like all spring water sources, are self-regulating, they ebb and flow naturally, but the long-term trend over decades is that they largely stay the same, even when California is in a drought year. Arrowhead is 100% Mountain Spring Water and it's naturally filtered by the earth. The water is minimally processed – for quality – to leave it the way Mother Nature intended.
We also learned about how Arrowhead uses 50% recycled materials in most of their bottles made in California. It turns out that recycled plastic is actually quite a hot commodity and harder to come by than you might think. It's so, so important that every person makes a point to recycle what they can. The plastic that is used in most single-serve water bottles (#1 PET) can be sterilized, ground up and re-used almost indefinitely. By recycling your bottle, you are helping to create a resource (a new fleece blanket, a rug or even another water bottle!) When we add it all up, it can really make a hugely positive environmental impact.
After our journey through the mountains, exploring the springs, we landed back at our home base and got to take a tour of an old hotel on the property. It turns out that it used to be quite the coveted destination among actors in the thirties and forties. Arrowhead Springs is one of very few places where both hot and cold springs exist in the same place, so there were thought to be majestic properties on the grounds. Beneath the hotel were really cool caves that had been carved into the mountain side. Hot water and steam oozed from within and you could feel your pores open immediately! (Naturally, this was a favorite spot of many of hollywoods elite back in the day.) We guest rooms and the honeymoon suites-- still furnished with original Dorothy Draper furniture from the 30's. I'm dying for the little yellow-trimmed wardrobe for Parker's room! (If they ever decide to have an estate sale, I'll be the first one in line!) I took so many great photos of the furniture, but sadly we couldn't post them! If you ever get the chance to go, definitely do!
I think the most refreshing part of the day and what made the biggest impact on me, was hearing Larry Lawrence, a natural resource manager with Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, talk about Arrowhead as a company, about the land, and about their community outreach initiatives, especially with youth in San Bernardino. As a blog, we get approached by dozens of different brands on a weekly basis. Our job is to sift through them and find the ones that I already love or that feel like the best fit for the type of content we create here. Doing that day in and day out for years now, makes it easy to get jaded and lose track of the passion and the people that I know are behind the best brands. This unexpected, adventurous day with Arrowhead reminded me of the part of my job I love so much: getting to bring to you guys new insights about brands or introduce you to new products. I love getting to uncover the behind the scenes of things and getting to pass along the passion that people have for what they do to you.
This post was sponsored by Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water. Thanks for supporting this blog and the brands we get the pleasure of working with! Visit www.arrowheadwater.com/California for more information on the springs, water quality, and brand history. Join the conversation and share what California means to you using #NaturallyDifferent, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arrowheadwater, on Twitter at @ArrowheadWater and on Instagram at @arrowheadwtr.