Pronounced Naw-ho-wee, the 164-foot falls flows just about year-round due to its geographic location in one of the rainiest parts of our Valley and a natural spring that feeds this paqarina or feminine expression of nature. There are two legends concerning the falls, which are named after a Native American Chumash village. The first tells of a terrible drought that caused the area great suffering. After the Chumash chief called upon the gods for assistance during an all-night ceremony, a beautiful woman appeared and led the chief to a fern-covered glen. Rising into the air, just as she was about to disappear her raiment turned into a glistening cascade of water and Nojoqui Falls was born and the drought was broken. The second story tells of a group of Chumash men and women that were caught in a furious storm. Upon taking shelter in a cave to wait out the tempest, they heard cries for help coming from outside. Only a beautiful young maiden had the courage to venture out and attempt a rescue. She returned with a warrior from another group who had been injured by a fallen tree. The warrior was taken back to the maiden’s village and during his convalescence he and the maiden fell in love, which was looked upon with great distaste by the other members of her tribe. Rumors of plots to do away with the warrior sent the young lovers fleeing together. Relentlessly pursued, they were eventually trapped at the top of Nojoqui Falls. Rather than be torn asunder, they chose to die together by leaping into the abyss.
While visiting the falls, I held a brief ceremony in memory of my beloved, Rick Hubbard, who passed elegantly between the veils of this world and the next four months ago. After opening sacred space, I disbursed some of his ashes at the base of the falls. Just as I began the ceremony, the skies gifted us with a gente rain that lasted throughout the night . . .