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Arroyo Seco 3, 12 September 2004

For my fourth trip to Arroyo Seco this year I decided to invite my parents along.  Despite living only 2 hours away in the Santa Cruz Mountains they had never been to this area although they venture to Big Sur and the Pinnacles regularly.  I was keen to explore the river from the suspension bridge all the way downstream to the day use area since I had only been upstream of the bridge on my previous trips.  For information on these overnight trips please refer to the "Backpacking" section of this website.

We spent about 4 hours traveling down the river from the suspension bridge to the day use area, including a stop for lunch.  The river had many fabulous pools and a few "narrows" but it suffered greatly from being so accessible via the fire road.  Trash was everywhere, mainly beer cans and cigarette butts but also water bottles, peanut shells, underwear, socks, towels, etc.  And the closer we got to the day use area the worse it became.  When we go back we will not take the river all the way to the day use area but instead leave the river where the fire road heads down to cross a tributary feeding into the Arroyo Seco via a concrete bridge.  In my opinion, the best of the river below the suspension bridge is very close to this junction, just a short distance both upstream and downstream.

Posers!  From the left we have Emily, Pa, and Ma with a view looking upstream of the Arroyo Seco and the suspension bridge.  I wanted them in the picture for perspective, not water ballet.

 

Not far at all below the suspension bridge we have a view looking upstream at this very nice pool, complete with backpackers ferrying their gear in a raft to keep it dry.  This is very popular area since it is visible from the fire road and as such it suffers from litter.

 

Zooming in on the previous picture we find the son of the backpackers and his friend; the one on the right is at the point of no return in his jump.  Upstream and to the right, not visible in this picture, the river narrows considerably.

 

This photo was taken at the same place as the previous two, just of the right bank.

 

And this was lunch, it was way too much but the spinach and sour cream dip was really good!  I wonder what the original function was of the concrete pad that served as our table?

 

After lunch, and another view looking upstream of a nice rocky stretch.

 

After taking the previous picture I let my parents and Emily pass me then took a photo of them downstream in a great "narrows" area.

 

Just a bit further downstream was another narrows, which my mom seems to be enjoying.

 

This "hole in the wall" is just around the corner and to the left of where my mom was in the previous picture.  My shoes are about 5 feet above the water and Emily took this photo while floating in the river.  Just downstream of this "hole" is a giant swimming pool that I thought was bigger than Yin-Yang but Emily disagreed.  We both agreed, however, that we would not venture downstream of that pool again.

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