Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Arroyo Seco

I felt a stir of wonder as I ventured under the old bridges of South Pasadena Wednesday night, and followed the Arroyo Seco--a stream and watershed in Los Angeles County.

Several days before, a short article in the newspaper caught my eye. "Evening hike on level trail in the Arroyo Seco." I had never explored this ribbon of watershed land that stretches through several cities then eventually empties into the Los Angeles River near Dodger stadium. On google's satellite map, it threads across the page like a skinny green island in an ocean of cement.

The Wednesday evening hike would explore a 3 mile section. Wednesday evening? That's right in the middle of the work week. After some pause for thought, I decided it much better to be adventurous than overly conscientious. Let the men cook their own dinner tonight! And do the dishes to boot!

So after a morning at school and an afternoon with Letty, I pulled in my driveway at 5:30 p.m. to eat a quick dinner and then pick up my friend Lynn.

We drove east passing homes, restaurants, skyscrapers and just when we thought there couldn't possibly be any unoccupied land, the road gently sloped down into a canyon.

We slipped in with the other hikers, who stood in a circle for last minute instructions.

The trail passes under several bridges. The stream swells and shrinks paralleling the Pasadena freeway, the oldest freeway in Los Angeles (1940).

A few of the bridges which cross the Arroyo Seco were built in the 30's. This is the famous Colorado Street bridge (below) built in 1913 known for its beautiful arches, light posts, and railings. During the depression of the 1930's several distraught people jumped off the bridge, thus it acquired the nickname "Suicide Bridge". A protective barrier has been added to make the bridge safe.

The early settlers found the canyon and its flood waters a daunting barrier when they wanted to travel to Los Angeles. There are stories of crossings taking four or five hours before the bridges were built.

At one point, we crept up out of the canyon and alas!—The Rose Bowl! (in the distance below)

We ran out of daylight on the way back. We couldn't see a thing except for the old glowing lamps on the Colorado Street Bridge and these beautiful bushes with white flowers.

Lynn takes a closer look.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

By the way, "Arroyo Seco" is Spanish for "Dry Streambed".

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." ---Jesus (John 4:13,14)


Karen said...

This sounds like a wonderful mid week adventure...enjoyed the pictures...I trust the men survived for one evening...

The Gatekeeper said...

I'm coming with you next time. Hey, btw, put the slide show on AC. I'm just sayin'.

Susan Skommesa said...

This was great Sharon. I enjoyed the journey. I can barely imagine the seco with rushing waters.

Willow said...

I enjoyed the walk with you! If I am ever in Pasadena again with time to walk, I'll make sure I do the Arroyo Seco Trail!

Those white flowers are mantillija. Spelling may vary :)

Anonymous said...

Sharon, this was like going down memory lane for me. For eleven years I worked at San Pasqual School just down the street from where the Arroyo Seco trail begins. Many times I walked the path with a friend. We could cover a fair piece during our lunch break. So restoring. Glad you could enjoy it.

Glenda said...

I would never have imagined that such a pretty canyon exists so near city life in Pasadena. It's fun to learn about places I've never been! The Scripture verse you chose is just perfect for thoughts about a "dry streambed"!

Dawn said...

I'm so glad you followed your heart instead of your head. And how wonderful that there is such a place in the middle of the chaos of the city. Love the night pictures!

And the scripture is perfect.

Have a great week!

Becky Wolfe said...

Sounded like a grand adventure, with lots of great bridges & beauty included. Glad you went & shared it with us.