Arroyo Seco Trip 5

2006 July 29

Arroyo Seco Trip 5

The following are 27 pictures we took with a disposable non-waterproof camera. It was only protected from the water by a ziplock bag, thus the orange water spots. The pictures start at the Yin-Yang or Mother Pool and continue downstream to the "No Shouting" sign.

Yin-yang, yin-yang, eat'um up yum! Time to slide into the main pool. Weee, here I go, do lo da do do.

Jump! I'm not sure how deep the pool is here, I can't dive down that far. I find comfort in knowing that I will come to this area many more times in life and will find it exactly the same.

Feet and a blurry Willy on a rope swing above the main Yin-yang pool. The swing wasn't there last year. Will declared it to be quite lame. I must concur. The blurriness may be due to my laughing at the pathetic swing.

A photo of Willy in the upper Yin-yang pool after a disappointing swing on the rope. Who needs a rope a swing in this area? Look at it, it's gorgeous.

Willy prepares to jump into the main Yin-yang pool. Actually, I think he has jumped and is simply demonstrating a classified military jumping technique. When Willy was younger he would come to the lower stretches of the Arroyo Seco (this was his first trip to an above the suspension bridge) with his friends and they would jump off cliffs so high that their shoes would explode when they hit the water. Yikes. This jump is small potatoes in comparison.

Heading downstream from Yin-yang, I stretch to pull a plastic bag from the high water mark. This was the only trash I saw between the suspension bridge and the Yin-yang pool.

Ma and Pa relaxed in the shade just upstream of the waterfall and narrows while Willy and I scooted up to the Yin-yang pool. We told them we would make the round trip in 1 hour but it actually took 2. We estimate we spend 40 minutes going up, 40 minutes playing, and 40 minutes going back. It takes most people almost 90 minutes to make the trip one way.

Willy demonstrates the proper technique for sliding down the shoot at the top of the falls. Pay attention Ma.

Moments after this photo was taken Ma went sideways and, from my vantage point, appeared to slam her head into the rock. Luckily it was just her back and knees that were dinged. The main waterfall is to the lower right, out of the picture. When Willy and I were helping Ma and Pa climb up this area I donated my back as a stool while Willy pulled from above. Ma wasn't too bad but when Pa put his entire weight on my lower back, with one foot, including dynamic effects, my legs almost buckled. My back was so sore I spent the next two days either standing or lying flat.

All's well that ends well. Ma made it safely into the pool between the upper and main falls. I'm not sure if she knew where she was when this photo was taken though.

In order to climb down the main falls, you first have to climb up this bit of rock, as Pa is doing here with the aid of Willy. The main falls start right behind Willy.

Going up and down the main falls is easy, provided the rope is there. It was so we didn't have any problems. Some clever person tied an empty and capped Gatorade bottle to the end of the rope which makes it easy to grab the rope when fighting the current in the narrows at the bottom of the falls. The flow was so great on this trip that I don't think I could have swum to the point Willy is at.

Everyone is safe at the bottom of the falls and ready to enter the narrows. As we swam downstream through the narrows we must have past 20 people, some of whom are visible at the top of the photo.

In a narrow section of the narrows (must consult a thesaurus) I try to walk horizontally up the walls with my hands and feet but fail miserably. Willy took the photo while clinging to a rock with one arm.

Another attempt to extract myself from the narrows yields unsatisfactory results. I'm not sure why this was so hard but it was.

This photo, along with the next few, demonstrate the various ways one can navigate the multiple pools along the Arroyo Seco with a backpackers air matteress.

This is a very comfortable, although slow, way to transport oneself. However, in trips to Arroyo Seco views should always take precedence over speed. Note the secret conference on the shore.

However, if you really want to get somewhere you can't beat this position. With a few freestyle strokes you can fly, especially when compared to someone doing the breaststroke with a pack and soggy shoes.

Man boobs are prominently featured in this shot, taken after an attempted headstand on the mattress. Why attempt a headstand on the mattress...?

Back on the fire road, we have 3 miles to walk to the car. I usually try to make my captions at least two rows high. Sometimes it requires that I write useless filler material.

Trash was virtually non-existent on this trip, I am happy to report, even along the fire road between the parking lot and trail to the suspension bridge. This spot is somewhat of an exception since the rangers provide a trash can here and eventually pick up the trash.

On really hot days, this hill, which is totally exposed to the afternoon sun for its entire length, can be brutal. Luckily, it wasn't that hot. This is the only hill on the hike out.

Willy points across the canyon to the fire road cut into the hillside. Soon we will be there.

That was fast, here we are, and there we were. The water is barely visible in the left side of the picture.

When you come to these posts you are almost out. The river flows several hundred feet below Ma and Pa. The drop is almost vertical.

In order to protect wildlife, Los Padres National Forest has instituted a "NO SHOUTING" policy which these rebels choose to ignore.

At one point you could drive on the fire road all the way to Fort Hunter Liggett. A rock slide put an end to that and I'm glad it did as this area will remain more pristine if cars are kept out. On our adventure we walked 3 miles up the fire road, then took a trail down to the suspension bridge, followed the river upstream, then backtracked. On my first adventure into the Arroyo Seco I walked 13 miles along the fire road, at night, to a campground then followed the river downstream the next day.