Arroyo Seco

2010 June 12

Arroyo Seco 6

Cabin Fever, I had it bad, so it was time to head into the wilderness. It was still too early for the High Sierra, so instead I went to the eastern side of Big Sur, an area I first explored in 2004, but hadn't been back to since 2006.

At 7 am on a Saturday, I left the Bay Area, and after one stop for gas, was hiking by 10 am. One hour and 3 miles later I left the fire road and headed down to the river. An hour after that, I reached the mouth of the narrows. Shortly after that, approaching the bottom of the waterfall, I encountered unexpectedly high water volumes, and was badly spooked. My plan was to camp about an hour beyond the waterfall, but due to the amount of water, I was happy to turn around and exit the narrows in one piece.

Simple, no-cook food consisting of two sandwiches, six Cliff bars, one apple and powder to make two 1-liter Gatorade's. This was to be for one lunch, one dinner and one breakfast.

The hike into the narrows starts with a 3-mile walk on a fire road which is closed to vehicular traffic. The wide open views are outstanding, and generally few and far between on trails in this area.

Day hikers playing in one section of the river, as viewed from the fire road.

Here's the sign where I leave the fire road and head down to the river.

The trail crosses the river via this suspension bridge. From here on out I would simply follow the river upstream.

Campers just upstream of the suspension bridge.

Entering the river.

After a while , it's no longer possible to walk along the river, you actually have to swim.

Awkward attempt to mount my air mattress and swim smoothly away from my camera within the 10 seconds allotted by the timer.

Walk in the river, or along the bank? You must decide.

Self portrait with the entrance to the narrows in the background.

Water's getting deeper. This photo taken with camera on tripod on air mattress.

When this photo was taken, I was pinned against the rock behind me, with the water pushing me down and to the left. This was really scary because I was alone and downstream was to the right. I got into this awkward position since you can't see the waterfall unless you swim around the corner, and when I did that the current caught and pinned me.

Visibly shaken, standing on a submerged rock after getting out of the turbulent zone just below the waterfall.