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Friday, August 3, 2012

Arroyo Seco River Hike

I want to take a break here and fill you all in on what we did last weekend, and what you should do this weekend if you're in the area.  Down near Soledad & King City off 101, we went on one of the most amazing day hikes I've been on.  It was an excellent combination of hiking, swimming, and rock hopping. Talk about a core workout! This, was my first time on the Arroyo Seco river hike in beautiful California.  Now, I didn't bring a camera, phone, or anything that couldn't get wet - since there were many times we had to swim for quite a while, which meant a soaked backpack.  So I'm borrowing some photos from the wonderful internet, of the same hike. (Photo Credits at end of post) 
 Isn't is beautiful?
You hike this road in for about an hour (bottom left), and then hike down to the river.  When you're on that road, you're so high up it's scary to look down! You can see there are so many swimming holes down there though, and after an up & down hill hike, I was ready to get in that water! Once we reached the river, we ate lunch, knowing we were going to have to be fully in the water very soon.
This was such a great hike, views everywhere.  We hopped in the river, thankfully with water shoes, and started heading up.  Our friend Aaron was the guide, he'd been before and said our destination was a waterfall that we would be climbing. Um.. what?
A lot of the hike looked like the photo above, steep canyon walls and beautiful cool water to swim through. I definitely got my breast stroke in, and I kept thinking about the swimmers we watched the night before in the Olympics, and I'm amazed at how fast those people go! It took a lot for me to not think about the Crawdads in the water, though it did help me move a little faster imagining them near me.  There were a lot of campsites along the way that looked so fun, we are definitely planning a camping trip here soon!
After a couple hours of the river hike, the walls of the canyon came to what seemed like a close.  Aaron said we were going through... *gulp* .. and we did! All I could think about was how I'd never done anything like this before, and it was totally surreal.  See those people there? Yep - that's where we were heading. This water was deep too, we couldn't see the bottom at all, and it was extremely clear. I can only imagine.
Wow - special thanks to whoever took this shot, because it is stunningly accurate. It's about... four feet wide in there, and you have to swim through this for about 15 minutes before getting to a rock you can actually rest on.  Our friend Shaun had a clever idea in his backpack, he filled it with empty plastic water bottles so it doubled as a float! Mine got to that point eventually since I was chugging my water. Isn't that scary yet fascinating? I couldn't believe it.
Right around the bend from the last rest rock, in that deep crazy gorge, was the waterfall.  I'll have our pics soon, and update you all (I can't wait to see them myself!) but we had to climb this beast.  Now, I was relieved to see that it was smaller than the raging waterfall my imagination produced - but it was still enough to strike some fear into me.  But at that point, what are you gonna do? I'd had to go.  We made it this far, there were climbing ropes installed to help people up it, and I knew I'd be proud after.  And I was!  It felt great. Then, we did it all in reverse! Total time for this hike, including breaks, was about 6 hours.  Next time I want to get up early and start early, we started at 12:30 so we got home sort of late.  Oh yea, and if you do this - shoot for a day where you have the next day off to rest, your body will want it!

As soon as I get the pictures from our friend and edit out the ones I never want surfacing again, I'll share them with you.  This hike has just been on my mind so much, I thought I'd spread the word.  If you go, bring water shoes, a backpack that can get wet - and a dry bag.  Plus the usual stuff, water, food, etc.  Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Wait - One more thing, I've been playing with this "Chip It" add on from Sherwin Williams, and making paint chips of just about everything. So, just for fun, here are some color schemes from the Arroyo Seco hike. They are actually pretty nice!
Special thanks to the bloggers who posted photos that I borrowed!
Photo Credits: Geeked Out, Wild Recovery, and Evil Sushi.

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1 comment:

  1. WOW-these pics look awesome! And your story, too-great narrative, as usual!! The waterfall hike looks little scary-but beautiful!!

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