Urban Hike: Arroyo Seco
I am feeling a little weep-wop, which is our household word to describe the feeling of not being able to comfortably button one’s pants. My only exercise lately has been sweeping the floors in my house, which feels like back-breaking work all of a sudden. Time to get into some kind of shape.
A mellow 90-minute walk was in order Sunday. The brilliant husband suggested a drive to South Pasadena to explore the trails below the Colorado Street Bridge. There is nothing like hiking in raw nature, but I find so much joy in discovering pockets of nature within the concrete expanse of our city, the whir of the freeway still in comfortable reach. The Arroyo Seco Stream runs from the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains, down to urban Alta Dena and Pasadena, under the 134 Freeway and then along the 110 Freeway to Elysian Park where it joins the Los Angeles River. It is a preserved gem of running water and native vegetation, a shady valley hidden from view except from the numerous bridges which pass overhead.
The terrain along this section of the Arroyo Seco is flat. I like to climb hills, but on this lazy Sunday the unchallenging topography was welcome. Many old trees were felled by a recent violent wind storm, and other plants were carrying on in full bloom. We saw and heard several different kinds of birds, sweet chirping from the bushes and regal hunters soaring above. We saw horses at the public San Pascual stables nearby and dozens of people walking dogs. An old man was accompanied by a gray parrot perched on his shoulder. We even saw a large rabbit.
The nature was a wonderful reset. I will definitely visit this park again and again. It looks like one can hike about 10 miles in parkland along the Arroyo Seco from Highland Park to Alta Dena. That will take care of the weep-wop.