Day Trippin’: The Arroyo Seco

I think most of you are going to agree with me on this statement: free stuff to do is usually better than paying. Oh, no doubt that sometimes seeing a movie or checking out some band is worth the money for some passing entertainment, but more often than not I’m sitting at a theater thinking “what a waste of time and money.” Come on, you know it’s true! And with La Crisis getting all serious and shit, free stuff to do is back on the list.

So this following post is a contribution to your personal list of possible activities to consider, it’s up to you. Maybe some of my LA Eastside cohorts will contribute their own suggestions of free or cheap things to do around town, but let’s start with this day trip into the Arroyo Seco! Siganme los pobres!

If you live in Northeast LA you probably already know how to get into the Arroyo, there’s a bike path off near Ave 43 that will take you up towards S. Pasadena, and if you want to brave some rocky unpaved terrain or some horse paths (yer not supposed to be there, so ride fast!) you can make it all the way to the Rose Bowl. This time around we are starting from the area near the Archery range, you can find a google map at this link.

The cool thing about this little hike/walk/stroll/whatever is that there is a nice path you can take, plus you can choose to go off the path to check stuff out…

…like some running water! This is an excellent place to take a swim as well, as long as yer just 4 inches tall. My legs and arms stuck out of the stream, so I guess I was a bit too big.

Fabulous Trash Cans! Bags all properly tight, now that is some classy maintenance!

Another feature of this walk is that you get to walk underneath those crazy big Colorado and 210 bridges, which is pretty awesome. Just cross you’re fingers for no earthquakes!

AKA Suicide Bridge. I can see why.

You can cross the stream and get an even better view of the bridge.

Looks like others have spent some time underneath the bridge, including Loko, Gerbil, and Skuzball who leave us with the message “Skate or Smoke”. Hmm, I’m gonna pass on both of those, but thanks for the suggestion.

There is lots of trees and coverage in the area, so even though there are many joggers and dog walkers around, it’s not hard to find a nice spot to sit, relax, and really ponder why you’ve wasted so much of your life concerned with stupid shit. Get it together already!

Back when Trader Joe’s still carried refrigerated beer, it was easy enough to make a quick detour to pick up a six-pack of German Bock and enjoy it in some shady spot listening to the stream slowly make it’s course towards the LA river. Nowadays, you have to plan ahead. Thanks for nothing TJ’s!

I can see some rock hopping games happening here, first one in the water treats to lunch.

I sure hope thats just rusty water the blue kid is trying to collect!

The 210 bridge is massive but not as pretty. Freeways are never pretty.

But underneath the freeway, things are much nicer. I guess I’m a bridge troll at heart.

A tagged up river ball. Uhh, speaking of tagging and balls…

…some young Skinheads/Punks went crazy with the concept! Now this is a crude but fine example of the artistic possibilities that can happen when you suddenly break free from your repression, or can at least sneak away long enough from your conservative parents to let loose on a bridge. Some of the spectacular pronouncements; Fuck Narks, Pound That Shit!, OI!, Boobs Pussy, Legalize it Already, Alcohol Oh Alcohol I love you in my brain, Fastest Sperm, Suck My Dick, and McCaine as a Public Toilet. Hmm, I sense a theme.

At least they’re politically radical, with their crossed out swastika, Fuck Pigs, and a cop as Future Bacon Strips. And for good measure, Fuck Emo Kids & Scenster Fuckheads, and Scum Fuck. Man, these kids are all grown up! Yeah, it’s pretty stupid but it was kinda cool to find these drunken adolescent scribbles of wisdom.

Back to our nature walk! Oh look, lunch! Nah, just kidding. Besides, these are some other type.

Yuck, a Budweiser bottle, I would never have that for lunch. It was empty anyways.

I think this needs some mending. It does make for a nice decorative effect though.

Where the Arroyo meets the concrete.

Sorry water, you’re no longer destined to supply any roots with your precious life giving substance.

Some sort of enclosed tunnel. I swear I heard some muffled screams inside.

More nice river rock walls.

Don’t eat the berries though, they taste like burning.

Oh yeah, there’s an archery range here.

Some sort of stuffed bags as targets.

And hay stacks tambien.

A chess corner for 2 players and 2 observers. Or a 4 way arm wrestle!

Maybe it’s not the most exciting place but it’s worth a visit just for the leisurely stroll. And it’s close enough that you can decide to head back to something better in a flash! But it’s not bad for free.


Figured I’d throw this in: make sure to check out the stupid planning that allowed these ill-considered dwellings under the Suicide Bridge. I sense problems in the future.

6 thoughts on “Day Trippin’: The Arroyo Seco

  1. Nice post Chavo, and free!
    I used to take my grand kids on this walk all the time.
    We would park at the Baseball field on San Pascual by the horse stables, (be careful of the So Pasadena Jura, if your a Chicano or Black or even a white kid from Highland Park your probably going to get questioned), in the late afternoon.
    I would try to end up under the suicide bridge at dusk and then I would tell the grand kids spooky stories about the curse of the suicide bridge and about some of the people who jumped off it.
    According to legend, when the bridge was being built a Mexicano worker fell into the just poured fresh cement when no one was around, but there was evidence that he had fallen into the cement.
    The construction company didn’t want to stop production and search for his body on just a good hunch so they kept on pouring cement and entombed the poor Mexicano forever in the bridge.
    A curse was put on the bridge by someone in the dead workers family and ever since then the ghost of the entombed Mexicano lures people to their death, jumping off “Suicide Bridge”.
    After scaring the shit out of the grandchildren we would walk back down the arroyo in semi darkness where often you will see or hear coyotes and great horned owls among other creatures of the night.
    After getting back to the car we would go to El Arco Iris on York Blvd for dinner and the grandchildren wouldn’t stop talking about the ghost of suicide bridge. They loved it!

  2. I’m hurting during La Crisis too and I’ve been rethinking how to have fun this month without green paper notes. I think I’ll have to hit up the Arroyo soon. Haven’t been there in a while.

    I usually go on the Gold Line, get off @ Mission St., then take a short ride down to the Arroyo.

  3. We take the pups on walks there during the summer. They love running in the water, then in the dirt. But when they get home, they instantly get a bath…

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