Friday, July 23, 2010

Stairway to A Secret

If you're willing to get off the main path, Lower Arroyo Park will give up its secrets. Stone walls, steep trails, hidden stairways and more lie waiting in the underbrush along the walls of the Arroyo.

I've sometimes wondered if these human-made bits might be traces of Busch Gardens. The walls, maybe. Some are old, elegant and overgrown enough. But I suppose this simple stairway is too pedestrian to belong to so grand a memory.

Still, what's it doing there? Why stairs on a woodland path? Where did they once lead?

Don't answer. I prefer the mystery.

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24 comments:

mark said...

That is a real head scratcher. A very beautiful setting. Im guessing there were two park-like sitting areas. Mabe an upper and a lower. Just a nice place to relax and unwind.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I was all set to tell you where they lead, then I read the bit about not wanting to know. I can say watch out for the poison oak. It's on your left (if your going down)

Shell Sherree said...

I'd never dream of telling... ;)

Petrea said...

Well, I know where they lead now. I just don't want to know where they used to lead. Or maybe I do, I can't decide. If it was someplace exotic like an old mansion, I want to know. If it was just the street, well, yadda yadda.

Bellis said...

I'm sure they're a piece of Sleeping Beauty's castle - the rest is buried under poison oak. Did you walk up them or take the shortcut on the right?

J+P said...

I suspect they're not steps at all, but the serrate back of some dormant monster … some secrets are better left unguessed.

Vanda said...

That looks so inviting. You must take me around there sometime.

Petrea said...

Sleeping beauty and monsters. Those are the kinds of answers I like.

Vanda, I'll take you. I recognize poison oak so we should be okay.

Trish said...

frequently, stairs like that popped up in the early 1900's when Mrs soandso slipped down the hill while strolling the grounds.

I'm sure Mrs Busch didn't want the back of her guests dresses to be muddy or dirty---implying something, perhaps, other than a simple slide down the hill had happened on her property!?!? ;-)

pasadenapio said...

Very nice. There are so many treasures hiding in plain sight down there.

Petrea said...

I wonder if they're that old, Trish? I hope so.

Yes, PIO, I love sneaking off the main path and snooping around on the slopes. I wouldn't be surprised if the growth covers even more things we can't see.

Trish said...

P--I can't tell---but the concrete does look relatively old---not ancient, but old enough. I can't blow up the pic enough to see with enough detail to tell for sure.

however, that is usually why stairs in the middle of a hillside were installed in the area.

Anonymous said...

PIO: you could change “sight down there” to “sight up here”.

Another stairway.

DAYo.

Speedway said...

No matter which direction one chooses, I am certain there is light at either end of the stairs.

Bellis said...

Unfortunately, this path is beyond the northern boundary of Busch gardens - I think the steps and walls in the Lower Arroyo were built during a time of high unemployment as a work scheme. Anyone know the name of this scheme? It's sad to see so many of the old walls falling apart for lack of care. Some years ago, 3 hard-working retirees cleared away a lot of the brush that had grown over the paths in your photo, and I remember coming across them as I walked down the steps. They also found some previously hidden structures under the Colorado Street Bridge, which was very exciting and got into the Star-News.

Petrea said...

Trish, I tried the zoom on my photo editing software and you're right, that concrete looks pretty old.

Treasures in plain sight all over Pasadena, DAYo, or I wouldn't be blogging.

Speedway, you are absolutely right.

Kat said...

oooh! I love the Arroyo. So much of what you see down there (bits of stone walls, benches, remainders of foundations, etc.) are related to Busch gardens. And whenever I see a locked gate, or stairs heading up, I itch to go beyond it. If you find out what it is, spill!

Petrea said...

Bellis, your story reminds me of the men who uncovered Busch Garden remnants in back yards. Things had grown over them and the homeowners hadn't even known they were there.

Kat, if Bellis is correct (and she usually is) these stairs aren't part of the Busch legacy. Further south there must be plenty. Though the one biggest bench is too new, I think.

Ms M said...

Fascinating to imagine what the steps and gardens were like years ago.

Mister Earl said...

That's not steps. It's the exposed fossil of a pre-historic razorback boar.

Dina said...

Oh, what a cool find!

Recently I found the top of rock-carved stairs in the woods. I came back with a trowel for several evenings.

Petrea said...

Ms. M, http://www.pasadenagardens.com/bgardens.asp has a good overview.

Mister Earl, you must be right.

Dina, I wonder if I'd have to get a permit to do that. What did you find?

Jilly said...

Beautiful shot that draws the eye on and on. Perhaps an old infirm lady once owned the place and she got someone to create this steps as she often slipped on this particular slope and therefore they lead nowhere...oh well, that's nonsense cos the whole walk is sloping...!

Petrea said...

I can imagine, Jilly, that you're not far off. Atop this slope there's a residential street. It's possible that many years ago a resident set a table and chairs at the bottom of those stairs and, though it wasn't their property, thought of it as a private spot. We're only speculating here so it could be.