Preferred Seating

Indian grinding holes, American River (11/7/21) Steve Arita

Walk along the American River and on any rocky shelf, you’re likely to find preferred seating .., the grinding holes of native Maidu women who, for centuries, would sit, chat, sing and grind black oak acorns into flour.

The deepest of the grinding holes often had the best view, were most comfortable and were reserved for the most venerable women who’d earned this preferred seating through years of labor.

Sycamore, American River (11/7/21) Steve Arita

American River (11/7/21) Steve Arita

Black oak, American River (11/7/21) Steve Arita








Sacramento area color spotter Steve Arita hiked the American River this weekend, stopping to photograph fall color; he came upon grinding holes whose disuse has caused them to become filled with dirt and grasses.

American River below Nimbus Dam (11/7/21) Steve Arita

Steve noted that autumn color is almost gone, with sycamore Peak to Past Peak and Frèmont cottonwood from patchy to Near Peak.

  • American River, Rancho Cordova (89′) – Peak to Past Peak, GO NOW, You Almost Missed It.

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