Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Santa Cruz CA

We spent a day exploring Santa Cruz area while we were living near San Jose CA for work. We started our day at Wilder Ranch State Park. There is hiking throughout the park on both sides of CA highway 1 (PCH), but we opted for a stroll up the coastline along the artichoke fields. There is something about the ocean that captivates me, but knowing how cold it is and that I can't get in just seems unfair. Just another reason why I miss my time in Hawaii. The bluffs were beautiful and the sound of the ocean peaceful as usual. We were able to see some seals resting on the banks, some dolphins and whales out in the distance. We would have missed the whales, but a nice guy sitting, waiting and watching with binoculars stopped us to point them out.

We left Wilder Ranch and headed towards Natural Bridges State Beach. We parked along the road and walked on the paved path off of Cliff Drive for awhile. I think the bluffs were prettier than Wilder Ranch with the flowers, but it also helps that the sun finally burned through the marine layer. We returned to the car and drove along Cliff Drive to the Lighthouse Field and eventually to the boardwalk. The lighthouse must be one of the better places to catch a wave because the surfers were out in full force. I could have stayed and watched them for hours, but we didn't have much time. Most California surfers aren't near as good as the ones in Hawaii and the waves aren't near as big, but I still enjoy watching. I took a surfing lesson one time and it didn't go so well. I stood up a few times, but not for long. One of the coolest things I've seen was local and pros riding the waves after being towed-in during high surf in Hawaii. I'm still convinced they must be crazy, but it was awesome to see!

The bluffs at Wilder State Beach

 The bluffs off of Cliff Drive

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