John & Anne Wiley

2015/08/07

Passing Pescadero

Passing Pescadero State Beach we turn East toward San Jose, but first a few more pix of this enchanted stretch of CA coast from Oceano to here. Though these homes are conveniently next to the highway with great oceanfront lots you’d want to either live and work nearby, have lots of time and patience, or commute via helicopter.

4915 Home Away From

4915 Home Away From

It’s only 5 minutes’ drive from the store in Pescadero, but the population of 650 or so might limit options. Half Moon Bay with 20,000 or so people is only a bit over 20 minutes if there’s no traffic, fog, or storm. Santa Cruz has plenty to offer after a 45 minute drive or so. But on a good day (and time) you can be in San Fransisco in about an hour, so living here is a great choice for some. On the other hand, if you don’t often need to go anywhere, what a fabulous place to Be!

4914 Being There

4914 Being There

My guess is the beautiful moss on those rocks means there’s plenty of ground water available, maybe even without digging a well if you have a spring to tap. I wake to surf song and laughing gulls, stroll sleepily out to my stairway and down onto the sand, and let the sea soothe me into the rhythm of another day. Just beyond this little dream is our last bridge on this tour, at Pescadero State Beach.

4907 Pescadero State Beach

4907 Pescadero State Beach

Turning inland to climb over the mountains we glimpse the little secret gMaps calls Dairy Gulch.

4900 Dairy Gulch

4900 Dairy Gulch

That trail from the beach leads to a narrow foot bridge across the shallow slot canyon.

4900 Slot Bridge

4900 Slot Bridge

Breathing deeply, we take in the expansive view back along the path of a leisurely flight taking less than two hours to deliver two million magical moments. This is one of the countless reasons people love to fly.

4899 Into The Hills

4899 Into The Hills

2015/08/06

Nursery, Bean, Tidepools

Though beautiful, this nursery next to the beach was somewhat surprising. I guess some flowers do especially well in this particular climate because the blooms are radiant.

4927 Surprise Nursery

4927 Surprise Nursery

The little cove at Bean Hollow offers many delights for motorists who need merely pull over into the parking area to check it out.

4923 Bean Hollow

4923 Bean Hollow

It doesn’t look like motorists will get a glimpse of the nursery, but there are trails along the rocks for strolling surf sounds.

4921 Shore Paths

4921 Shore Paths

The tidepools in this area are many and varied, and this mansion just above the waves sits next to a haven for tidepool watchers at Pescadero Point.

4920 Tidepool Mansion

4920 Tidepool Mansion

Looking to the South, you can see we aren’t very far from Pigeon Point. That’s the lighthouse at the top center of this pic. Does this give you some sense of how rich in diverse scenic beauty (often hidden from other perspectives) a two minute slow flight can be?

4918 Pescadero to Pigeon

4918 Pescadero to Pigeon

2015/08/05

Pigeon Point

If you thought Pigeon Point was named due to a past pigeon proliferation there, read the wiki to learn otherwise and also get details about this magnificent 1871 lighthouse that’s tallest on the West Coast.

4940 Pigeon Point Light

4940 Pigeon Point Light

You’ll also get some info about that row of buildings in the foreground. If you visit, you can get views somewhat similar to this and walk trails along the low beach bluff.

4935 Pigeon Point

4935 Pigeon Point

At this point in our flight the wind was fairly strong (check out the foam streamers on the water in this next pic), yet the flight was quite smooth.

4938 Wind On Water

4938 Wind On Water

Because the terrain here is flat, there’s nothing to stir up the fast moving air so it’s fun to fly in. Going with the wind you get a free ride in the sense that you only need enough power to maintain altitude and let the wind provide the speed over ground. Going against the wind is great too, if like us you’re in no hurry, because with a similar low power setting you have more time to take in the spectacular views. All along this coast though, are indications of why a lighthouse was built at the point.

4934 Boat Bashers

4934 Boat Bashers

The rocky beaches would make short work of any boat that chanced ashore here even in relatively calm seas like this. Scary to imagine big waves and a wind blowing directly onto these rocks, especially before there were roads and homes here (and GPS). Speaking of homes, there’s probably full-time work for window washers and tempting sea caves for a lunch break.

4931 Windows On The Sea

4931 Windows On The Sea

2015/07/29

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz high school kids used to neck on the beach to the right of the San Lorenzo River, sheltered from the Boardwalk crowds by the rock jutting out.

5197 San Lorenzo River

5197 San Lorenzo River

A few other kids would walk out on the rock promontory just to watch the necking. Most though were far too busy enjoying the Boardwalk attractions and courting their own dates.

5187 Santa Cruz Boardwalk

5187 Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Since the last time we were there years ago, there’s a new section at the end next to the river with water attractions like the Logger’s Revenge flume ride.

5185 Logger's Revenge

5185 Logger’s Revenge

The ever-changing Santa Cruz Wharf has many restaurants and some other attractions.

5180 Santa Cruz Wharf

5180 Santa Cruz Wharf

From shore to mountains, Santa Cruz is an iconic California seaside tourist town that goes far beyond that definition to nearly defy description.

5182 Santa Cruz

5182 Santa Cruz

Point Santa Cruz is another popular spot, with the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum now occupying the beautiful old lighthouse. Surfers risk the rocks for a good ride, while swimmers and divers mingle with everyone else out on the rocky point.

5178 Point Santa Cruz

5178 Point Santa Cruz

If this town had an airport, we’d sure be visiting far more often. The drive from San Jose is a strong deterrent, but we might fly into nearby Watsonville and try to rent a car some day.

2015/07/26

Moist Monterey

If there’s fog or low cloud anywhere along the coast North of Santa Barbara, you’ll generally find some of it around Monterey. In addition to the fluff we saw in the prior post here, the air over the whole peninsula was a close cousin of cloudy: hazy. So the dozens of pix we snapped there mostly didn’t come out well even though the views we enjoyed were spectacular. Still, here’s a look at Lucas Point, past Pacific Grove and out across the bay.

5444 Pacific Grove

5444 Pacific Grove

Turning the corner we passed this popular place with the particularly romantic name, where we once enjoyed a quiet picnic and stroll.

5429 Lover's Point

5429 Lover’s Point

Here’s a different perspective on about two-thirds of what’s probably the best known attraction with Monterey in the name: The Monterey Bay Aquarium.

5415 Monterey Bay Aquarium

5415 Monterey Bay Aquarium

It’s in the most glitzy and touristy part of what was once accurately named Cannery Row, with few reminders of the lineup of fish canning factories it had been.

5406 Cannery Row

5406 Cannery Row

Here’s a wide view from Cabrillo Point to the docks, and the mountains of Big Sur beyond.

5421 Docks to Cabrillo

5421 Docks to Cabrillo

Last for today, a look back past Seaside and Sand City to the Monterey Regional Airport (KMRY) where we’ve landed only once or twice but usually hear private jets talking to ATC as we pass. The friendly people in that control tower cleared us to make this luxurious transition along their scenic shores.

5359 Sand to MRY

5359 Sand to MRY

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