John & Anne Wiley

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

2015/04/13

Mountains & Memories

Flying home from Phoenix our hearts were overflowing with memories of good times with great people gathered for the wedding. Taking off from Deer Valley (KDVT) we detoured a few miles out for a turn past downtown and a look at this cool red rock formation we admired from KPHX while waiting for an airliner there years ago.

4212 Big Butte

4212 Big Butte

It’s a pretty cool feature in the city, with trails and an open air amphitheater. On our long flight across the desert we were startled to see traces of snow atop San Jacinto Peak above KPSP (Palm Springs).

4375 San Jacinto Snow

4375 San Jacinto Snow

Soon another flood of memories. This time of an event that seems to loom large in my love of flying. A memory from infancy of watching in awe as my Dad took his first solo flight from Flabob Airport (KRIR).

4448 Flabob Tower

4448 Flabob Tower

Looking out across the compass star and runway toward Mt. Rubidoux distant memories of the region flooded back.

4450 Mt. Rubidoux

4450 Mt. Rubidoux

Before long Tripp had transported us home to the moist blue and green roots of our Santa Barbara memories.

4485 Ellings Park

4485 Ellings Park

Maybe a big gift of the many adventurous miles Tripp has taken us, is the ever deeper appreciation we have of our adopted Home.

2015/03/29

Eagle Luck

We flew some Young Eagles on three short flights from co-sponsor Above All Aviation through Lynn Houstons program named A Different Point of View, and during the flight I spotted a whale near the beach. I told the Eagles they were our lucky charms, because we rarely see whales and almost never near shore. After the last of our three flights we went back to look for the whale and happily found two. My fav pic of the encounter is this Pointillist impression with prismatic colors from the particular sun angle in the gently rippling water.

3014 Pointillist Prism

3014 Pointillist Prism

It glided slowly along just beneath the water like this, then finally came up for air.

3025 Whale Breath

3025 Whale Breath

Moments later it left a swirling circle of calm on the surface as it silently vanished into the depths. Mist from the breath of this blow hung briefly in the air, reminding me of the day I swam next to a Humpback as it sounded off Maui. The musky smell of that breath drifted down in a magical mist around me into the wordless memory of a lifetime.

2015/02/25

Beyond Time

Flying takes us beyond time, seems to me. For most people that means jet lag. But it means “prop advance” for the few who enjoy our great good luck in flying low and slow over the paradise that is Santa Barbara region. I’ve waxed poetic here in the past about prop advance, which is what I call the sensation of gaining a day every time we fly low and slow. I’ve also offered my theory as to the cause: flying this way is “dream time,” so our bodies imagine that we’ve just had a restful and transformative night’s sleep. I dearly wish it were possible to share some hint of all this in a photo, but this will have to do.

1230 IV, UCSB and Beyond

1230 IV, UCSB and Beyond

Variations of this general view greet us at the beginning of every flight out of SBA, and such magnificent beauty is almost a shock to the system. We always smile, and even the best of moods before liftoff is instantly transported into a realm of bliss beyond time.

Over coming days I hope to share some pix of recent flights, family fun, and maybe some of our other delightful distractions from our enjoyment of sharing here. :)

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