John and I hiked 12 fast miles yesterday with our friend Becky. We hadn’t intended such a long hike.
John and Becky both love waterfalls. We were headed toward Maple Falls, which none of us had ever seen. But we missed a trail junction and just kept hiking up the “wrong” trail.
Consequently, we had a great time. If we had found the trail that we were looking for, we would have had to wade across the creek several times. At this season the water runs high, and we would have had very wet and cold feet.
We hiked in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park near Aptos, a dozen miles south of Santa Cruz. The children of Nisene Marks donated the land in 1963, naming it for their mother, a passionate lover of nature.
The trailhead is just a mile from where Catherine and I had lived for several years before we moved to Boulder. Of course, Catherine and I hiked the park many times. But never nearly as far as John, Becky, and I did yesterday.
Becky is by far the best hiker. She was especially fast yesterday because she had to give piano lessons to some students at 4 p.m. So that she could keep her appointment, we fairly raced along at a 3 mph clip.
Still, we had time for a pleasant lunch at the point on the trail where we decided to give up our quest for Maple Falls and retreat to civilization:
The forest is wet, lush, and green. While today was bright and clear, rain falls heavily here, feeding Aptos Creek:
The biggest tree in the park is an old-growth redwood. As a true tree-hugger, I tried to embrace it. But failed:
After Becky made it in time for the piano lesson she gave this afternoon, John and I went out to dinner on the Santa Cruz Wharf. We each had the most marvelous fish stew either of us had ever tasted at his favorite restaurant, Stagnaro’s:
From the wharf we looked back at the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk:
John’s father had managed restaurants there back in the 1930s. The Boardwalk is the one place in Santa Cruz that has changed very little in John’s and my lifetime.