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Santa Cruz…

Santa Cruz Sunset, West Cliff Drive

Visiting Santa Cruz is, in some ways, like slipping back in time. Sometimes it seems like a city arrested in time, back in the late 60’s. Other times, it is just a relaxed resort town in which your body can adjust back to its natural rhythms of day, night, and tide.

We went to Santa Cruz today, to get our “ocean fix”. For people raised in the Mid-West, the pull of the ocean is unexpectedly strong for us. In my youth, I experienced the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and a brief taste of the Pacific – the “pull” of the Pacific is especially strong for me.

Our first stop was Moran Lake (an ocean lagoon) and its beach. Moran Lake Beach is a “kid-and-dog” beach with lots to watch…boogie boarders, dogs retrieving things from the surf, sailboats silhouetted against the fog bank, and sea lions sticking their heads out of the waves to watch the kids playing on the shore. I decided to take a break from photography today, and to just relax and let my biorhythms adjust to nature. The regular pattern of the waves, the glint of sunlight off millions of droplets and sand grains on the wave’s retreat, the steady ocean breeze, and the warmth of the autumn sun all combined to make it very easy to feel at one with nature… and this is quite good actually, since humans are a part of nature, whether they like to admit it or not.

Next was a visit to the Santa Cruz Wharf for lunch at Riva. You can view the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk easily from one side of the Wharf, and on the other side, is the dual-function Santa Cruz Lighthouse and Surfer Museum. It was a busy day in Santa Cruz – there was an Artists’ Studio Tour and a surfing competition at Steamer Lane, an historic site of surfing competition alongside the cliff just south of the Lighthouse/Surfer Museum. We walked along the wharf, stopping at several of the large holes cut in the wharf to view sea lions resting on the support beams below.

We left the Wharf and made an obligatory trip along West Cliff Drive, then traveled out to Mission Street for the return trip north on Highway 17. The Holy Cross Church now sits on the original site of Mission Santa Cruz, and a smaller-scale replica of the original Mission was constructed for visitors.

The trip over the Santa Cruz Mountains on Highway 17 was uneventful, and we said goodbye to the coast until next time.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.

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