65km out of 2569km so far
Today, was a great day. I set my destination to Santa Cruz, not far from Pigeon Point, so I took my time to see and enjoy the places on the way. I had a good night sleep, I had a good breakfast and I was out of the door by 10am. The weather thermostat was set to the optimal temperature of 23c making the ride very pleasant. The scenery around me fairly dry, with sparse trees and bushes. The road followed the coast and on every turn the cliff revealed a different beach.
I’ve been seeing farms all along my trip, but further up north I always remembered larger scale farms, producing just a few different crops. The southern I go, the smaller farms I see producing a bigger variety of vegetables and fruits. Since I left San Fransisco, apart from pumpkins, I see many strawberries. A couple offered me a little box last night at the hostel. This morning on my way I came across this strawberry farm, selling jam and other goods. The sign indicating 10% discount for cyclists, attracted my attention. I stopped to have a closer look and the little shop was a nice surprise. I tried many different jams and got my self a strawberry jam scone for later. Very interesting was the fact the shop was operating an honesty tilt, without anyone to serve me.
I was looking for a lunch spot and a shadow so I turned off the highway to Wilder Ranch State Park. A historic 200 years old range that was donated to the state and it’s now open to the public. I wondered around a bit and had a stop under a tree, where I met Bill who gave me plenty of advices for the next couple of days of my trip, including a nice cycle path that would take me straight into Santa Cruz.
The bike path was indeed just around the corner and within a couple of kilometers I crossed the boundaries of the city and entered into a whole different vibe. It was like the time went back and it was summer again. The temperature had climbed to 30c and everyone seemed to be out and about. People in flip flops and tShirts, surfing, cycling, playing beach volley and all the rest. Santa Cruz with the iconic roller coaster and the pier at the main beach, looks like a play land from a different era. It’s a mixture of Mexican architecture, Western lifestyle and plenty of wild life.
All along the coast, hundreds of pelicans gathered on top of rocks and other were flying in formation. Other birds would dive into the water to catch fish. Seals swimming around, screaming, climbing on to rocks and on the structure of the pier. Someone even pointed out to me a whale into the distance.
I stopped by a supermarket for supplies and moved on to the campsite of New Brighton State Beach, where I spent the night. A good spot, but maybe a little noise next to the highway. It had a good access to the beach though.