A loop through Santa Cruz… CA.

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

One cannot, and should not leave this area without going through Santa Cruz… south of San Francisco, right? John and Carol are my gracious hosts this week in Cupertino, John, a fast and smooth rider on two wheels, and then, there is us on three wheels… should I say more?

Looking back at yesterday, it took us 13 hours of running around to finally have a tire mounted on the sidecar!!! But that is a long story… which end up well… very well considering that “now” my car disc brake is also working properly… But that is another story I will have to write it later… on a rainy day!

We tell each other every night… see you at 5am! It yet has to happen. It is always more like 10 or 11am by the time we are ready to roll. The days have been warm, clear skies, I have almost forgotten what rain will feel like the day it decides to come down on us. I am definitely building up upper body muscles in California, the curves, more and curves… tight ones with no end seems to be the only roads we are experiencing.

This sign is the only one that I see anymore, nothing else matters… If I lived here and was on two wheels I would have a hard time working I think! I am starting to realize that California has surpassed the East Coast’s roads with every Road Award imaginable . The choices are of many as every where one turns… there is a twistie… that is what we call them!

I wanted to retrace a bit the ride we took last Saturday with the South Bay Riders group, never having much of a chance to take many pictures. The downfall of group riding… I will not touch that subject again… everything that had to be said has been said! It is now only a decision to go with it… or stay behind and do our own thing.

I was following John today, I know I was holding him back… but he lives here… He gets to ride everyday… His only other option would have been to put his rebuild kitchen back together anyhow… THIS option to him… well, there was no contest, even if he had to face his wife Carol… once again… I believe it has been a five year wait now! I am leaving Saturday… the man will not have anymore excuses… well… that is after some rides planned for the long Memorial Day Weekend.

Skyline Blvd is the first road which I remember the name. It was a bit hazy, but it is called a clear day. We could see San Francisco in the background, Oakland across the Bay and make up just about all the bridges leading across. Since the ride to Yosemite… when we were on the road for 18 hours, I try to stop as many times possible to give Spirit a break. No hurry… no speed record… John is very fond of dogs and understand that. He is actually the only person that Spirit has taken after in an incredibly affectionate way… Dogs know…

We rode west over the Mountain, some narrow roads which I don’t even know all the names!

Amazing to feel like being in the country, just a few miles after the panting of engines on the crowded and broken down Freeways. It is like a miracle… like a theater set that has suddenly revolved… night and day!

I don’t know if you have realized that in the span of seven months we have been on the road, everyone that we have met and has been kind enough to put us up, either when broken down or as now wanting to be near San Francisco, has been animal, dog for sure, lover! There is something to be said about that… next time you meet someone… ask them if they like dogs… you probably will know what kind of person they are by their answer. It has always worked for me…

We left Skyline Blvd and head more west, where we made a left on highway 1… simply “1”…

I found out that dogs are not allowed on the beaches… these ones anyhow, can you tell that Spirit is not very happy about it? He is always the star of the day… never camera shy… however with a certain attitude in his posture with his head up and staring at the camera!

Moving Art in the parking lot was next… we could not help taking a picture. Never met the driver, most likely on the beach. As I try to delicately perceive what drives people… I have stumbled on this one.

A little detour, I remember obviously the name, Pescadero Road… to Pescadero. A colorful little town, restaurant, bakery and a deli where a fish salad sandwich was a welcome lunch, definitely an upgrade from saturday’s lunch at another establishment down the road, which I have not written about yet… maybe because I don’t want to remember it!

We sat on a bench by the Deli, people watching, people talking… tourists and locals trying to blend in, weekday obviously, enjoying the sunshine and the warmth of the day.

Backtracking to Highway 1, not more than a mile into it, the fog, the cold fog I may add, made its way in covering the road with a westerly wind, barely giving us the sight of the Ocean. Time to zip up, trying to stay warm and keep the moisture out. Pigeon point Lighthouse, which also doubles as a Hostel was our next stop. Nothing was too clear around… it did make for a good picture, lost a bit in those clouds.

Santa Cruz was not too far. The skies did not clear up, we did get a great view of the many seals on the rocks…

… and amazingly… the surfers! It made me feel even colder watching them… I never realized that we had not even taken our helmets off! Quite a few of them waiting for the perfect wave which did materialized once in a while.

A bit further, to my surprise, a train was going right through town! Our timing was perfect and it was a strange sight to see a train going down the street where normally cars would be rolling.

Santa Cruz would not be complete without seeing the Pier where many rides build along the beach seem to be waiting for new customers. It is a big weekend coming up, I have no doubt that this place won’t even have one parking space left.

We did take our time on the ride back, taking Highway 9 back to Cupertino. A bit of traffic southbound slowed us down pleasantly, or should I say slowed me down… I was eager to get back, Spirit again had been in the car a bit too long, Pits need a lot of exercise, and I think these rides… well, I know… are going to need to be broken down with more stops than we have been taking… We will be going back to San Francisco one more time tomorrow. Will be having dinner with a friend… more neighborhood canvassing, more pictures…

You be well…

Ara & Spirit

A “DONATION”?… I have been asking if reading this BLOG is worth a dollar a month to you?… in the form of a yearly donation. Some think so and I thank them for helping the increasing posting costs…

For those not using PayPal, here is my snail mail…

Ara Gureghian

853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245

Naples Fl 34108

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3 Responses to “A loop through Santa Cruz… CA.”

  1. Brian Says:

    Great photographs as always. Glad the updates worked.

  2. Linda Says:

    Ara, I lived up highway 9 in the mtns above Santa Cruz, love those mtns. Enjoy


  3. Andy Newell Says:

    Oh my, I had no idea you were going here Ara! I grew up in Aptos, Soquel, Capitola… All places within a couple miles south of the pier in SC.

    My family owned 2 service stations, one in SC proper and one in Aptos then we bought a Donught shop in Soquel and I fondly remember 4th through 6th grades in Capitola.

    This particular trip through your lens down memory lane was priceless for me, I only hope to be able to repay upon your visit.

    Thank you!


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