Also in honor of Earth Day, I wanted to talk about a great all-day hike that begins and ends in downtown Santa Cruz (or at the Harvey West industrial area) and will leave your calves sore for about a week. I guarantee that you will see redtail hawks, you will probably see bobcats and you might even catch a glimpse of a mountain lion. Various folks at our recent Pogonip “Write and Hike” extravaganza asked about this so I will try to throw together a very rough map as soon as I can and put it up on the blog. Essentially it starts at the Pogonip, includes the open space area over UC Santa Cruz, crosses Highway 9, goes straight into the Gray Whale Ranch area, traverses through Wilder Ranch and finally winds up in downtown Santa Cruz. This is almost all woodlands and rolling hills, with only a few miles of urban hiking. I highly recommend it for marathon trainers as well as daytrippers. The one bummer is water. The hike is extremely dry so you might want someone to cache water for you or perhaps meet you with refreshments at the Highway 9 pull-off near Gray Whale.
Since today is Earth Day, I should also mention that sustainability and the environment were big concerns of my big brother, David, aka “Zooknoone.” He always called me on Earth Day, which falls awfully close to my birthday, and he often took part in Earth Day-related activities. To honor his memory, this is a great year to make some Earth Day resolutions (driving and flying less, dragging out that fat-tire bike, etc.)