Gas station without pumps

2021 June 25

Secret Walks

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:24
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I recently bought Secret walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz, by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover.  It is a book idea that I had about a decade ago, that I had idly thought of as a possible retirement project, so I was both delighted and disappointed that Debbie and Richard beat me to it.  They did a better job of it than I would have, so it is probably better for Santa Cruz that they did it first.

My wife and I have decided to do all 28 walks at a rate of about one a week, starting with some of the closer and shorter ones, as we are both somewhat out of shape, and we’ll have to walk to the start of each walk and walk home from them. I think that it will take us more than 28 weeks for this project, though, as some weeks we’ll want to do other walks (like the trek out to Audrey Stanley Grove for Santa Cruz Shakespeare).

Today we did one of the shortest walks, the 1.5-mile Beach Hill loop, with the addition of a 1.4-mile walk to get there (via Laurel and Washington) and a 2-mile walk back (via Chestnut, Jenne, the upper half of the Neary Lagoon path, and Bay).  Some of the other short walks will not be short for us—for example, the 1.1-mile Schwann Lake loops would begin and end with 3.7-mile walks, making an 8.5-mile excursion for us.  For us right now, a 5-mile walk is about right.

I don’t think that any of the walks will be over 10 miles, though, even the longer ones that start on the Eastside, so if we get back into shape, losing the 15 pounds gained during the pandemic (speaking for myself—I have no idea what my wife weighs nor whether she put on weight in the past 15 months), we should be able to do them all.  We’ll probably start with walks closest to home, so that we get the highest ratio of “guided tour”  to walking to and from the start points.  We may also rotate some of loops, so that we join them at the closest point to our house, rather than at the designated start.

I did not think to bring my camera with me on today’s walk (not even my phone), so I took no pictures, but there were a few photo-worthy spots. In fact, the cover of their book is the stairs between Cliff St. and Laurel St Extension (though not identified in the book as such).  I thought that the stairs looked like the same construction and hand rails, but the surroundings in the photo were somewhat different. So I asked Debbie about it by email and she confirmed that they were the same steps, but that the photo on the cover was 14 years old.

On future walks, I’ll bring my camera, so that I can illustrate blog posts.

Update 2021 June 28:  On Sunday I had to go drop something off near Neary Lagoon, so I took my camera along to take a few photos of some of the highlights of the Beach Hill walk:

For pedestrians, the ceramic decorations around the roundabout at Center, Front, and Pacific are a treat that are missed by the car drivers baking in their grid-locked cars. Here are some sea stars.

Some sea jellies.

A squid.

Some sea anemones.

The very high door at the back of this house on Third St (viewed here from across Front Street) is a famous landmark for cars stuck in beach traffic.

1 Comment »

  1. […] bike over to Shopper’s Corner to pick up some more cocoa and go on one of the “secret walks” with my wife (not sure which day will be which). My new lawnmower should get here this […]

    Pingback by Fiftieth weight progress report | Gas station without pumps — 2021 July 1 @ 07:33 | Reply


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