Gas station without pumps

2021 September 20

Secret Walks: Moran Lake

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I’m over a week behind on blogging about our walks from Secret Walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz, by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover. On Saturday 11 September, my wife and I did a short walk about as far east as the book goes—the Moran Lake loop. Our original plan was to take the bus there and walk home, but we ended up taking buses at both ends, because the walk back did not seem very attractive.  The loop is 2.4 miles, but with our walk to the bus station and back and a walk from 41st and Portola to Capitola Mall, we did about 5.9 miles.


I liked this fish-shaped bike rack visually, though I don’t know how good it is for supporting bikes.


Pleasure Point has a couple of the art frames for framing views. The little dots on the water are not sea birds, but surfers—there were a lot of surfers, but not much in the way of waves all along East Cliff Drive.


Not far from the other frame is this one, which captured a jogger and a bicyclist for me. (I had another view that showed the other frame inside this one, but it was rather boring.)


There are not a lot of amenities along East Cliff (a bathroom, an outdoor shower, and Pleasure Point Cafe, which has a nice octopus mural).


I believe that the old Pleasure Point Motel was converted into condos (or apartments) and this sign reused.


Moran Lake is rather drab—a slight widening of a narrow creek—hardly big enough to be a pond, much less a lake.


Moran Lake is rather full of scum at this time of year. It might be nicer after some rain (though the paths probably get muddy then).


This egret (a great egret, I believe) likes the scummy water for the food in it.


Back view of the great egret.


Just upstream of the great egret was this much smaller egret (probably a snowy egret). I tried to get a picture with both egrets in it, but they never got close enough to each other for a good shot. Even this shot (at maximum zoom) is rather shaky.


Portola Avenue is not fun to walk along (too much traffic), but it does have this nice commemorative plaque for Charley Parkhurst, the first woman to vote in the US.


Portola Avenue also has this nice mural for a tattoo parlor. Portola Avenue is a rather weird mix of business, as that neighborhood seems to be rapidly gentrifying.

After finishing the loop, we ate lunch at Zameen’s at the Point. We’d only ever eaten at Zameen’s food truck before, not at either of their restaurants. The food was good (essentially the same as on the food truck), but a wrap each was a little too much, so we did not stop at Penny Ice Creamery across the street. We did stop in at Two Birds Books, which seems like a nice neighborhood bookstore, though we did not buy anything there.

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