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2021 October 4

Secret Walks: Arana Gulch-Jose Ave Park

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 17:54
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I’m behind again on blogging about our walks from Secret Walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz, by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover. On Saturday 25 September, my wife and I did the loop walk for Arana Gulch and Jose Ave Park.  The loop itself is 3.3 miles, but we added 2.4 miles getting there and 2.8 miles home, for a total of 8.5 miles.  We had lunch on the way home at Charlie Hong Kong.

Little-free-library-Broadway

On the way to the beginning of the loop, we passed this cute little free library on Broadway—it is modeled after the house it is associated with.

tree1

Arana Gulch as many fine coast live oaks, some with branches brushing the ground.

ground-squirrel-holes

Arana Gulch also seems to have ground squirrels, though we saw only the holes and not the rodents themselves.

creek1

We had never walked on the Marsh View Trail before, but it has some fine views of the wetlands for the creek that ends in the yacht harbor.

creek2

Another view of the marshy part of the creek.

tree2

Another fine tree with dramatic branches.

tree3

The Marsh Creek Trail is worth taking just for the fine twisty trees.

tree4

Yet another lovely tree—this one with a large hollow.

tree5

And another.

fish-panels

After walking the trails in Arana Gulch, we took the bridge across the creek, which has these fine steel panels of fish.

creek3

The creek looking upstream from the bridge.

creek4

Zooming in a little to see the fallen trees across the creek.

vacancy-birdhouse

This birdhouse may have the only vacancies in Santa Cruz.

blue-heron-sculptures

The great-blue-heron sculptures are one of the highlights of Jose Ave Park.

heron-footprints

The oversize heron footprints (to match the statues) in the sidewalk are a nice touch.

book-bot

On Eddy Lane, just across from the park, there is this “Book Bot”—a very fine Little Free Library.

little-free-library-7th

Another “Little Outdoor Library Thingy” on 7th Ave.

fish-panel

Coming back over the bridge, I took a picture of another of the fish panels—the series seems to show salmon spawning.

Hagemann-bridge

Leaving Arana Gulch on the west side is the Hagemann Gulch Bridge. It took bicycle activists many years to convince the City to install the bridges to provide pedestrian and bike access across Hagemann Gulch and Arana Gulch, and the final placement of the bridges was not optimal, but they are heavily used now.

raptors

There were 3 raptors circling over Arana Gulch as we were leaving. I don’t have much zoom on my camera, so this was the best shot I could get of a pair of them, after cropping out a lot of blank sky.

Mackenzies-mural

We walked back along Soquel, passing this small mural on Mackenzies’ Chocolates.

bike-door

I’ve always liked this back door, which used to be for the Bicycle Trip (before they moved) and is now for the Childish Toy Shop.

little-free-library-Cleveland

We passed one more little free library on the way home (on Cleveland)—I may have included a photo of this one in previous post.

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