Gas station without pumps

2021 December 23

Secret Walks: Wilder Ranch

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:41
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On Saturday 18 December, my wife and I  walked the Wilder Ranch walk from Secret Walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz, by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover. The walk is 3.2 miles, but we added 1.6 miles to get to the start and 2.0 miles to get home, for a total of 6.8 miles.  The walk back was longer, because we stopped to get groceries at New Leaf on the way.


I showed this industrial building in an earlier post—the graffiti has been added to since then.


Across Highway 1 a herd of cows were grazing on the newly green grass—this one stood on the top of the cliff and looked like it was contemplating jumping. I apologize for the low quality of the image—digital zoom is useless.


The horse ranch and surrounding fields are for sale (214 acres for $30 million).


This tall plant (an agave?) has a nice silhouette.


The pasture at Wilder Ranch is unusually green, thanks to the early rainfall this year.


Some of the old farm equipment at Wilder Ranch is just left outside to rust.


But some is carefully displayed under a roof—still subject to rust, but not quite as quickly.


The driveshaft and pulleys in the machine shop make a pleasant abstract image—I think I’ll add a higher-resolution version of this to my Zoom backgrounds. The power is coming diagonally up from a Pelton wheel off the bottom right of the image. The Pelton wheel is no longer connected to plumbing, so the entire machine shop is a static display.


The drill press is a particularly elegant piece of machinery. There is also a wood lathe and a number of grinding wheels.


The blooming aloe was quite attractive to birds, but I was unable to get a clear picture of any of the birds, despite several attempts. Later in the walk, I failed to get a usable picture of soaring turkey vultures.


The aloe plants have tunnels through them large enough for kids to crawl through.


This multi-trunk tree is one of my wife’s favorite things at Wilder Ranch.


The multi-trunk tree clearly had some beetles that a woodpecker was trying to get.


The fields that used to be all brussels sprouts were planted with pumpkins this year. Most of the brussels sprouts in the US come from San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties—it seems a shame to plant the much more common pumpkins instead.


On the way back, I photographed this sewage spill from the leachate line from the city dump, just a little west of Shaffer Road. I’ll be sending this photo to the City.

I tried taking a number of pictures of birds on this walk, but none of them came out well. I really have to get a new camera soon, as the cell phone doesn’t really do the job (despite being easy to carry).

We had a good lunch (panini) at 11th Hour Cafe, which replaces Kelly’s Bakery, then went to New Leaf for grocery shopping.


  1. that industrial building is the back side of Kirk McNeil’s metal fab and blacksmith shop.
    kirk has the shark-around sculpture on the mall and a much bigger one he and Rigel Hunter (Hunter Designs) did for burning man.
    Rigel’s shop is across the field you stood in for the photo, visible if looking towards the bay.
    Alan’s cabinet shop, which has provided items for your home more than once is right behind it in the big West side Industrial building Peggy used to run..
    Happy new year to you two

    Comment by richard rebman — 2021 December 31 @ 22:48 | Reply

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