Gas station without pumps

2022 January 11

Secret Walks: North Riverwalk

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:52
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Last weekend my wife did not feel like doing one of our long walks, so on Sunday 9 January 2022, I did the North Riverwalk walk from Secret Walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz, by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover.  The whole round trip from home to the Chinatown pedestrian bridge plus the loop itself was only 4.1 miles. The book cheats a bit in the Riverwalk chapter, listing three walks, when there are really only two (North Riverwalk and South Riverwalk) and their concatenation.  The next edition of the book should replace the concatenation with a real different walk (it should also fix the mention of the lawn bowling green, which is no longer turf but indoor-outdoor carpeting).

My wife does not like walking on the Riverwalk, because of the number of homeless people camping on the benchlands and on the levees.  I sympathize with her discomfort—the Riverwalk could be a very attractive park if not for the homeless encampments.  The City keeps promising to do something better for the homeless, but nothing ever seems to happen (despite spending a fair amount of City money).


I noticed this plaque in the sidewalk in front of the Cooper House downtown—I think that it is a claim that some of the sidewalk is privately owned and not city right of way.


The river was very low on Sunday, and there were islands with driftwood on them.


More driftwood caught by the willows further upstream.


Looking downstream from the pedestrian bridge just below Highway 1, you can see that the river is only filling a small part of the channel.


Upstream from the pedestrian bridge the sandbar and debris from when the river was much higher a couple of weeks ago are clearly visible.


Coming back along the east levee gives another good view of driftwood caught by the willows.


Looking upstream from the Chinatown pedestrian bridge shows the islands and sandbars left by the high water of Dec 13, 4 weeks earlier.


On the way home, I snapped a picture of one of my favorite tree-fence interactions (on Cleveland Avenue). The tree seems to be winning now.


Also crossing Cleveland is a little streamlet that has been channelized into a very narrow concrete channel. It nearly always has a little water flowing in it, even in the summer.

These pictures were taken with my moto g(7) cellphone, because my new ultrazoom camera did not arrive until Monday. Next weekend will be the last of the walks from the Secret Walks book, and the first using the new camera.


  1. I’m surprised the creek is low. There’s a lot of water coming down the mountains. We’re seeing more water in our seasonal creek near Boulder Creek than ever before.

    Comment by RFon — 2022 January 12 @ 01:54 | Reply

  2. our regular river walks in Cowell also reveal substantially lower levels than previous.
    I think the inflatable dam above the Cowell entry bridge might be up, for trapping and distilling water for pumping up to Scotts Valley , err, i mean Loch Lomond.

    As an aside,
    Scotts Valley has not yet succeeded in co-opting our water supply—-not yet……despite 35 years of trying now……back then they wanted to move the
    Scotts Valley city boundaries to include south Felton in order to gain control of our local Citizens Utility wells, privately operated in those days.
    We voted about 4.5 to 1 against giving SV our water in exchange for their police and fire district services, which was the deal they proposed in those days.

    Overall, the water level below the pump station/dam does feel lower than above the dam.
    The rapids by Fern River are running good still, so that is a plus.

    Comment by richard rebman — 2022 January 15 @ 20:39 | Reply

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