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2021 November 17

Secret Walks: Lighthouse-Whale Museum

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On Saturday 13 November, my wife and I did the Walton Lighthouse-Natural History Museum loop from Secret Walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz, by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover.  The walk in the book is 3.4 miles, but we walked another 2.4 miles to get to the start and another 3 miles to get home, totaling 8.8 miles.

mosaic-1

This small mosaic is embedded in a stucco garden wall of a private home.

mosaic-2

This slightly larger mosaic is in the same garden wall.

walkway

This pathway connects the end of Harbor Drive to Frederick Street Park.

harbor

This couple on one of boat-launch ramps have just thrown a stick to their dog (not in the photo).

path-to-lighthouse

The path to the Walton lighthouse was popular with pedestrians, as we had very nice weather.

pier-and-masts

The “Coastal Access Pier” does not really provide access to anything but views, as there is no way down to the water from the pier.

cleat

The huge cleats on the “Coastal Access Pier” are purely decorative, as nothing ties up to the rather high deck of the pier.

birds-on-pipe

The birds seem to like the floating pipe that is the outlet of the dredger.

dredger

Here is the dredger itself, though I don’t think it was operating on the weekend.

lighthouse

The Walton lighthouse is not an old one, but it is rather picturesque.

caltrops

We love these “jetty jacks”, though we prefer to call them “caltrops”, after a medieval weapon of roughly the same shape.

caltrops-wave

The caltrops do a good job of breaking up the waves that would otherwise wash the jetty away.

caltrops-wave-2

The breaking waves were a bit hard to photographs, as the sun was behind them.

mosaic-on-caltrop

Mosaics seem to be popular in Santa Cruz—this one was added to the end of one of the caltrops

unknown-beach-plant-1

I have no idea what this plant growing on the beach is—I think we saw the same species at Natural Bridges State Beach also.

unknown-beach-plant-2

This seems to be another beach plant we couldn’t identify.

not-dusty-miller

This plant, growing on the cliff by the stairs, looks a lot like dusty miller, but I don’t think it is.

lighthouse-from-stairs

The Walton lighthouse from the stairs, showing the jumble of caltrops around the jetty.

cliff-restoration

A view of the cliff from the stairs. Note the pink flags at the bottom right, marking where native plants have been added to try to stabilize the cliff. You can also see at the top where there used to be a walkway that is now just an asphalt overhang.

stone-chimney

My wife and I admire this stone chimney. The house looks like it should be a hexagon, but it is just a half hexagon on the end of a rectangular house.

whale-sculpture

This life-size whale sculpture in front of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History leads some locals to refer to it as the “whale museum”, though it does not have that much about whales.

museum-window

This artwork replaces one of the windows of the museum.

museum-entrance

The main entrance of the museum.

little-free-library-orange

I think that this Little Free Library is on Seabright.

not-the-beach

This sign on Seabright accurately points away from the beach.

About 3/4 of the way through the walk, we stopped for lunch at Java Junction—one of several places to eat near Murray and Seabright.  We had thought to Betty’s Burgers, but the line was too long, and we thought of Seabright Social (which used to be Seabright Brewery), but neither of us wanted beer.  I was a little disturbed that none of the staff at Java Junction were wearing masks—COVID rates in the county are low, but they are nudging back up due to carelessness like that.

My wife and I are planning to replace our Wednesday night dinners out with Saturday lunches out—it is getting too dark and chilly for eating outdoors and walking home at night to be much fun.  We may switch back in March, when Daylight Savings Time returns.  If COVID rates drop a lot at the students at my wife’s elementary school all get vaccinated, we might start eating indoors at restaurants again.

fence-cutouts

The playful cutouts in this fence overlook Murray, which is rather busy here.

dredger-pipes

The dredger pipes that aren’t currently attached to the dredger are laid out beside the harbor. Based on the vegetation, some of them have been here for a while. We were somewhat surprised to see that there were several different diameters of the pipe, though that is not evident in this photo.

boats-in-harbor

The boats in the harbor always look picturesque, though they now represent a lot of surplus money, as there are almost no working boats any more.

fancy-fence

I rather like the elegance of this fence, which is almost certainly custom made. The vertical bars seem to be copper tubing for plumbing and the horizontal bars are simple cuts. I think that the panel consists of 12 copper tubes, not 3, with holes drilled about ⅓ of the way through the wood to hold the tubes.

little-free-library-wallpaper

Another Little Free Library. I think this one was on Windsor near Frederick.

Coming back, we walked along Windsor instead of Broadway from Frederick Street to Ocean View.  The street is much quieter and more pleasant. I think it is probably worth detouring a block when bicycling or walking across town—I don’t know why I’ve never taken Windsor before.

sidewalk-patch

Creative sidewalk patching.

little-free-library-teal

This one is on Windsor and Branciforte.

little-free-library-west

This one is on Roosevelt Terrace, overlooking the Broadway Playhouse where my son had so many acting classes.

new-foundation

I’m always rather fascinated by the way that old houses get jacked up (by Fresno House Movers) to build a foundation under the house. I wonder how they drill the holes in the sill plate to line up with the bolts cast into the new concrete foundation. Is it careful measurement or eyeball estimates? Do they drill the holes extra large and then use large washers? Or do they put in a new sill plate and the lower the house onto it?

turtle-mosaic

This turtle mosaic is the first one you come to on the Laurel Street bridge coming from the east. Each of the uprights has a mosaic but the sidewalk is too narrow on the bridge to get far enough away for good pictures of most of them.

On Sunday, I got a little more exercise by bicycling up to my office to fetch the purple beans that I had bought at the farmstand on Friday, but left in the refrigerator in the grad-student office by mistake.  Monday and Tuesday, I mowed the lawn (front yard on Monday, back yard on Tuesday).

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