"...I decided to visit California for a year or two to see its wonderful flora and the famous Yosemite Valley. All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which one of the world's wildernesses I first should wander."
--John Muir (1868)
I lived in Santa Cruz from 1969 to 1972 while in college and loved the town. It has certainly grown (and gotten more expensive!) since then, but it still has this funky, laid back, beach town 60's feel to it that is very nice. We are camped at Henry Cowell Redwoods state park, just 5 miles from downtown and we'll be here a week. Yesterday, our friends Jim and Bobby came to hang out with us, had lunch and we went for a hike in the redwoods. Most of this area was logged in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The magnificent redwood trees went into building homes (many of these 100-year-old victorians are still scattered around Santa Cruz) and for fueling limestone kilns. After the 1906 earthquake, more buildings were being built of brick and mortar and 75% of the lime for the mortar came from the kilns now within this park. By 1920, all the redwoods were cut down except a few small groves, but due to the redwood tree's extremely fast growth, the second-growth redwood forests here are quite nice.
Lynnae and Bobby
This old narrow-gauge railroad still runs through the park.