Sunday, July 1, 2012

5 creeks, 1 lighthouse

It was odd, she thought, how if one was alone, one leant to inanimate things; trees, streams, flowers; felt they expressed one; felt they became one; felt they knew one, in a sense were one; felt an irrational tenderness thus (she looked at that long steady light) as for oneself.
 Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Today lacked one thing: a goal. The lighthouse was pressed into service. It was an impulse thing.  Because I have to ride and it's been at least a year since I was out there. Because it's a nice day and not too hot. Even after 11 in the morning...

The roads are eerily quiet, even the streets of suburbia. It happened all at once, like someone turned off a spigot. Heading out of town for a long long weekend Somewhere Else. A few stragglers, heavily loaded, make their way to 280. Pescadero Creek Road carries some cars to the county parks on this side of the hill.

Tourists hang out near the shore on Pigeon Point Drive, occupying the benches and viewpoints.

Pescadero, Gazos, La Honda, Alpine, and Adobe. Santa Cruz Mountains creeks. All except Adobe Creek head west toward the Pacific, from the ridge. All except Adobe donated their names to the roads that run along them. In the valley, roads are often named for people, like Portola. People are more important than water. And in the valley the creeks are small affairs, dry in warm weather.

It's nearly July and these creeks are still running. All that March rain still with us. There is something peaceful about riding next to them. The water moves at a civilized pace. The dark and shady creekbed, the oaks and California buckeye and wild fennel and wildflowers of all kinds lining its banks.
Aesculus californica on the bank of Gazos Creek.
Plants of every shape and size pay homage to the creek water. If you were patient and still, the animals would reveal themselves as well. Sooner or later, everything comes to water.
Car flower planters on the bank of Gazos Creek.

The Pope family lives next to Pescadero Creek.

Alpine Creek nurtures this mighty thing.
90 miles, 6740 feet of climbing. I may or may not be ready for Super Tour. So be it...

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