There’s nothing quite like swimming in the redwoods. It’s more liberating than swimming in a normal pool and less unsettling than treading water in the open ocean. There are no Great Whites in the San Lorenzo River, and the biggest risks are getting poison oak on your way there or maybe stubbing your toe. And even at its chilliest, the water is never as cold as the ocean is around these parts.
Posts Tagged: Summer Guide 2012
Superhero antics, Woody Allen, Wes Anderson and of course the Beach Boardwalk’s free movie night.
It’s Sunday afternoon, and Asa Maestas, a Soquel High School junior, is standing on a concrete tee at De Laveaga Disc Golf Course’s fourth hole teaching a novice—me—how to play. Maestas instructs me to throw “nip to nip,” demonstrating as he pulls his disc horizontally across his chest and extends it out toward our target, a metal basket that appears to be several light years away.
We gather in the parking lot at Castle Rock State Park, six people ranging in age from mid-twenties to mid-forties, here to learn the art and science of rock climbing courtesy Santa Cruz–based Treks and Tracks. Before we set off on the 20-minute hike to the site, our guide Daniel Laggner, who has a shock of curly sun-streaked hair and forearms like Popeye’s, warns us about what may be the greatest actual threat we face all day: poison oak. “Leaves of three, let it be,” he instructs us. Got it.
From Civil War battle reenactments and Broadway musicals to festivals honoring mountain men and cactus, Santa Cruz looks forward to three months of nonstop entertainment.
Although I’ve lived in Santa Cruz for the last five years, unless it’s a fogless, 80-plus–degree day, it’s unlikely you’ll find me in the water. I’ll dive in on particularly hot summer days if the waves are looking friendly, but I’m not a strong swimmer. I’m the kind who watches the surfers out on Steamer Lane and marvels longingly at their athleticism, but surfing has always looked too physically (and mentally) challenging for me. So I content myself with being a sun-soaking landlubber.
My two most vivid memories of the ocean: being bashed in the surf at 7, an intimate introduction as sand scraped half the flesh from my left shoulder. Six years later an undertow dragged me out. Kicking and screaming for my life, I eventually dragged myself back in.