Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our Pogonip Hike

We took a walk on Monday in a place called Pogonip with our good friend and fellow blogger Tara. It's another one of those places that we should have walked when we lived here, but didn't. We did a lot of biking back in the day, so now we are discovering wonderful hiking trails in so many places.
Pogonip is a 640 acre park of open meadows, woodlands, and creeks. There are eight miles of hiking trails. We picked one trail, the Pogonip Creek trail, and headed out. It's been fairly dry here on the central coast, so we did not expect to see any water in the creek. We were rather pleasantly to surprised to both see and hear the water. As we left the dry meadows and headed down toward the shadow of tall trees along the creek, it occurred to us that we were walking in the redwoods again. I have to admit it's always thrilling to walk among the coastal giants. There is something about a tree that is hundreds of years old that helps put the news of the current day in proper perspective. It's not that the news is not important, it's that no matter how important it is, it will all be dust long before any of these giants fall, merely a tree ring noting a dry season.
We walked out from the shadowy creek and up into the bright light of the meadow. There were butterflies there, and surprisingly they weren't monarchs. I thought we might have seen these before, but I didn't know what they were. I photographed three of them and did some research when I got home. Turns out they are Common Buckeyes. Somehow calling these beautiful creatures common seems wrong, I find them uncommonly lovely.
It was a perfect day. The sound of a red-tailed hawk came piercingly from a nearby treetop. The sky was cloudlessly blue and the temperature was warm enough for Roger to have hiked in a short-sleeved tee-shirt, and flip-flops without socks (of course). We only saw two other people on the trail. They both reminded me why Santa Cruz sometimes has a reputation for a bit of looniness. One guy came up out of the creek area, completely off trail. He had a bit of that wild unstable look in his eyes. We were relieved that he chose to go in the opposite direction from ours. Shortly afterwards, another man came from the other direction on the trail towards us. He was absolutely bare-assed naked, except for a pack on his back, and shoes. He said hello. We said hello back. I didn't photograph him, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Would it surprise you if I told you that he bore the brunt of our jokes for the rest of the day. We were merciless I tell you. Merciless.

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