Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Santa Cruz To Capitola Bar Hop
California Coastal Trail (CCT)
Distance: Santa Cruz - Capitola more than 7 miles
Trip time: 7 hours
Actual hiking: around 3 hours
Jo, Tara, Julie, Lisa
After our Breast Cancer Walk which we knew would be short - we decided to walk from Santa Cruz to Capitola. This is the segment of the California Coastal Trail that will allow Jo and I to say we have walked from Santa Cruz to Monterey when we have finished. Our goal was to walk the streets and beaches and hit as many bars along the way as we could. Thus, it was the Bar Hop.
Teresa chose to bow out of this portion of the hike. We parked on Josephine street off of River and headed for our first destination - the harbor area. We followed the paved bike trail along the river. I had never been on this portion of the trail, but it goes all the way to the boardwalk. Tara was looking pretty in pink. She had definitely gone all out to find and borrow pink for the hike. She was decked out from her shoes to her bra.
It was a beautiful sunny day. We crossed the trestle and then hiked East Cliff around the corner to the point. There were different memories that we shared as we walked. This was my old neighborhood when I lived on Hiawatha. Josephine told us she was on "the point" when she decided to move to Santa Cruz.
We followed the CCT along the cliff top and in front of the houses on the bluff. I would find it very annoying to own a house with such an incredible view, but then constantly have people walking by. We were overlooking the beach and we could see a guy practicing his tightrope walking between two poles.
We crossed down to the harbor, climbed up to the bridge then circled around to the Crow's Nest side. Jo noticed an old fashioned "pirate ship" was at the harbor. She went to investigate it and decided to take a tour another day.
We had reached our first drinking spot, so we stopped for margaritas and beer. There were four seats at the bar, so we sidled up. As we were sitting there our sunny skies disappeared and the fog rolled in. We couldn't believe how quickly it came on.
The next portion was a beach walk, so we stripped down to bare feet. I spent the time as usual in the surf. The other gals found it too cold. The tide was low so were able to get around the point and cut up on the bench probably around 14th street. We walked along East Cliff for a little bit then cut back down to the beach at Sunny Cove.
This was Josephine and my old beach when we lived on Palisades. We hadn't walked it for years. Jo and I walked barefoot, but Tara and Lisa kept their shoes on this time. After the beach, we walked through our old beach cottages on Palisades, which are now for sale and in sad, sad state of disrepair.
We walked on along the cliffs along East Cliff and then cut over to Portola to hit the Over The Hill Saloon. We saw that happy hour didn't begin until 4:00 and it was only 3:00. We debated going in until we learned the drinks were still only three dollars. Mizzi the bartender remembered Jo and I from our last pit stop there after a CCT hike.
The guy next to me asked if I was a bowler. I said, "No, why, do I look like a bowler?" It turns out there was a breast cancer bowl-a-thon the same day which frequent patrons of the bar had gone to in the morning.
Jo and Lisa examined the bus routes to determine when and where we could catch the bus after our last stop at Capitola wharf. We finished our drinks, talked and then were ready to head into the fog towards Capitola.
We were in quite high spirits (literally) by this time as we walked down Portola avenue.
We walked by Frenchys the adult "bookstore" which Lisa and Tara said they had never been to. This required a stop. Josephine shopped for her Halloween costume, while Tara and Lisa looked at the various toys and gadgets. I promised not to post any of these pictures on the blog, but let's just say there was a lot of laughing and giggling going on. We visited the "movie gallery" at the back the store, but decided not to watch any of the videos.
We dragged Lisa and Tara out of there and headed down Opal Cliffs to Capitola Village. When we arrived at the wharf, Tara shared a memory of her and Kirk's three month anniversary on the Capitola beach. They have now been married 25 years. We were able to take our drinks outside, so we sipped Bloody Mary's and looked at the fog. There was some sort of boat rescue going on and we watched a sea otter and a bird, floating together.
We had really worked up our appetites now so we headed to El Toro Bravo for the best chili rellenos in town. (At least that's my opinion). We munched on chips, salsa, nachos and all ate Chili rellenos. Josephine ended up buying us dinner which was much appreciated.
Now that the walk was completed we headed back up to 41st avenue to the transit center at the mall. Our timing was good and we didn't have to wait long at all to catch the bus. We were all feeling happily satiated after a fine day of walking, eating and drinking.
Lessons Learned: Walks down memory lane are always sweet even when bittersweet. We've all lived in this town a long time. I should have gotten a Bloody Mary at the wharf. El Toro Bravo still makes a great chili relleno. Laughter is good for the heart and soul. Being silly is it's own reward.