Northern California Treasures, Part 2
Drivin' or Surfin' USA
I've been experiencing the four seasons in a day here in Northern California. It was chilly and raining when I woke up this morning. Driving to my appointment, I noticed that my windshield wiper was broken. So, I went to the car dealer/repair to get the wiper replaced. The weather changed drastically as I left the dealership. It felt like early summer. So, I decided to go for a scenic drive to Santa Cruz.
The fog rolled in and started to rain as I approached Pacifica. I decided to stop downtown for coffee, but I missed the exit and took the next exit to Starbucks. Across the coffee shop was Taco Bell. This place is noteworthy because it's the only Taco Bell situated in the middle of the beach. The Taco Bell parking lot and the Pacifica State Beach parking lot were full. I noticed a few people changing in the parking lot. I went down the beach and saw a few surfers walking on the beach with surfboards in tow. I was struck by large swells and the number of surfers and surfing activities. It felt like summer without the sun. It was surreal. It occurred to me that surfing is an all-year round sport and a more prominent winter sport in Northern California.
You'll find a few state beaches and parks like Big Basin Redwoods State Park before reaching Santa Cruz - one of the best surfing beaches in California.
Natural Bridge State Park, Santa Cruz
My favorite spot in Santa Cruz is the Natural Bridge State Park. It features a majestic arch in the middle of the water, the famous Natural Bridge weathered by thousands of years of waves and winds proving that nature is the world's greatest sculptor. Across the parking lot, there's an overlook where you can see the view of the rocks and the beach below. I always setup my beach tent on the beach and do a little surfing and stay until sunset.
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