Welcome to the Turkey Grove!

We started the day with another South Bay Striders Year Round Walk, one of our favorites – the Natural Bridges walk in Santa Cruz. The start point is the inland entrance to Natural Bridges State Beach, where there’s plenty of free parking (and lots of campers and RVs with full-time residents); the first kilometer or so takes you to the Butterfly Grove.

Naturally, there weren’t any butterflies there (it’s a different story in the fall and winter); instead, we saw a wild turkey crossing the boardwalk.

We continued onward to the viewing area overlooking the remains of the natural bridge that gave the park its name; it collapsed in 1980.

Most of the walk is along the West Cliff Drive seaside path; you can go as far as you like before turning around; today, we went all the way to the end of the Santa Cruz Wharf, giving us a 13km walk. The scenery was, as usual, delightful – and there were far fewer people on the path than we usually encounter.

West Cliff Drive was partially washed away during the January bomb cyclone and flood; I’m not sure when they’ll have it completely reopened.

Some of the natural bridges remain, but only the birds get to use them.

We thought about turning around at the Surfing Museum, but the wharf beckoned.

We ate a late lunch at Riva Fish House on the wharf; we were lucky and got a window table so we could see people enjoying the water.

On the walk back to the car, we saw a few wing foilers; it was a new sport to me!

This evening, we saw the last of the three shows that Santa Cruz Shakespeare is doing this summer: The Book of Will. It was funny, touching, and very enjoyable. I wonder what they’re going to present next year?