Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz, CA

Saturday was the beginning of the heat wave, so we head to Santa Cruz for some beach time.

When heading down Highway 17, usually I expect the least traffic at the crack of dawn or after noon. But even waiting until noon didn’t help, and it took over two hours to get there (when normally it’s about 45 minutes). The slowest traffic was on the surface streets in Santa Cruz, and even trying some offbeat routes didn’t help. We stopped downtown to eat the Walnut Street Cafe to give the tangle some time to disperse before heading to Natural Bridges. (It costs $8 to park now! How on earth can it save the state money to close these parks when they charge what should be enough to break even? I was happy to pay if it meant helping out the state during the budget crisis.)

As it turned out, we got there right after the morning fog burned off, and there was a bit of a wind, so it was a great way to cool down.

I experimented a bit with the new video feature of my new iPhone 3GS.

Now that’s after upload to YouTube, and that process seems to introduce a lot of artifacts. On the plus side, iPhone video is convenient — I will amost always be carrying my phone — and it’s not nearly as sensitive as the Flip to shake. But the brightness changes are jarring, and the overall image quality is not as good. (You can view my other video tests on my YouTube channel.)


^^^^^ Sammy typed that. Pardon the intrusion.

After the sun started to sink, we headed to the wharf for bread-bowl clam chowder and to watch the seals and sea lions and pelicans. Sheets of mist draped the pier, giving the whole scene a surreal and wonderful edge.

Armed with salt water taffy from Marini’s, we headed home at 9, and once again ran into crushing traffic. While everyone else slept in the car, I tried every trick I knew to take the non-beaten path, but wasn’t able to get home until 10:30pm.

Worth it.

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