Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek
I know I am getting near when the scent and sight of giant redwood trees make me feel like I have entered an enchanted forest. Near Santa Cruz I had veered off of the scenic coastal highway and have begun to work my way inward and over the steep mountains. Junked cars and dilapidated wood homes guide me up the narrow and winding Highway 9. I can’t believe the great trees have survived hundreds of years and warded of the never ceasing encroachment of man. Towering branches are shielding the entire route from the sun when I hear the clang of a rustic old train as it too struggles too pushing its way ever upward. Now it is a tourist attraction for showing off the delights of the majestic redwoods. There was a time, however, when trains hauled freshly cut ancient redwoods down the mountain to awaiting ships and trucks in Santa Cruz. A few heroic citizens stopped this madness by buying up large tracts of wood land and forever preserving the glory of the redwoods.
A country store marks the turn onto a tiny road leading up the side of the mountain to my sister’s house. Yea, even though Mary grew up in New York she is a mountain girl now.