During the day and in pleasant weather the trip over the mountain is scenic and easy, but at night or in the rainy season HWY 17 is best skipped entirely. Halfway between San Jose and Santa Cruz is a town nestled in the hillside called Scotts Valley. I often wonder how the residents make due when 17 is invariably closed due to flooding come the rainy season. I'd feel trapped out there, if I were them.
Once in town, the hubs and I did some window-shopping along downtown's Pacific Ave. before finally stopping in at an Italian deli for lunch. The temperature outside was mild, but not cold. We actually sat out front and ate our sandwiches & did some people-watching. Santa Cruz attracts international students to its UC Santa Cruz campus, tourists from far and near, and rag-tag Deadhead types from who-knows-where. As a result, there's never a shortage of interesting folks to see while in the city center.
|The moon is almost full. Our view from Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz.|
|Old bank building, ca. 1895.|
As it was nearing dusk, we shot up Highway 1 toward home. HWY 1, from Santa Cruz to Pacifica, is not well-lit. Without the tail-lights of cars to brighten the road in front of us, we would have seen only the dark outline of trees along the roadway. From Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay, Davenport excepted, it's mostly just open land, a few farms here and there. During the day it's a peaceful sight, but at night it's a bit eerie.
|Our route, mostly, up the coast.|