Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Porter Sesnon

When Santa Cruz is good, it is excellent. Hanging with a friend and catching up on her deck in the mountains we got to see 80 degrees, blue skies and lots of sun. My wife had to go shopping with a friend, I had to walk the dog.Years ago developers wanted to make the open space at Porter Sesnon near the village of Aptos, into a conference center called Wingspread. The local populace did what I often want Key Westers to do; they made themselves heard effectively and insistently and as a result this place is an open space park today.
Dogs on leash is the rule nowadays. We were alone Cheyenne and I and in the bad old days I used to walk Emma and Debs here and let them roam. Nothing was hurt back then when it was legal and nothing was damaged on this dog walk.Porter Sesnon is on the edge of the cold air mass that hangs over the ocean and some days the marine inversion is thick overhead, creating a blanket of gray "fog" as it is called locally. Not this day:This is classic summer foliage in California, green coniferous trees and burnt brown grass, dead until the rains come back in the winter.
This is why they love it here, no humidity, no mosquitoes and ocean views- if you can afford them. Californians hate the idea of Florida, all green, lush, humid and hot.
"Daddy! Can we live here forever?!"
Hell no, I'm not freezing my ass off, even for you, kid. Enjoy it while you're here.
Oh, an don't let your dog romp through the poison oak, whatever you do, especially when the leaves are red and shiny. When you hug your dog the oil will transfer to your upper arms and chin and make you red, blotchy and itchy. I of course, let Cheyenne do whatever she wants. I remember the itchy upper arms with nostalgia. I used to shampoo Emma and Debs with Head and Shoulders to get the oil off their fur.
Compared to the Keys this place is a poisoned paradise. Cheyenne doesn't care.
Yes, I love railroad tracks, especially as I don't see them in the Keys.
In both directions.
The tracks service the Davenport cement plant 11 miles up the coast north of Santa Cruz. They run to Salinas via Watsonville and there has been a whole load of talk about instituting passenger service between Santa Cruz and Watsonville...but so far it's just two freight trains a day along here. And the occasional Labrador.
Every dog deserves an hour and a half at Porter Sesnon, at least once in their life.
There's the cold air fog hanging over the ocean.
I keep thinking of the pathetic little trees on Big Pine Key when I see these well formed monsters on the mainland. I miss Big Pine. An uncharacteristically still Pacific Ocean.
A lovely afternoon walk.
A dog day afternoon in Santa Cruz County, my former home town that time has failed to forget and the decades could doubtless improve.