Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monterey Hostel

Tonight I'm sleeping at a hostel in Monterey run by Hosteling
International. It is awesome. I have a cheap bunk and a large
luxurious lounge to read in. I think I'll spend the evening reading my
latest edition of Foreign Affairs and generally relaxing. The place is
run by a nice gentleman named Tom. Good night!

Sunset 3-10-09

Walking around what was once the home of my baa-chan, jii-chan,
mother, aunts and uncle has made me very contemplative. I walk to the
top of the hill overlooking the road to watch the end of the sunset. A
bird of prey wafts over my head. This is not movie. It's just a really
cool trip.

340 Hudson Landing 4

This could be a picture frame thrown away when my the family moved to
southern California, or it could just be trash.

It's funny that all this stuff seems so old because people in my life
right now once stood here, lived here and played here.

340 Hudson Landing 3

On the south side of the road is an area overgrown with trees and
brush with only a fees signs that there was ever anything here. This
outhouse/septic tank can barely be seen from the road.

340 Hudson Landing 2

On the north side of the road is a hill covered with waving thigh-high
grass. You can see the slough off in the distance and railroad tracks
winding away south.

340 Hudson Landing 1

My Mom wrote that the wooden house they built is no longer there. All
there is between 319 and 350 is a grassy field and an overgrown empty
plot. I tried to imagine how things looked 5 decades ago. This is a
barn at the end of the road.

Hudson Landing Road

This is the turn off to the old Nabeta house.

Watsonville Map

This was the old-school Watsonville map that was supplied to me by my
family. It's awesome to look at but only slightly helpful as a lot of
the roads have changed.

Watsonville

I'm in Watsonville. What is the significance of Watsonville to me?
Well, it's the home of Martinelli's Apple Cider, but more importantly,
it is the birthplace of my mother and the place where my grandparents
moved as sharecroppers after World War II to realize the American Dream.

HEY COW!

A Lesson About The Mystery Spot

So what is so cool about the Mystery Spot that makes everyone drive
around with their bumper sticker?

They give out free bumper stickers. Let me know if you want mine.

The Mystery Spot 3

A tourist experiences the gravitational anomaly that is The Mystery
Spot while tour guide Nicole looks on.

The Mystery Spot 2

Yes, the mystery spot is definitely a tourist trap. I went up to the
booth and a frowny guy introduced himself as, "Nope, we're closed." I
convinced him to let me join an ongoing tour, where I met our friendly
tour-guide Nicole. Nicole is a student at UC Santa Cruz. I would say
the tour was worth my 5 bucks, but it definitely wasn't worth 6.

The Mystery Spot

So Santa Cruz was kind of a wash, and I was just getting ready to
leave when a car drove by with one of those Mystery Spot stickers.
I've always been a little curious, although not enough to Google it.
Upon Googling, I found that it is a "psuedo-scientific anomaly, where
the laws of gravity and physics do not apply." Sounds like tourist
trap with slanty floors, but it's enough to pique my interest and keep
me in Santa Cruz for another hour.

La Hacienda Taqueria 2

That was pretty good.

La Hacienda Taqueria

A repairman at the boardwalk named Chris recommended that I eat at La
Hacienda Taqueria across the way. It is apparently "the best Taco
Place in Santa Cruz." We'll see.

Santa Cruz is Closed.

Ok, the city is not closed, but all the rides on the boardwalk are
closed. And the whole place is empty. Rats.

Santa Cruz!

All right! I'm finally here. I'm ready to ride the coaster (The Big
Dipper) and eat some LUNCH.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse 3

Apparently there's also a hostel here. People bike and hike down
highway 1 and stay in hostels down the coast. I met Annie, who works
for Hostels International, and she gave me some ideas on where to
sleep tonight. If I don't find a legitimate campsite, I'm going to try
to stay in the Monterey hostel tonight.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse 2

No pigeons in sight, but this light house looks out over an amazing
view to the north and south with violent waves crashing off the rocks
below. There are hell of tide pools here.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse 1

I know I said I was going to try to make it to Santa Cruz by lunch,
but who can say no to a lighthouse?

Mile 100 Reflections

So now I have driven 100 miles since I left home and so far I have
explored some familiar places, gone swimming, and gone through two
CDs. I am so thankful that California soaked up so much rain these
last few weeks because everything is beautiful. The highway is lined
with flowers and every distant hill is bright green. I only wish I
could share these spectacular views, but the best I can hope is that
some of these words and images will trigger these memories later in my
life. I am going to try to make it to Santa Cruz for lunch. I want to
ride the rollercoaster.

Heading South on Highway 1

California is big. These places feel closer on a map.

Christmas Tree Farm 2

I am totally going to do this next Christmas.

Christmas Tree Farm 1

On the west side of the hills just off the 92 is a Christmas Tree
farm. Apparently, if you're still interested in a Christmas Tree in
March, you can call 726-2246.

West!

I'm going west on the 92 towards highway 1. It's my manifest destiny!

Post-Swim

I half-waded, half-jumped into the reservoir. It was pretty cold, but
not freezing like I expected. I swam around, got out and took this
picture. I would have taken a picture from the water, but Liz made a
good point that if I break my phone, I can't record my trip. Thanks
Liz!

My apologies to anyone who drinks tap water from this reservoir.

Pre-Swim

Photos can't even explain how difficult it was to get here. If you
want the full story, you'll have to ask me in person.

The Road Into Crystal Spring

Talk about the road less travelled! It continues to amaze me how
things can be surrounded by barbed wire fences, but if you walk up the
road, the fence stops.

Crystal Spring Reservoir

A view from a vista point over the 280 North and the Crystal Spring
Reservoir. I think that I am going to go swimming there.

Tuesday!

I had an interview this morning (with a sweet company), so I stopped off at Stanford for the evening. The adventure continues as I, like many Americans before me, head west!