From Santa Cruz to Mount Diablo and Back

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Ahh. I took most of the day off yesterday, a well-deserved break after a very intense couple of months of hard slogging. It was a beautiful day, and I arranged to go hiking with my wife, a couple of our friends, and my brother. I’ve hiked pretty much all over Santa Cruz county (it took me years to see it all, or most of it, anyway), so this time, I thought we’d go somewhere different. I made a joke that I’d like to go somewhere I that I could write off the expense of the trip. Where’d we choose? Mount Diablo State Park.

What’s in Mount Diablo State Park that would allow me to write the trip off? It turns out, Mount Diablo is one of three initial points for all public land surveys done in California. Here, read about it on Wikipedia:

Public Land Survey System

I thought it would be neat to hike up to the top of Mount Diablo to find the original survey marker from way back when. I thought I’d be hunting around the scrub brush to find it, but of course, it was much easier than that. It turns out, they long ago built a huge monument to this initial point. I took some pictures!

marker.jpg

marker2.jpg

Even though I grew up in Berkeley, I had never visited Mount Diablo State Park before. It was beautiful, especially on a spring day like yesterday, with all the grass still green, and without any kind of stifling heat like I imagine I’d find there in a few months’ time.

Mount Diablo is another one of the long list of things that makes Santa Cruz great – and not just because all surveys in Santa Cruz emanate from that initial point. You see, despite what many of the delightful characters who reside inside our hallowed borders may wish to think, Santa Cruz does not exist in a vacuum. There’s life outside our borders – a lot of it. Santa Cruz is a beautiful, special part of an amazing region. We’re close to so much – Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, the California Wine Country, the Sierra Mountains. There’s plenty to explore within the county, and there’s an incredible bonanza of things to see, do, and experience all around us.

But at the end of the day or weekend of exploring our surroundings, it’s always nice to come back to Santa Cruz and chill. Like I’m going to do today. Peace out. 🙂

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