Chamisal: End Game; Elkhorn Slough; Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Sunday, Pebble Beach, CA

Today I met up with Anna and Allen Zimmermann and did some sight seeing. But first, a tournament update: The women’s 55 consolation finished today and unseeded Jane Pascoe finished 5th, playing two matches today. She beat Anne Lowry 63 63 and then Bonnie Tetrick 63 64; Bonnie received a default in the consolation semis today. Jane is a very nice player with a terrific, aggressive two-handed backhand.

I met up with Anna and Allen at Elkhorn Slough, near Moss Landing. The drive up was nice, past a lot of produce fields, particularly strawberries and artichokes. Moss Landing is near Castroville, the “Artichoke Capital of the World”.

   

Elkhorn is a nature preserve and has a lot of mild hiking trails, marshes, and rolling hills and is used for research. It was peaceful and pretty. I arrived close to noon and Anna and Allen had been there for a while. Anna jumped very high when she saw a snake on the ground under her feet…maybe a new plyometric training method?

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We spent another two hours there and then went to Moss Landing on the Pacific Ocean for lunch at Phil’s Fish restaurant. It’s a casual place; you order at the counter and food is delivered to your table, a la Panera, but it was quite crowded, with a line to order out the door. Phil’s is right on the ocean so we ate outside and watched the waves break. When someone left after eating and had uncovered food on their plates, which was common, the gulls swarmed over the leftovers like vultures…or like the birds in the Hitchcock move “The Birds”. Rats with wings?

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We continued north to Santa Cruz and hit the Boardwalk there. It’s changed a lot since I was a kid…for one thing the surface is now concrete, but the roller coaster, haunted house,  and many of the rides were unchanged. There seemed to be a lot more ways to ingest calories though (fried Twinkies anyone?). We wandered down the boardwalk to the Santa Cruz Wharf, or Pier and walked to the end. It was much quieter, there were people fishing and strolling. Under the pier were a lot of seals resting and sleeping on dry beams there, and several other seals trying very hard to propel themselves out of the water and up onto the beams. It was interesting to watch, and a few succeeded in getting up to the beams, in a splashy, vocal fashion. We also saw a couple of otters in the distance playing and fishing.

 

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It’s been a great week up here in NorCal…back to San Diego soon, it’s nice to go home too.

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