Mid-Week Rides: Fall Foliage

Major WWWobble has a new camera. It’s a fancy Pentax SLR with lots of megapixels, removable lens, the whole nine yards. He had the idea of a picture taking ride to and around the Santa Cruz mountains to capture fall foliage on digital sensors. Good idea. Bad timing. WWWobble says: The good news about being too early for Fall color is (1) we had a decent ride and (2) we’ll have to try it again!

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Our route can be seen at the bottom of this page. Instead of colorful fall foliage we saw lots of green and sun burnt brown in temperatures pushing 90 around Santa Cruz. We returned via the coast where temperatures were still above 70. That doesn’t make for interesting foliage images. The proof is in the picture at the left.

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The day wasn’t only about the pictures. There was some riding, too. About 170 miles which gave us lots of excuses to explore old roads. Highland Way, in the mountains above Aptos, has been closed for quite a while. I’d heard rumors that the it might be open, or at least open to motorcycles.

Nope. It’s still closed. It is, however, being worked on. The barriers that blocked the road the last time I was there have been replaced by men working with heavy machinery.

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Another foliage shot. OK, so it happened to show the Major’s golden VFR and the funny perspective of a leaning warning sign. Ho hum. I’m sure the versions of this photo that the Major took will be much better.

Click here to jump to the Major’s photos.

WWWobble says: No, the Major didn’t take a better one. The tunneled canopy and the leaning road sign have the makings for an interesting image, but I think we should have moved the bike into a better position. Or perhaps just moved the sign. Next time maybe…

We backtracked to the Soquel-Santa Cruz road (see map) and headed down to the coast with a stop at the Silver Spur for lunch. A big lunch. After lunch we headed south to loop through Corralitos, Browns Valley Road, Hazel Dell Road, a wendy back to Green Valley Road, Pioneer Rd, and Varni Rd to hit Freedom Blvd again where we headed north.

The major had initially suggested taking the side roads along highway 17. That changed into a ride up the coast with a High St/Empire Grade bypass of down town Santa Cruz. The next (and final) stop was the light house at Pigeon Point and another excuse to take lots of pictures. The sun was in a bad place for picture taking, but we did our best. The weather along the coast was so perfect, it didn’t seem right to waste it looking at brown, I mean golden California grass.

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These three are my favorites.

Wobble’ pictures

Here is the Major’s photographic take on the ride.

(5) Will Highland Drive go thru to Corralitos?

(5) Will Highland Drive go thru to Corralitos?

(5) Will Highland Drive go thru to Corralitos?
(2) No. But Marc is happy that it will soon.

(2) No. But Marc is happy that it will soon.

(2) No. But Marc is happy that it will soon.
(3) Cool equipment to fool around on huh?

(3) Cool equipment to fool around on huh?

(3) Cool equipment to fool around on huh?
(8) A small vertical lighthouse for horizontal based monitors

(8) A small vertical lighthouse for horizontal based monitors

(8) A small vertical lighthouse for horizontal based monitors
(10) Good lighting... for a self portrait

(10) Good lighting… for a self portrait

(10) Good lighting… for a self portrait
(12) Postcard, Pigeon Point Lighthouse

(12) Postcard, Pigeon Point Lighthouse

(12) Postcard, Pigeon Point Lighthouse

And my not-so-favorite images

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