Purisima Creek Redwoods Hike
Santa Cruz Mountains, California

Sunday, September 14, 2008

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: On Sunday, September 14, 2008, my friend drove to Skyline Boulevard where we went on a hike at Purisima Creek Redwoods. We came here last year (Sept. 2, 2007) through Gate PCO4 and hiked along the Grabtown Gulch and Borden Hatch Mill Trails. Purisima Creek Redwoods is located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay. The centerpiece of this 3361-acre Preserve is Purisima Creek Canyon, with its towering redwoods, rushing creek, and understory of ferns, berries, and wildflowers. Coastal scrub and hardwood forests of tanoak, madrone, and Douglas fir border the cool, moist canyon. Magnificent views of the coast and Half Moon Bay are visible from the northern part of the Preserve. We came through the eastern entrance at Gate PCO3. This time we reached the Soda Gulch Trail— the crown jewel area of the Preserve, with three small wooden bridges. The babbling brooks under the first and last bridges were music to the ears and the tall redwoods surrounding the narrow trails were refreshing to breathe on this enjoyable hike.

Click on Photos for Enlarged Images

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 1:45 pm
Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve
Entrance at Skyline Boulevard (PC03)

Here's the entrance to
Purisima Creek Redwoods—
Let's hike to purify!
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 2:06 pm
Purisima Creek Trail: Towering branchless
tree in the gully beneath the fenced area
whose top looks like Neptune's trident

Neptune's trident— not
ruling waves of the sea
but the air in the sky!

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 2:10 pm
Purisima Creek Trail
View of three baby redwoods

Three baby redwoods
sprouting before horsetail grass—
We've got more to grow!
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 2:25 pm
Purisima Creek Trail
Pyramid rock around the bend

A pyramid rock
welcomes me forward around
the bend of this trail.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 2:28 pm
Purisima Creek Trail
Hollowed redwood stump

Come in here if you
wish to play Hide-and-Seek
for I've got lots of room!
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 2:30 pm
Purisima Creek Trail
Peter inside hollowed stump
Vertical view

Indiana Jones—
Here I come searching for
the precious crystal skull.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 2:43 pm
Purisima Creek Trail
Sacred geometry curved tree

This tree ascends like
a logarithmic spiral—
it's sacred geometry!
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 3:00 pm
End of Purisima Creek Trail:
Soda Gulch Trail Entrance

At last we enter
Soda Gulch Trail— crown jewel
for those who love hiking.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 3:11 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Approach
to the First Wooden Bridge

Gurgling waters flow
in the creek as I approach
the first wooden bridge.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 3:14 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Overhead
view of First Wooden Bridge

Clusters of fern at
the head of the wooden bridge
as I cross this creek.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 3:18 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Water flowing
beneath First Wooden Bridge

Ferns, rocks, water—
I breathe in these elements
to merge with Nature.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 3:24 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Another view of
Bridge with twisted fallen redwood

A fallen redwood
twisted like a giant serpent
guarding sacred bridge.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 3:30 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Fallen Douglas Fir
with branches like a bull's horn

Fallen Douglas Fir
on the path like a wounded
bull with its horns held high!
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 3:42 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Giant Tan Oak
with outstretched branch on trail
Vertical view

This giant Tan Oak with
long branch outstretched to the trail
welcoming all hikers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:03 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Peter inside
Redwood circle of six trees
Distant view

Circle of Redwoods
surrounds me— I ask them for
strength in the Great Work.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:10 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Redwood stump with
sword-like branch of fallen warrior

Cyrano with sword,
though fallen, still fighting for
justice and righteousness.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:18 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Baby Tan Oak swaying
in the breeze amidst giant redwoods

I ask you to the ball
and we waltz to the
Beautiful Blue Danube.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:25 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Second Wooden Bridge
before the more scenic one ahead

Is this all there is?—
This small bridge is but prelude
to the big one coming.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:30 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Third Wooden Bridge
Eighty minutes hike from First Bridge

The third bridge on this
trail— better than second one
but the first is best.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:34 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Third Wooden Bridge
Dark view brightened in Adobe Photoshop

Sunshine blocked out by
redwoods— used Photoshop
to bring out the brightness.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:37 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Third Wooden Bridge
View of two fallen logs in creek

Two fallen redwoods
across the creek remind me
that we all must die.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 4:50 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Tan Oak trunk with hole
looking like a portal with sunlight streams

Here's a portal to
another world— you can ride
a sunbeam to that place.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 5:00 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Deadwood and fog
with sun overhead the mountain ridge

Dead Redwood rises
high against fog and sun
over the mountain ridge.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 5:12 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: California Live Oak
under the afternoon sunlight

Sun shines brightly on
this California Live Oak—
Enjoy this moment!

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 5:27 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: Logarithmic spiral
redwood spans across the creek
at the First Wooden Bridge

Amidst the redwoods
this one curves across the creek—
Logarithmic Spiral!
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 5:35 pm
Soda Gulch Trail: California Live Oak
under the afternoon sunlight

Here's the reason why
that curved tree did not fall down—
wedged between branches!

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 5:46 pm
Purisima Creek Trail: Detour hike
down to view the Purisima Creek

Babbling brook around
the mossy rocks with a stray
of sunshine above.
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 5:46 pm
Purisima Creek Trail: Logarithmic Tree
appears as a white Y-Tree from other side

White-barked Y-tree asks
"Why are we here? Where did we
come from? Where we're going?

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 8:10 pm
Dry Creek Road, Palo Alto
After taking photo of Full Moon,
almost hit a deer jumping out

Suddenly a young deer
jumps out to cross the road—
just missed hitting it!
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 8:15 pm
Harvest Moon: Full Moon of September
Sept. 15, 2008, 9:13 (Greenwich Time)

Bright Harvest Moon shines
over the trees on our way
home after the day's hike.

— Peter Y. Chou, Mountain View, September 14, 2008

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (9-19-2008)