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Capitola to Monterey

November 2021

An old college friend of mine, Bea, escaped Texas for a week to get her outdoor fix in California. I planned a beach walk for us right out of my backyard in Capitola. The route meandered along the coast for roughly fifty miles, ending at the Monterey Aquarium. We would take three days to complete the trip, and visit the aquarium on the third. 

 

The route starts on a series of roads paralleling the water through Capitola until the proper beach begins around Seacliff. From there is was pleasant ambling along the sand, though after several hours of walking on land angling slightly down to your right, your feet and ankles do start to tire. We’ll have to do a northbound beach walk, or a southbound Atlantic beach walk to even it out.

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Single set of tracks

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One of the few sections not directly on the beach

The route became increasingly remote as we made our way South, save for the Pajaro Dunes and Moss Landing. Other than those two hotbeds of bustling civilization, we saw almost no one on the second half of the route. Untouched beach with not a human structure in sight was laid before us for hours on end. It was a surprisingly beautiful and vast landscape, being that it was only a day’s walk from home. 

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Lonely beaches

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Otter crossing in Moss Landing

Eventually, the beach became more populated as we drew near Monterey. After a couple nights of spectacular sunsets and even more spectacular cold-soaked dinners, we found ourselves back on pavement. A hearty breakfast was in order at a small cafe, and then it was off to the aquarium. There we were blown away by all sorts of weird and wonderful sea life. Not wanting to walk back home from Monterey, we were lucky enough to get a ride home from our friend Shelby. I was struck by how short the drive back was, maybe forty minutes. Feet may carry you slower, but they are a much better way to intimately explore a landscape. Keeps you fit too.

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Jellyfish at the Aquarium