Santa Cruz has found a special place in my heart! Kevin and I got there with plans to stay only for a day or two and we ended up spending six days there! There is so much to do! With access to mountains and beaches it was hard to leave! We originally went there to meet up with a friend, Bree, we met at CaliRoots last year! The plan was to link up, then go camping together out towards Big Sur. The first thing I did when we got there was mountain bike, so I was instantly hooked. And then beaches came into play! Santa Cruz is a beach town with hippies everywhere! Everyone was very nice! Other converted school buses, RVs, and vans all over the place! Hippies everywhere! Weed everywhere! Good food everwhere!! So hard to leave! The first place I mountain biked was in the Nisene Marks State Park and Soquel Demonstration State Park. The loop I did took me through both parks. Met a local in the parking lot who gave me a sick ride. If you look it up on MountainBikeProject.com you can find it. From the parking lot I climbed up the road for a couple miles, then took a right onto a fire road, and climbed up that for a bit to a view point with a bench. The signletrack trail behind the bench is the “Ridge Trail”. That was a super fun kind of flowy trail that connected me with the “Flow Trail”. The Flow Trail was sick!! Three and a half mile decent on a flow trail! Some of it was a bit eroded or rutted out, but for the most part it was incredible!! Highly recommend hitting this trail if you are in the area! Once you get off the trail you have a three and a half mile ride on a road back out to the parking lot. Very nice loop! It was about sixteen miles or so total. If you want to keep going you can connect with “Sulfur Trail”, nicknamed Suffer, on your way back to the parking lot and climb that back up to Ridge trail to connect with other downhill trails or the flow again! Most the trails are one direction so you will not see too many people even if it is busy!! Thank you Kevin, the local I met, for all the advice! After biking we headed into town and went to Sunny Cove Beach! Beautiful, local beach spot that Bree took us to with her friends. We kicked it there for a few hours. Smoked koosh, napped, and jumped in the ocean! Then after chillin at the beach we went to Bree’s house, had a bonfire, and cooked chicken sausage and vegetables over the fire!! That was day one in Santa Cruz!!!! Writing that made me realize even more why we could not leave! HA! Day one was amazing! Kevin and I were able to park the bus out front of Bree’s place the whole time we were in Santa Cruz. Woke up to the police one morning, first time that has happened in the POW Bus, but they were cool with it just wanted to make sure we were not murders. One of the officers came into the bus and I am positive he just wanted to see the inside. I think he might quit his job and buy a bus!! AHHAHAH! As soon as he walked in he was like “Ah this is cool!” YES! On the second day I went mountain biking again. I dropped Kevin off near downtown. He long boarded around and chilled at the beach. I went biking at Wilder Ranch State Park. This area is beautiful!!! So many different trails! I did the single track loop I found on MountainBikeProject.com! So much different terrain in this park! It was amazing! I would be cruising with the ocean in sight through a meadow with grass almost as tall as me, to being in a super lush, cool, and green forest surrounded by Redwoods, then back out to super dry and hot rocky terrain. So cool! All sorts of terrain! One of my favorite days biking for sure! I did just over twenty miles this day! I was having so much fun I could not stop! Loving my new bike!!! Enchanted Loop was my favorite trail in Wilder Ranch for sure!! It has a super rooted out techy downhill section that you can rip and get some sick air on!! This day was so much fun! If you are going into Wilder I highly recommend this route! On the third day we drove around and ran a bunch of errands. We were on the hunt for wet suit and surfboard!! Drove all around Santa Cruz and Monterey. Got a wetsuit from Play It Again Sports and a Wavestorm surfboard from Cowell Surf Shop!! That evening we walked down the “Wharf” and back before dinner. That is the main tourist dock in Santa Cruz. On the fourth day in Santa Cruz we went surfing. We spent the day at “The Hook” at the end of 41st Street!! Great beginner spot! The waves were not too big and there were not too many people there. The tide was low enough for there to be a beach so we chilled down on the sand for the day and surfed! Beautiful day!! Perfect weather! Perfect weather everyday we were in Santa Cruz! After surfing all day and cooking dinner in the bus we stopped at Safeway for ice cream and a tall boy of Modelo! Hit up Cowell Beach to watch the sunset, eat ice cream, smoke Js, and share a tall boy!!! Another perfect day! On the fifth day Kevin and I split up again. He went surfing and I went biking. I went to Wilder Ranch State Park again and did a different route this time. Again, I got it off of MountainBikeProject.com. I believe it was called the Wilder Ranch Loop. It was a lot of fun!!! I really enjoyed the backcountry section of it! Added an extra loop in the route by hitting Enchanted Loop again because I liked it so much!! The exit out of the backcountry was the only down side of this route. I recommend making sure that the Baldwin Loop is clear cut if you are planning to do this one. It was not clear cut, there was barely a trail, which was kind of cool at first, until I hit thorns…. It would be a sick downhill exit to the ocean if it was clear cut, but the day I went it was not. Once I got out to the beach and to the coast I was stoked again!!! What a beautiful way to finish off a ride! I sipped on some water, had a snack on the beach, and then I was riding my mountain bike right along side the ocean on top of these big cliffs back to where I had the bus parked! Another beautiful bike ride in Santa Cruz. I think it was about fifteen miles! While I was biking my friend from Chicago, Kevin Dreads, and his girlfriend, Hannah, got into town and linked up with the kid bro!! From mountain biking I went to the beach they were all chilling at! They were at “The Hook” again! Such a good spot! We caught up, smoked some koosh, watched Kevin surf, and enjoyed the rest of the sun! We left that beach to go to another beach for dinner! We spent the evening and night at Sunny Cove. Brought a charcoal grill down and grilled up a delicious shrimp and vegi dinner!! Once the sun went down we lit up a bonfire in the sand, ate smores, and chilled out under the stars next to the ocean! I LOVE YOU SANTA CRUZ!!!! On our last day there we had breakfast with Bree! She let us get all our electronics charged up, waters filled, and took showers!!! So grateful for everything Bree did for us!! Mad thanks!!! We hit the road that afternoon to Big Sur!! I had an absolutely amazing fantastic incredible time in Santa Cruz! Much love for that town and all the people there! Onto the next adventure! SMASH LIFE!