Purisima Creek – Santa Cruz Mountains

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The peaceful eponymous creek of Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space, in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains.

This photograph is from Purisima Creek Redwoods, this time of Purisima Creek itself. This setting is near the western entrance of the park, where the woods flatten out after a long, steep descent through alternating scenes of redwood forests and coastal chaparral. While it is significantly more vigorous in the rainy season, Purisima Creek is nice in that it flows year-round (a trait most creeks in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains lack). This location unfortunately does not quite feel like true wilderness. It’s close enough to the entrance that civilization’s footprint can still be felt. However, I can’t help but imagine this place in a wilder time. I like to think it was a favorite haunt of local mountain lions. In fact, maybe it still is – mountain lion sightings have been reported on this very trail. Perhaps they know these leaning trees as the sign that the ascent up the mountain is beginning (or ending). Time to pause for a sip of water and maybe scratch their head on the horizontal trunk, before continuing the trek to their favorite hunting grounds.

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