Part Two, Davenport, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Santa Cruz

Part Two,  Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Davenport, and Santa Cruz

Our home port was Half Moon Bay for the four day holiday weekend, however, our plan was to explore the nearby coastline north on one day and south on the other.

Half Moon Bay and other cities north were visited in part one of a three part story. So for part two of our trip and on the second day, we are headed down the coast towards Santa Cruz. We hadn’t considered going all the way to Santa Cruz even though it was only about an hour away. However, the drive was mellow with virtually no traffic, so we continued all the way to this larger coastal city.


Old Highway 1, north of Santa Cruz, south of Half Moon Bay

During the scenic hour long drive on the iconic Highway 1, we stopped at many beaches and state parks along the way. All we knew at the beginning was that we wanted to stop at the small town of Davenport on a search for some sea glass. The rest of the trip would be open to wherever the wind blew us. At our hotel, the elevator door had a huge photo and map of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse taken against a gorgeous orange sunset, so now this was on the list of places to see too.

Davenport:
I have heard people call this part of California; “the Slow Coast” because it is filled with small sleepy towns and Davenport is certainly one of those.

I wanted to visit Davenport Beach, because I had heard it is known for its sea glass hunting. There are videos on the internet of people using long scoops to grab the incoming sea glass before it gets pulled back out by the receding wave. With the water so cold up in Northern California, the hunters wear wetsuits and brave the incoming waves that can easily drag you out to sea.  I wanted to see this in action although my idea of sea glass hunting isn’t quite that extreme.

We did pull aside to visit a turn off just short of the actual town and combed the sand for sea glass.
Staying higher up on the beach and avoiding any incoming waves, we still managed to find a few pieces. I didn’t see anyone else hunting but it could have been the tide situation or this wasn’t the place I saw on the Youtube clips.

We drove a little further and came up the actual town of Davenport with its population of under 500 and one of those towns where if you blink, you just might miss it. There is another beach right in front of this area that is probably where I have seen the videos of the extreme sea glass hunters. We viewed the shoreline from the bluffs but since we had already tried our luck just a few minutes earlier, we decided not to take the trek down the hill.


The small town of Davenport on old Highway 1.

Continue reading “Part Two, Davenport, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Santa Cruz”

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Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay, Part One

There is a moment when you realize you are no longer in Coastal Southern California and have now crossed the imaginary line into the central part.    It isn’t the road signs that give it away, it is a feeling.

That moment when the traffic has subsided, your jaw relaxes, you are no longer chewing on the side of your mouth, and your body feels less stressed.

Don’t get me wrong there is traffic in the larger cities of the coastal north too.  It is just that there are so many small, quaint, and mellow towns in the central or northern part that make you feel like you are in a whole different world.

Our destination this time was Half Moon Bay.  It is a town I had passed by a few times on my way up north but one that I have always wanted to visit for a longer period.

So with four and a half days off from work, it was time to take the trek north and visit this town and many others as it turned out.

We took Interstate 5 to get there and were guided by GPS through a series of other freeways that eventually dropped us off in Half Moon Bay. It was a long trip that was not helped by the LA traffic with its stop and go.

We made a plan once we arrived in Half Moon Bay that we would investigate north one day and south the other.  On the third day we would slowly move our way south and visit among other places Monterey and Ventura.  We would spend the night in Santa Maria leaving us only three hours to get home on our last day.

It was a great plan and we never felt rushed.   Now all we had to do was try to avoid the rain that was predicted during our stay.

Part One starts at Half Moon Bay, then Pacifica, and eventually takes us over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to Sausalito.

Part One
The rain held off at least on this first day as we began exploration around Half Moon Bay. First stop was to hit the sand for some beach combing and sea glass hunting.

The bluffs were common place along the beaches in this area, making it very picturesque.  The towering and rugged cliffs contrasted against the pristine sand, while giant breakers came crashing on to the shore.


It looks like the water is going to hit JoJo, but there is about a three foot tall hill right in front of her.

I was overwhelmed on how large the waves were as they formed huge peaks and then exploded on the beach.   There would be no way I would swim in that ocean or even to wade knee high!   It appeared as if the outgoing waves could pull you off your feet and send you spiraling out to sea only to be tumbled back to shore by another huge roller.     I am not sure if this is how it always is or if the waves were just big this day.

Regardless, it is an awesome beach so we took a leisurely walk for about an hour while alternating between enjoying the coastline or looking down at the sand for sea glass.  The Pacific Ocean was beautiful this day but there was no sea glass to be found. Continue reading “Half Moon Bay”