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Santa Cruz Island

On March 29, 2014, I went with my friend, Lori, and The Valencia Hiking Crew to Santa Cruz Island for a day of hiking. Santa Cruz is the largest of the eight Channel Islands and one of five islands that make up Channel Islands National Park. Once privately owned, it is now 24% National Park and 76% Nature Conservancy.

We met up with our fellow VHC friends at Island Packers in Ventura, securing a spot on the upper deck, outside, for the one hour boat ride to the island. So far in my boating experience, I’ve never gotten seasick (knock on wood), but from what I gather, it’s something that can happen to you at any time, so I debated over whether or not I should take any preventive measures. Since I’ve never had a problem with boats, roller coasters, or other topsy-turvey, spinning carnival rides (knock on wood again), I decided I’d be ok. And I was, thank God. What I wish I had done was pack long pants and gloves. That wind was more bitter-cold than I had anticipated. On the return trip we warmed our hands with cups of hot chocolate, which you can buy onboard, as well as other food and beverages.

It was very warm on the inland trails. I wasn’t able to keep up with the pace of the group, so I ended up spending the day hiking alone on the cooler cliffside trails.  Normally I would never recommend hiking alone, but I had a trail map and too much plenty of water with me. I also knew my friend wouldn’t take off on the return boat without me (would she???), so it was really a wonderful experience, hiking in solitude.

If you’re not into hiking, sea kayaking, or camping, there is nothing for you here.


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