We eventually made our way up to Santa Cruz, a very cool town that is much cooler when you find out that redwood forests are just up the road!
My friend Danielle, who is living in San Francisco now, came down to Santa Cruz to hike the redwood forests with me, and they were amazing. We hiked down to a stream that reminded me of the streams I used to explore as a young kid – except redwoods lined it! We jumped in and enjoyed the sunshine that came through along the water trail.
Upon coming back up to the trailhead, we were in the middle of discussing what to do next when a cyclist coming around the corner caught my eye – she looked familiar. “MEGANNN!!!” I screamed, mostly as a pure reaction. I know Megan from when I lived at Toolik Lake on the North Slope of Alaska – she and I became good friends not only through our love of limnology, but also (probably moreso) through our love of bikes. She slammed on the brakes and turned with the obvious question in her mind, ‘who the hell is calling my name out here?’ She soon realized it was me and was about as taken aback as I was – we chatted for a long time and she informed me that she had a race the next day in San Francisco, which Danielle, Meghan D., and I ended up going to see – it was a blast.