China Beach and on to Belmont

We broke camp for the last time for a while, leaving New Brighton State beach.

Before heading north, we drove toward the beach itself to check out the sea. It’s apparently a pretty popular spot for stand-up paddleboarding and surfing, and a bit of dope smoking too.

We also learned that the beach had been an enclave for Chinese immigrants until they were forced out. (Shocking I know.)

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Our next stop for the day was to visit one of Angie’s old grad school friends in Santa Cruz. I hadn’t met her before. I really enjoyed the visit, and I think Angie did too. She kindly offered us a lovely lunch of sandwiches, with some great vegetables, as well as sharing with me her recipe for hibiscus tea, which was delicious.

We headed on after lunch, taking a detour to check out the scene around one of the HI (Hosteling International) hostels on the route at Pigeon Point. Pigeon Point is home to a lighthouse that was built in 1871 but is currently in pretty poor repair, with some of it having collapsed recently. It’s also one of the tallest lighthouses on the west coast and its lens is the largest made for lighthouses (but is currently stored elsewhere on the site while repairs are under way). We walked around the area despite the wind and took several pictures.

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We didn’t tour the hostel, but they offer dorm and private rooms.

It was less than an hour from here to the place we had planned to stay for a couple of weeks while we get ourselves organized and figure out what is next. We pulled into Belmont’s Extended Stay America and unloaded the car about as much as we have in months, hoping we would be able to make some progress with our plans, or at least make some!

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