Purisima Creek Redwoods
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 is near the confluence of several large trails, and close enough to the entrance that civilization's metaphorical footprint can still be felt (if not literally seen or heard). 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 (maybe it still is – mountain lion sightings have been reported on this very trail). Perhaps they know this set of leaning trees as the sign that the ascent up the mountain is beginning (or ending), pause for a sip of water, maybe scratch their head on the horizontal trunk, before continuing the trek to their favorite hunting grounds.