Today I set out on an adventure to climb the mythical Tree 9. A huge tree located in the forrest surrounding the University of California Santa Cruz campus.
Along the way I picked up a Couchsurfer from New Zealand. Michael set out to see some of the states and "burn through his savings" before he got too far into his med degree. Along the convoluted way to find the tree we happened up on dorm BBQ for the students. Being the opportunists we are, Michael and I stepped into line for some grub. We asked the student in front of us if she knew how to get to Tree 9... "yeah it is that way" she pointed into the forest. A surfer dude chimed in, "Whoa you guys talking about Tree 9?" we got to talking and it turned out he was biking with his brother up from San Diego. They'd been on the road for 15 days and he'd just been up Tree 9.
Just then we hear an announcement. "Muffin eating contest in 5minutes!" Hell yeah muffins! I'm all for eating contests and enjoy the sport of consuming foods as fast as possible. It probably stems from my childhood days of plundering the all you can eat buffet tables before the restaurant realized I was eating their profits!
The contest was Muff-tastic! Second place ain't too shabby, I can eat me some muffins!
Loaded with good food and better directions we reach the mythical tree. Words cannot describe the feelings one has when perched upon a branch when the wind whispers through the forest. One girl sat watching them sway and listening. We talked of many beautiful moments encountered before I pressed on to the top.
I had a thought of conquering the tree by climbing to the top. It was a silly thought as I would be conquering it no more than if an ant felt he had conquered a human by scurrying around on him. I felt clear and refreshed, energized as the soft wind rustled by as I stood atop the tree. The view to the other side of the bay reminded me of looking across the ocean to the other side of Maui. There is a similarity between Santa Cruz and Maui for sure. One that makes me miss the place I call home.