I started out the day cooking breakfest for a half dozen 11yr olds... then went spelunking with Ashley a cool CSer from Santa Cruz. We talked and hiked into the forest on our way to the Porter Cave. It looked like someone had blocked off this cave by pouring a concrete cover. Luckily the demo work had already been done and we descended with ease. Of course we had our trusty hippo along for illumination and laughs. (Really! it laughed every time we flicked the light on)
Apparently the cave is home to a few endangered species... Most notably a pseudo scorpion. We crawled around inside the cavernous cave... I suppose that is a bit redundant... anywho we hit a mucky sticky part that made a sucking sloshing noise as we walked. It felt like walking through a puddle of caramel. Ash slipped and the hippo went flying sending batteries into the abyss. SHIT! we exclaimed as we were plunged into darkness... Luckily my camera came to the rescue and provided the infinitesimal amount of light needed to make out the round shapes in the muck. Batteries in we cross our fingers and click the switch. "huhuh huh" the hippo chuckled and sent reassuring light, scaring the darkness away not with light but laughter.
We walked out of that cave and towards Tree 9. I had to make another summit climb, this time to leave a token. My lucky flying elephant. A really great friend, who I have a cosmic connection with, gave it to me as a gift many years ago. I've used it as my travel inspiration. When it flies so do I. Ensuring safety and many fun adventures along the way.
Descending the tree we happened upon a little grove with prayers hung in the tree. Little scribbled pieces of paper hung from branches. Everything from "I wish to graduate UCSC" to "I wish you knew how amazing you are" to "I wish I had the ability to conjur carne asada burritos at will."
Many students were moving out so we took the liberty to use their carts as luges, careening down the sloped pavement. Fully intact we made our hasty exit.
Fast forward to having tea with a girl who stopped to chat me and another CSer up. We talked about traveling and adventures as I gave some pointers on using the Couchsurfing.org website. Out of nowhere tires screeching and **CRASH!!** A car collided with a motorcycle sending him skidding on the ground. Luckily he popped up quickly and looked unscathed. I dialed 911 and got a dispatcher on the line as I ran over to check on him. Shaken up, yet thankfully alright. The motorcyclist exchanged info with the driver. She was driving a Honda with a vanity plates: "What Ev" I had a laugh and took a picture. The motorcyclist laughed at the irony of the scene too. Thankfully everyone was fine! I helped drag the bike off the road and left my number.