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  • Writer's pictureLee Eel Eisler

Davenport and Santa Cruz, California (Van Life)

Updated: Aug 8, 2018

I really, really like the Santa Cruz area. From the magical forests to the beautiful beach's and everything in between. Note that I have not seen or done it all but here are pictures from what I did experience.

So if you see a field of flowers. Always stop and smell them. This was somewhere north of Santa Cruz on our way down Highway 1.

It was a cold rainy and windy day. I decided to stop at a beach just north of Santa Cruz to walk Wander as it was getting close to sunset. I found Greyhound Rock beach. It had a free parking lot to park in, dogs were allowed on the beach and it had a bathroom.

As I walked further and further down the path I saw that this beach was stunning. The view was terrific. Shortly after this picture was taken it started to rain and it was super windy but on the actual beach me and Wander had the whole place to ourselves besides one other couple. The wind was blasting sand pellets into my face so hard it was stinging. I climbed Greyhound rock in high winds which wanted to blow me off and I threw the ball for Wander. 

I parked off of different turnouts right on Highway 1 (PCH). There were signs that said no parking 10pm-6am but I spent about a week and a half parking off these turnouts and didn't have any problems...There was something weird that happened though. While I was at Greyhound Rock Beach a person who was there at the same time was later reported missing. A couple days after visiting that beach I had a knock on my door parked right at the spot I was at in the above picture. The knock woke me up, I looked out the back window and there was a police car. I looked at my phone and it was a little after 11pm. Crap, I thought to myself. He's going to want me to move I was thinking. I opened my door to see what the officer wanted. It turns out a girl went missing at Greyhound Rock Beach. I was there 2 days ago I told the officer. That's when she went missing he said. I told him the only other people I saw while I was there was a couple because it was rainy and really windy. They were there as a couple the officer told me. He said the guy returned to Sacramento, the girl didn't so people thought that was weird and reported her missing. Can I show you a picture asked the officer. Sure I replied. He showed me the picture but it did not look like the girl I saw, which is what I told the officer. He took down my name and number and gave me his card in case I heard anything. He didn't say anything about the fact I was parked after hours or clearly sleeping in my van so I just went back to sleep in the same spot.

The next morning still parked in the same spot I had my doors open making breakfast and I hear someone say hello as Wander started barking. I looked around my door and there were two men. One had a bullet proof vest that said Sheriff. The other had a cop necklace, a badge on a chain hanging around his neck. 

Is this about the girl who went missing I asked? Yes they replied. I told them that their buddy stopped by last night and the picture of the girl he showed me does not look like who I saw. They showed me the picture again and I told them the same thing. Then they asked me about my solar shower on the van, and asked how it worked. Then they parted ways.

My friends who live in Bonny Doon told me about finding sea glass on the beach in Davenport. I did some research and realized that it was not just any sea glass but special art sea glass from the Lundburg art studio. Story has it that the San Vicente river over flooded during a storm in the 1970's and washed all the scrap glass in the bins behind the warehouse down the river. Now people are finding beautiful pieces tumbled from the ocean. I also discovered this shop Rare Sea Glass which has a great collection for sale.

It was not a good time for glass hunting as far as I know because there was not a lot of gravel on the beach. That tunnel you see in the pictures is where the San Vicente river runs onto the beach.

We followed this river at the end of the beach up to some train tracks. Then we followed the train tracks.

We found this beach called shark fin cove which had a lot of gravel and I found a bunch of sea glass. Even some small pieces of the art glass!

Unfortunately people graffiti'd a bunch of the rocks but it is still an incredibly beautiful beach. I spent many days there.

I did sleep right in the Davenport Beach parking lot 2 nights with no problems. The sunset on a cloudy day is always a beautiful thing to see.

On the left is Santa Cruz Skatepark, the right is Derby Park. You must stop by both of these skateparks if you like to skateboard.

Finally I got to watch the sunset from a secret spot in the Bonny Doon Forest called the Moonrocks. I will always stop by these spots when passing by again. Until next time Davenport and Santa Cruz!

Check out the other awesome places I've experienced with van life:


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