A mini-adventure, including looking for a hidden gravesite, this morning near Silicon Valley! A toasty day, with a temperature of 93F at one point. (One of these days I’ll try Columbia’s wicking shirts. For now I use my old collection of 4 lightweight long-sleeve running shirts with great SPF ratings.)
I parked my car at the not-so-well-known upper end of Uvas County Park. http://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/Maps%20Here/Pages/Uvas-Canyon-County-Park.aspx This little known entrance is accessed via Summit Road to Mt Bache Road. It includes several miles of dirt roads, which are properly graded for normal clearance 2WD cars, though I would be concerned of the roads were wet.
I strolled DOWN to the prominent Knibbs Knob, which is a significant hike from the main entrance of the park. Between where I parked and the turnoff to Knibbs Knob, I was looking for an outcropping, which according to my reliable source, contains the funeral urn of a family member that used to own this land! My source told me that when the land was transferred, the family stipulated that the urn would remain where it is in the upper reaches of the property. My source is reliable, but the location was lacking in details…I poked around a bit and failed. I did see one spot that warrants a further look, but it was in some deep, scratchy tick-and-poison-oak brush. Another time, perhaps!
After that short stroll, I decided to continue south on Summit Road, past the old and rusted sign that says “Private Road, No Trespassing”. I had been to this spot and turned-around several times before. I also talked to a few friends that had one through there, as well as done some research.
It seems that this “shortcut” down towards Mt Madonna County Park and Watsonville was not properly maintained by Santa Cruz County and the local residents formed the “Summit Road Association” to take matters into their own hands. They spent their own time and money repairing the road and erected gates. There was some back-and-forth legal wrangling, with the county still saying it’s a county road. Recently the gates have not been used, particularly after the big fire about 4 years ago. The sign about “no bicycles” is much newer and prominent. There are also several properties for sale back there. So…I ventured through the 6 mile stretch of road, waving at the 2 cars that I passed, with the goal of looking at some of the properties that are for sale, in case anybody asks… (Note: I would not do it on a bicycle, and I’m not responsible if you go and one of the locals gives you a hard time! If you know more about this stretch of road, I can add to, or modify my information.)
After 6 miles, and passing through the southern gate, the pavement begins again and I soon got to the Kim Son Monastery, http://www.kimson.org/ which graciously allows visitors. I took a few pictures and headed back the way I came. http://www.yelp.com/biz/tu-vien-kim-son-monastery-watsonville
I stopped in the Summit Store for 2 Arizona Iced Teas and a small piece of tasty, crumbly, 7-year-old Quebec extra sharp cheddar http://www.summitgrocerystore.com/ I was back home after about 5 hours and a little mini-adventure!
GPX track of the hike: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2265325