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Once More to the Sea

May 9 2016

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Hikers reached the Pacific Coast Highway around 5pm and boarded buses to San Gregorio State Beach, where many doffed their shoes and revelled in the cool, soothing ocean water, before repairing to a reception and dinner at TomKat Ranch generously hosted by Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor.

 

On a misty Saturday morning, nearly 40 hikers set out from Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve for the fifth annual Stanford to the Sea hike, a roughly 22-mile journey across the Santa Cruz Mountains organized by the Center in partnership with the Peninsula Open Space Trust.

The group, who by lunchtime reached 50 in number, enjoyed the well-maintained trails of Wunderlich County Park and Purisima Redwoods Open Space Preserve, and got to stop at regular intervals for informal talks about the area's open spaces and the western environmental issues in an era of climate change.

On the Purisima Creek Trail

Tom Davids, a docent and former mayor of San Carlos, told the story of James Folger, who at 14 years old arrived in California with his two brothers and began selling packets of coffee (for which his company would become famous) to gold miners. Folger's fortune helped him purchase a large estate on the Peninsula after the 1906 earthquake; these lands eventually entered public ownership as Wunderlich County Park, which winds up the hills to Skyline Boulevard and constitutes a fairly uphill first half of the route. Davids stopped a second time to talk about techniques pre-mechanical loggers used to down the imposing old-growth redwoods that grew there in the early 20th century – logs that helped rebuild San Francisco.

Over sandwiches at lunch, the two-time former Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes, of Stanford Law School, spoke about Friday's day-long conference organized by the Stanford Woods Institute of the Environment. The purpose of the gathering of policymakers, researchers, and business leaders was to help set a climate change agenda for the next presidential administration.

Near the bottom of Purisima Redwoods Open Space Preserve in Half Moon Bay, walkers took a break to hear from Nicole Heller and Jennifer Lynch of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, which has acquired many miles of lands and committed them to conservation, recreation, and sustainable cultivation.