We’ve been around for a while, my wife (Steph) and I. 20 years to be precise. That was scary to type it! Scary and exciting looking back and beyond. So last September we packed our bags, parked our kids at Gramma & Grampa (thank you!), and hopped on a plane for San Francisco and beyond on one of their hottest weather in years. Beyond being Santa Cruz, California, where we rented a cozy AirBnB overlooking the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
The park proved to be one of the most rewarding hikes through California’s redwood forests, with epic trails, views and old-growth trees of roughly 1,500 years old. And strangely, no mosquitos! Take that, American Mid-West!
And since we didn’t have to worry about our kids, we were able to hike with whatever speed we liked, and spend as much time as we wanted to study trees, wildlife or taking naps!
Regarding my gear, I packed a very light version comprised of my Nikon D750 with a 35mm lens for stills and the Sony a6500 attached to the Zhiyun Crane v2 gimbal for anything video. This rig was hanging attached to one of my backpack’s strap ready to film at any time. Hauling tons of gear on a trail can easily ruin the fun of hiking, and actually enjoying it. Remember you’re there to have a pleasant experience instead of becoming a sherpa’s mule.

So we spent a whole day in the park, admiring the spectacular redwood trees but barely exploring 1/4 of the whole region. It surely gave us a good dose of wanderlust and got us planning to come back again soon. We hiked the Observation Deck trail which brings you through Santa Cruz Sandhills,

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