Santa Cruz County High Point Trip Report
Date: December 14, 2003
With the end of the Christmas season drawing close, I figured I'd better get Santa Cruz out of the way
before I was stuck until next year. After a late start, I meandered out to 35 south, past 9, and found the
parking lot for Castle Rock State Park. Using my usual system of only using past trip reports and GPS
locations, I headed off down 35 looking for the 2nd right turn. It was a short easy jaunt, and clearly marked
with a "Mt. McPherson Christmas Tree" sign. I headed off that way, followed the dirt road off to the left
through the open white metal gate, and after a few hundred more yards, turned into the Christmas tree farm proper.
I tried the Eddie Murphy trick of just pretending like I belonged there and sauntered by the
converted RV office, down the parking lot, and around to the left into the other parking lot.
Within a minute, I managed to spy the official marker, and was about to snap off the obligatory picture.
But then one of the guys found me! I hadn't even got the coveted photographic proof, so visions of my
Schwiekerized claim were filling my head. But wait -- he wanted to know how some strange guy could just
magically find the marker (I guess he'd witnessed my near beeline to the spot mere moments earlier), so I
attempted to wow him with the pinpoint accuracy of the GPS. Luckily, he was a worker on his first year at
the tree farm, and he hadn't even seen the BM himself. So, I figured a bit of Covillizing was in order.
Three days ago, I hadn't even heard of Covillizing, but today I invoked the time honored principle. We got to
talking about this and that, he was quite a friendly guy, and before you know it, he'd given me the three cent
tour of the entire farm, which certainly included a Lobdellization of all points around that parking lot and the
BM itself. He also mentioned that they'd had a few other visitors, but not too many this year, that the farm
was only open the four weekends right before Christmas, and a small reading of the riot act on how the land
was for the tree farm, not for a "tourist destination".
By this time, it was about 5 PM so it was time for me to get out of there. I headed back down the same way
I came up (instead of taking the clearly marked "exit" route), and sure enough, an official tree farm truck
passed me as I was hiking back down the entrance road. The kindly chap in it waved to me and seemed in
quite good humor as he drove by. Only later would I realize he was laughing because he'd just locked the
barbed wire entrance gate! But, being almost 8 feet tall, I simply stepped over the gate and headed back to
my car. Another funny plot foiled!
Between the gate and the main road, I saw a pair of guys looking quite high-pointerish with books and
hiking gear on the way up; I wonder if they jumped the closed gate or not. I passed their car and they
looked like they were well prepared to conquer the rest of California, with snowshoes and other survival
gear prominently displayed!
And thus, as the sun set, I returned to my car, California County #8 done, and myself much wiser for the use
of the sage skills of the uber-pointers.
Author: Robert Greene