Tromp Blog

My Ride to the EcoFarm Conference

Ken Foster by his beloved Monterey Bay.

Feb. 23, 2015—Just over one month ago, Jan. 20, 2015, marked a unique and unlikely achievement—my fifteenth annual bicycle ride from my hometown of Santa Cruz to the annual Eco Farm Conference, at the Asilomar conference grounds in Pacific Grove—about 60 miles round-trip. That constitutes more than 200 hours of ride time and a total of 1,800 miles.

No Left Turn Unstoned in La Honda

Ken Kesey's infamous house today.

The rolling grasslands of La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve are like a sublime hallucination this time of year; their contours, a sensuous geometry. A breeze sweeps through the clearing and the lush green shivers with life. The velvety slopes make me want to strip off my clothes and perform wild, flailing somersaults down the hill.

In Love With A Santa Cruz Bantam

Mm-mmm. The Bantam's 5" of travel make for "almost laughably easy" ride over Wilder ruts.

"The geometry and controls of the Santa Cruz Bantam are such that I was able to forget I was on a bike, and left me feeling like I was skipping along the road super-fast without any effort. I know that sounds cheesy."

Hiking Through Quicksilver and ‘The Legend of New Almaden’

The remains of the April Tunnel Trestle.

This story begins with a mysterious mural—153 square feet of bizarre suffering and eerie salvation. From the upper left corner, a demon with legs like coiled springs descends upon men in loincloths.

Coast Dairies Tromp

This is a frequent sight at Coast Dairies, a scenic swath of coastal hills and redwood canyons between Wilder Ranch and Swanton Road.

A hike at Coast Dairies, subject of a new campaign for a Santa Cruz Redwoods National Monument.

Jade Cove and the Conscious Unconscious

A view of the South Cove from the top of the trail.

February 2013. I am freediving in water the color of the Ring Nebula. My body slinks through a labyrinth of boulders. My mind is lost among a mosaic of algae, sponges, limpets and barnacles. It is seeking, seeking, seeking jade’s smooth and lustrous wink.

Fungus: The Fruit of Winter

Jack-o-Lantern mushrooms photographed by Jason Hollinger.

Parks Interpreter Rose Nelson gives the lowdown on the mushrooms found at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and explains the wonder of "winter's fruit."

Lost and Found: Sea to Summit on Big Sur’s Cone Peak

Like all climbs from the ocean side of Big Sur, the payoffs are immediate and breathtaking.

It’s a beautiful Christmas morning. At roughly 8:30 am, I park my car across Highway 1 from the Kirk Creek Campground, 45 miles south of Big Sur Valley. High overhead lurks the hidden marble summit of Cone Peak.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s California

Although he only spent one year here, it is difficult to gauge which made more of an impression on the other, California on Stevenson or he on the state.

The 2014 Hilltromper Gift Guide

Designed in Santa Cruz, the Nightshift bike light lets you ride into the night with style.

Got a special adventurenik on your list? We've got you covered.