Dan and Hannah Hike the Bluff Trail at the University of California, Santa Barbara 2020

UCSB calle ocho

Our winter rental ranch house in Carpinteria

Let’s lay all the cards on the table.  The stories from the West Coast are true!  California is one muy expensivo place to live.  As homeowners in Maine, Hannah and I couldn’t own a comparable home here in Carpinteria, let alone in upscale Montecito or Santa Barbara.  The modest three bedroom ranch we rent in winter (their off-season) is valued at $1.3 million.  Click here to check out our VRBO.  Who else can’t afford to live in Carpinteria?  Their teachers, fire fighters, and police!  In their dreams.

UCSB gas prices

Gas price in Carpinteria with my one-speed beach cruiser in the foreground

Check out these gas prices in Carpinteria when gas is $2.65 in Maine.  That said, California is a leader in reducing emissions and giving a sh** about the Climate Crises that has our lives staring down the gun barrel of trouble with a capital T.

Stepping down from soapbox, I present to you one of the jewels of the University of California system – The University of California, Santa Barbara.

UCSB map

Twenty-five minutes north along The 101 are the bluff trails of UCSB.  Even for Californians, the total cost of one year at UCSB is $36K.  Out-of-state students pay $64K for this selective state school (36% acceptance rate).

UCSB 1A east cliffs

Parking at the Goleta Beach State Park on the first Tuesday in January, we walk a half mile along the coastline to the bluff trails to enter campus.  Being low tide, we take the stairs down to the surfer’s beach to check out the cliffs above us.  A year ago at high tide, we saw officers on a ski-do rescue a distressed surfer.  Click here for that story and pictures.

UCSB 2B north cliffs north

North side


UCSB 3A from the beach north

North side

Once on the north edge of campus, Hannah and I take another bluff trail facing the Pacific.  Much of this Campus Point is covered with ice plant, an exotic invasive scourge that competes with native plants by forming thick mats that cover the landscape.  It’s California’s bad brother to the South’s kudzu.  Click here for the kudzu blog.

UCSB 4 ice plants

Ice plants

UCSB 4A heron with ice plants

Up close and personal with a heron among the ice plants

Easily descending on a trail to the beach, we see three coeds dive into shoreline surf of the 59F waters of the Pacific this first week of January.  When we ask how it feels, one claims it’s amazing!  But for us, we believe the math: 59F is 59F.

UCSB 5 apts on cliff

Off-campus student housing at UCSB

UCSB 5A deck above cliffs

Over time, the bluffs they are acrumbling.  Notice the vulnerability of the deck this winter of 2020.

UCSB map to PT

After two hours of hiking/campus walking, we lunch at Pilgrim Terrace in Santa Barbara.  PT is an affordable living complex of apartments whose director John believes that if his lower income residents have at least one nutritious meal per day in a social setting, their health will improve dramatically.  To that end, the complex grows vegetables on site.

UCSB towers of lettuce

Towers of lettuce grow efficiently at Pilgrim Terrace

To raise funds, PT allows others to lunch for a mere $7.  Check out the lo mien shrimp dish (count ‘em five shrimp) with roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts, a green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, cottage cheese, and, a personal favorite, croutons.  In addition, the pea soup has kale for those of you who donate blood and need to raise your hemoglobin level.

UCSB 9 PT meal H

Lunch al fresco at Pilgrim Terrace in January

Our treat next time you come to California’s Central Coast.

6 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Hike the Bluff Trail at the University of California, Santa Barbara 2020

  1. It’s been years since we visited Santa Barbara but remember it as a lovely place even in January. Location, location! Our modest Florida house on a tiny lot near the Gulf coast, at half the size of our NY house with 4 acres, is worth more than twice as much.

  2. Time to catch my breath…. ….such interesting data in today ‘s blog post.

    And I wanted to tell Hannah that I ordered the book she mentioned about end of life issues today.

    Enjoy these last few days!! xoxo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s