Pardon me as I grouse like a impatient adult who doesn’t understand teens. It is a Monday, after all.
I live in Santa Cruz County, California. We have outdoor and recreational opportunities galore around here: mountains, bike trails, and even mountain bike trails. There’s a huge ocean with world class surfing. This place is a travel destination with an amusement park and the usual collection of campy tourist traps. Beyond that, we have museums, libraries, a marine research center. We have 20 state parks in this second smallest county in California.
Santa Cruz County is home to exotic wildlife and habitat, with redwood forests and banana slugs in the hills, bobcats in the coastal scrub, sea lions along our beaches and tide pools, a kelp forest with curious sea otters just off shore, and migrating whales visible from the coast.
And yet, I still hear the universal teen lament: “There’s nothing to do around here.”
I know how it is — I remember as a teen that I’m supposed to be jaded about freakin’ marvelous things like whales, sea lions, roller coasters and other local attractions.
So it always thrills me to see teens with initiative who create their own entertainment. Last weekend, I saw a group of guys with shovels, rakes, boards and bikes who created their own freeride track to shoot video of each other doing jumps.
They weren’t smoking, drinking, stealing, or otherwise causing any kind of trouble. They’re just a group of guys out having a good time with their bicycles. They even did a little bit of trail maintenance on the way for access to their informal mountain bike park.