High in the hollows of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a narrow private dirt road winds its way up the forested ridges to a handful of scattered homes and off-the-grid “alternative” farms. Access obviously is not easy. To get to the summit of one of the county’s least accessible peaks I had contacted the family who owned the surrounding land and made arrangements to drive up with them early one Saturday morning. Along dusty dirt road uphill were scattered derelict cars and long board fences with keep-out warnings. Fifty years ago their cabin had hosted regular overnight campouts for a community of active folk dancers. Now the site had fallen into disrepair.
We parked and started walking the few hundred yards to the peak, past the last of the remnants, then onto an overgrown track through a regrowing forest. Already there was a sense the mountain was beginning to reclaim the land. Fog lingered over the woods, muting the light, perfect for photography. Afterwards our host shared memories of the old-time get-togethers, images of song and dancing and laughter receding into the mist.