Extreme Hammocking

Now that I had successfully hammocked over a ragging Gold Country creek I thought it was time to raise the stakes.

From my cabin base camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I headed upstream with my hammock, a book (Birds of Tropical America), and an adult beverage. It was time for some serious hammocking and I was planning to hammock over the mighty San Lorenzo River, Santa Cruz County’s largest river!

At just under 30 miles, the San Lorenzo River does not make the top 10 of the longest rivers in California (or the top 25 for that matter), but in December 1955, this river was a force to be reckoned with and with massive rainfall she jumped her banks and flooded downtown Santa Cruz. Now earthen dykes have been built up in order to tame her wintery wanderings.

The winter of 2016-17 have seen record rains and the river has stayed within her water course. But as I hiked upstream I noticed the toll that the high water level had metered out to the trees in the riparian flood zone. So many of the trees were now leaning downstream, almost at a vertical angle and some trees had been completely uprooted. Now this was going to be a challenge because I needed two vertical trees close enough together to pitch my hammock and I wasn’t seeing many.

Once I entered Henry Cowell State Park, I spotted a large, fallen redwood. This looked promising, now all I needed was a parallel fallen tree to attach the other end of the hammock. About 12 feet away was a smaller bay laurel that would do the job. And within 5 minutes, I was hammocking!

The Doublenest pitched between two vertical trees, with the mighty San Lorenzo River flowing below. The smaller bay laurel provided some bounce.

A sketcher in repose, Henry Cowell State Park.


One thought on “Extreme Hammocking

  1. Very cool! Thanks for sharing your stories and sketches! Looks like you are definitely enjoying your summer.


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