Orphaned again this Christmas. But rather than linger over the absence of home and family this season, I decided to do something epic. Thus the Santa Cruise to Santa Cruz was born.

Galen Jackson and I have been riding brothers for years now. He was an obvious choice for this ride because of his dedication to Santa Claus and love for 96.5 KOIT, “the official Christmas music station.” He even pre-empted the ride by creating this wikipedia entry. We left from my house in the Mission in San Francisco at daybreak.

We wished many a “Merry Christmas” (and some a “Merry KOITmas”) through Golden Gate Park and enjoyed Wham’s “Last Christmas” on KOIT.

Ocean Beach. Some of the City’s homeless were just waking up on shore hoping to find gifts from Santa buried in the sand. Steel Reserve? A new pipe?

Pacifica is beautiful in that early morning light.

Oh Highway 1! How guide me! Like Rudolph’s nose to Santa’s sleigh.

Amazing views all day. Each one a gift.

30 miles down, 60 to go.

I think this was some of the wreckage of a school bus. I hope the surviving children got new watercolors and kneepads in their stockings.

Devil’s Slide. I don’t see the big deal. It’s not like a tightrope or anything. I thought it was pretty. Satan is just a mixed up version of Santa anyway.

Quick stop for urination, candycanes and vistas.

Is that “Jingle Bell Rock?” Turn it up.

Bianchi was the tenth reindeer.

A few more hits later and we stopped again for lunch on a peaceful bluff overlooking the sea.

Galen was missing Christmas morning with his family to be here. But the way he sees it is Santa does so much for us, that this one is for Santa.

I did for Santa, all those hardworking elves, little baby jesus and James Brown.

Candycanes, so gross.



Too much nog.

After four straight hours of KOIT and multiple renditions of “Feliz Navidad,” we put on some Danzig. He’s worships Santa, right?

Strapping the box down, securing the gifts.

Pescadero Lighthouse.

Xmas on the beach.

Christmas doesn’t get better than this.

There was something pretty and colorful out there.

The coast had dozens of pumpkin patches. Someone should have told them it’s not Halloween, it’s Christmas.

Santa might have flown all over the entire world last night (except to Muslim countries, Israel and most of Asia), but we cruzed a solid 90 miles. And I still made it to Oakland for a vegan Christmas dinner.

We smeared the Christmas Spirit down that coast like gravy on a biscuit. A special thanks goes out to Dick and Joan Jackson for picking us up a raising Galen and giving me that little touch of family on Xmas day. And thanks to KOIT for sponsoring our trip, even if they didn’t know it. And, of course, to Santa for being so fat and jolly.