Los Angeles Times

On Santa Cruz, California's largest island, foxes play and a traffic jam is 6 kayaks

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, Calif._Before I tell you about my glorious solitude on Santa Cruz Island, let's be clear that there is some congestion among the coastal cliffs and grassy hills.

For instance, if there's a sea caves tour, you might see half a dozen folks dragging yellow plastic vessels into the shallows, all at once. Kayak traffic.

If several couples decide to hike the Potato Harbor Overlook, you might meet them all on the clifftop at lunchtime, surveying the swells below. Foot traffic.

And on weekends, when boats from Ventura arrive, you will see scores of passengers come ashore at Scorpion Anchorage as a National Park Service ranger tells them what to expect here on California's largest island. Tourist traffic, in its mildest form.

What you won't find is cars, which is why I showed up in late spring for 48 hours of hiking, kayaking and camping.

The car-free life, after all, is a slow, quiet echo of how we once lived, a daydream an Angeleno may harbor. Depending on how technology evolves, we may have more car-free days ahead of us.

But I'm not waiting. In the months ahead, I'm hoping to visit several

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