I was riding in a mini-school bus (really just a van) with about 6 other students on the way back to Santa Cruz from Monterey, where I was attending 9th grade at York school. Suddenly, it felt like we were being blown all around the highway!
We stopped in the middle of the highway: I think we were somewhere around Watsonville by then. No one was around, and it appeared like the asphalt was rippling like a carpet that was being shaken from one end and WE WERE STANDING ON IT! It was kinda like surfing…that was just one of the aftershocks.
None of us really knew what to think about it, even the teacher who was driving. We were all kind of speechless and dumbfounded, but eventually the bus continued on so that we could be dropped off at our respective “bus stops.” Mine was in the Kmart parking lot.
I decided to walk home (which ended up making my mom really mad) like I normally did, and saw many curious sights along the way. Like the tile store that I passed everyday on my way home– it had tiles all strewn about everywhere. And the businesses seemed to be closed. And I noticed several chimneys and parts of buildings that had crumbled.
The whole thing seemed really weird, and I know it sounds impossible, but I didn’t really put it all together what a big deal it was. I still hadn’t heard the radio or any reports of how serious the damage was. I continued to be shocked when I came in my front door and saw the floor covered in cereal and broken dishes. I spent some time outside with the neighbors before my mom came home: she seemed really stressed out. I couldn’t really figure out why, except maybe that she was mad that I hadn’t waited for her at Kmart.
In the next days I remember listening to the radio, camping in the backyard and eating melted ice cream at the grocery store…it was all pretty exciting. Next I remember that downtown Santa Cruz had to move inside of tents and it was actually like that for quite awhile…like years!