My Santa Cruz roommate George Kovalenko and I went down the San Lorenzo River on our surfboards in 1955, during the biggest flood in Santa Cruz history.
The water was up over the parking meters on the main street. It was a gray, drizzly day, and George and I put in by Paradise Park and got swept down the river, along with cars, uprooted trees, sections of houses, and refrigerators. Every bridge across the river had collapsed; it was pretty scary.
When we got out down by the ferris wheel at the river mouth, the cops said they were going to arrest us, but they got diverted by other emergencies and we slipped away.
These 67-year old photos were almost illegible. Rick Gordon performed some Photoshop magic to get this much out of them.
Note: I was interviewed by Jessica York, a reporter for the Santa Cruz Sentinel yesterday for an article on our adventure.