June 13, 2017, Chiriaco Summit, CA-
Not that much has come easy to me, over the years, largely because I grew up among impatient peers and had to do things quickly, or not at all. Fortunately, my parents were a tad more sanguine, and gave me the space to master things at my own speed.
I mention this, because camping, while dear to my heart, has certain aspects, like putting up the tent, that have taken awhile to master. So, it’s been a wonderful affirmation that my tent has gone up, three times in a row, without a hitch. I know now that the whole discombobulation thing was a contrivance. Even with the wind, at San Onofre State Beach, my tent stayed up all night, as did the others.
So, the day dawned with a fine view of the ocean, and I felt a strong sense of confidence.
Coffee, another morning staple, has always come easier. Billy the Barrista, at Dana Point’s Crank and Grind Coffee House, put together a superb Cranked Up Americano. As the name suggests, it’ll get any sluggish beast firing on all cylinders.
My next impulse was to stop and smell the roses, so up to Doris Walker Overlook, I went. There is a commanding view of Dana Point Harbor, from this quiet redoubt, and I was able to offer my morning prayers in peace.
A sea of flowers is complemented by a sea of boats and the Pacific, itself.
After one further stop, at Corona del Mar public Library, to check my correspondence, it was time to head to Crystal Cove State Park, for a lunch meeting with a long-time friend. We have a mutual interest in the fortunes of the California coast, and the cottages of Crystal Cove are among our concerns. Her news was that the California Coastal Commission had granted Crystal Cove’s Preservation Society permission to renovate the north side’s dilapidated structures. In real terms, this means drawing blueprints, razing the existing structures, and building replicas. That is certainly far better than putting up more high rises and condos, which would be a travesty here.
Here are some scenes of the north side cottages.
After a fine lunch and lengthy catch-up conversation, at the Beachcomber, we walked a bit along the south beach, in search of sea shells. Those we found were embedded in several rocks.
Among the rocks which line this section of coast, here are two which are aligned perfectly.
There were many people enjoying the beach, as one would expect, on so fine a day. A couple had found the perfect perch, atop a rock that resembled a whale’s head.
After a couple of hours, it was time to say farewell, and I headed south to Aliso Beach, in the southern part of Laguna Beach, and collected a Ball jar of ocean water, for a grieving friend. Aliso, too, was packed, and as I was gingerly looking for a parking space, a beach ball sailed into the parking lot in front of me, pursued by a boy of about 10 or 11, just as I hit my brakes. No one was any worse for the wear, but it reminded me of the TV ad, where a little girl, pursuing a soccer ball, runs pell mell in front of a car- whose brakes are shown to be of superior quality.
The drive from Oceanside, through Vista, Fallbrook, Temecula and overland to Palm Desert, was uneventful, save for a couple of crazed drivers doing 80, on a winding road that safely can support people doing 60, if that. I always manage to pull off and let them go on their intrepid way, though seldom as quickly as they seem to want. The second one chose to pass a tractor trailer, on a curve, against a double yellow. I’d say his luck will run out, sooner or later.
Lastly, here is a scene at Cactus City Rest Area, uphill and east of Coachella. There are no cacti, at Cactus City, but I had a peaceful supper break.
Back to Arizona I go, if only for a couple of weeks, before family time ensues.