A SoCal Break, Day 2: Crystal Cove

8

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

A sea of flowers is complemented by a sea of boats and the Pacific, itself.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Among the rocks which line this section of coast, here are two which are aligned perfectly.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Back to Arizona I go, if only for a couple of weeks, before family time ensues.

 

 

A Small-Time Mariner’s Voyage, Day 12: Meanwhile, Back On Land

1

Oct. 22, 2014, Newport Beach- Each time I venture out to San Diego, I make a foray into Orange County, and usually try to get up further along the coast.  This time was no different, and I met an online friend and mentor at Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach, in mid-day.  J is always enthusiastic about the California coast, and is a good source of information about the state of affairs in SoCal, which is more crucial to the welfare of the rest of us than we might care to think.

The weather was dry and mild, when we landed in San Diego, two days earlier.  It was a nice Monday and Tuesday in San Diego, as I mentioned previously.  Wednesday morning found me headed north, on a smooth-flowing freeway and with comparatively little traffic on the Pacific Highway, from Dana Point up to Crystal Cove.  There were about a dozen people on the beach itself, being Wednesday of a school week.   As we strolled the beach, the work of a couple of children was in evidence.SAM_3136

Beachcomber Cafe, where we had lunch, is a reliable spot, for good food and entertaining people-watching.  J and I have been here twice before, and spent close to an hour talking of her concerns about California and of my experiences in Honolulu and  at sea.

After lunch,we focused on the troubled north side cottages of the beachfront.  Crystal Cove Alliance is working on restoration of the deteriorating structures, and has largely completed the work on the south side.  The rest of the work on the north will likely begin in December, according to the flyer I read.  These cottages are actually unique for Orange County beaches, which are largely structure-free, aside from changing rooms and lifeguard towers.  Their restoration would be a fine achievement for Newport Beach.

SAM_3139

SAM_3141

SAM_3143

For more on Crystal Cove, please see my earlier post:  “Back to Crystal Cove”, 4/5/2013.

After, J bid me farewell, I decided to end my northward quest, for now, and headed back towards Arizona, opting to take the back roads from Oceanside to Palm Desert.  It’s a winding route, but traffic is minimal, especially once past Temecula.  I stopped only to wonder at Cahuila Tehanet, just southwest of Palm Desert.

SAM_3146

SAM_3147

SAM_3148

The rugged outback of SoCal’s Colorado Desert seems to be one of the sub-state’s best-kept secrets. Well, my list just keeps getting longer.  For the moment, though, I felt the homeward tug, and made it to Blythe, and Relax Inn- recharging, before driving back to Prescott, the following day.  Like Arnold, I’ll be BAAHCK.