No Frozen Hearts

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February 17, 2019, Banning-

It was a fairly pleasant morning and early afternoon on the Orange County coast, with stops at San Clemente and Dana Point.  The first was to check out the beach and surf, after noting, from the highway, that the beach further down, in San Onofre, was cluttered with organic debris.

San Clemente Beach was occupied by a few True Believers, and was just barely safe for them to try surfing.  The outing lasted for less than ten minutes, though, as the boogie boarders observed a pretty strong undertow.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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A TV News reporter, at Ocean Beach, in San Diego, reported that “The sea is agitated”.  True enough, when recognizing that the planet, and its components, are living entities and that there are consequences to mistreatment.

I later had a nice lunch, at Harpoon Henry’s, in Dana Point, with a long-time friend.  During our wide-ranging conversation, her lifetime of watching the changes in southern California’s climate revealed just how disconcerting the increasing dryness is, on the ground.  I have a number of friends in southern California and have long watched, with alacrity, the effects of drought on the region.  Lake Cachuma, near Santa Barbara, her home town, has been a focal point of her watch, as it provides for much of Santa Barbara’s water supply.  Its ups and downs have been a concern of mine, as well as the levels in nearby Lake Casitas-and Lake Mead, for that matter.

After bidding her farewell, I made an easy drive on Hwy. 76 to I-215 and Murrieta, where another friend and her family welcomed me for a catch-up session.  Come to find out, their extended family members are the owners and operators of Outlaw Donuts, one of my favourite spots in Prescott.  One of the gratifying things of my life has long been that, no matter the outside temperature, or the circumstances of the world, I can go just about anywhere and find a friend with whom to pass the time- and that there are often few degrees of separation between one friend and another.

It’s chilling, and quite gloomy, weather-wise, in this town at the base of the San Jacinto range, but this room at Sunset Motel is toasty and I will get a warm welcome tomorrow morning, at Gramma’s Country Kitchen-which I’ve visited several times, over these past eight years.  The drive back to Home Base ought to be interesting:  Eight inches of snow are reported on Prescott’s west side.

I know there are no frozen hearts in my life, though.

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 236: Back to California, Day 6- Part 1,The South-facing Coast

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July 22, 2015, Santa Barbara- The south-facing coast of California has fascinated me since I first came upon Santa Barbara, in 1980. My family only caught fleeting glimpses of the area in 1992, during a business trip to Santa Monica, and again in 1997, on our return from a visit to Santa Cruz.  It was enough, though, to make Refugio Beach a favourite and to make a personal vow to visit the interior of the “Old Mission”, as the residents here refer to Mission Santa Barbara, two miles from downtown.

The day in this salubrious area will be posted in three parts: First, Lake Casitas, Carpinteria and the beach around Stearns Wharf are the foci of this post.  Next, I will present the grand Santa Barbara County Courthouse.  Lastly, the stage will be occupied by the Mission.

As I stated earlier, this is the only part of the California coast that faces southward.  A compass on Stearns Wharf illustrates this.

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I began the day, though, with a brief stop along the northern edge of Lake Casitas, a reservoir and fresh-water fishing mecca for local residents.  The lake had been down, severely, over the past three years.  It looked a tad healthier today, from what I had seen in earlier photos.  Still, it has a good ways to go, and so a good, wet monsoon, followed by an El Nino soaking, would seem to be in order.

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Carpinteria is the first beach town that greets the traveler, coming northward into Santa Barbara County.  My main focus here was brunch, so I stopped at Jack’s Bistro and Famous Bagels.  Being from the East Coast, I am fussy about my bagels, but the pancakes here are delicious and Daisy was a very nice server.

I took about a half-hour to look around downtown.  Beach-wise, my main focus would be Stearns Wharf, so I did not pay to stop at Carpinteria State Beach.  What caught my eye near Jack’s was the largest known Torrey Pine.

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The town is named for the industrious nature that the Spanish noted in the Chumash people.

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The historical museum did not open until 1, which would have set me still for two hours, and I was itchy to get to the Santa Barbara Courthouse, a marvel of architecture and interior art.  So, here is the south patio of the museum.

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The branch library, across the street, also has a Spanish flair.

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Santa Barbara’s main beach is a volleyball mecca, and there were at least five matches going on, as I walked from my parking spot to Stearns Wharf.  The tide was low, so there are no dramatic scenes in this post.  Nevertheless, the harbor is a beehive of activity and Stearns is one of the few wharves onto which one may drive, if that is your wish.

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The downside of the harbor is evident here.  There are three oil platforms on its outer edge.

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Earlier energy quests inspired this “Moby Dick” depiction, by Beth Amine.  Her original work was lost, when Stearns Wharf burned in 1998.

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Santa Barbara decorates its roundabouts well, especially downtown.

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Here is a bicycle roundabout, near the Volleyball Courts.

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If I get back here sometime on a mini-jaunt, the focus would be on Refugio Beach and Goleta.  For this trip, though, spending more time downtown was in order.