A SoCal Break, Day 1, Part 1: Recreation Park

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June 12, 2017, San Onofre, CA-

I am camping at this underutilized state beach, just south of a former nuclear power plant.  The plant’s presence may explain the underutilized part of the equation, but no matter.  Every time I pitch my tent, arrange comfortable bedding and have a pleasant visit, my confidence grows- something that may be hard for many to understand- but it’s been a work in progress, for several years.

My main objective, today, was a hike in the Palos Verdes Peninsula, between Long Beach and Redondo Beach, in LA County’s South Bay area.   First, though, was a visit to Long Beach, itself. I set out from Indio, where I’d spent the previous night, and where I stretched my legs, this morning, with a 2-mile walk.  It’s fairly mild, across Southern California, though that’s not expected to last.  The I-10 was fairly busy, as it always is, though once past the turn-offs to Riverside and San Diego, traffic thinned significantly.  I enjoyed a stop at one of my favourite eateries:  Gramma’s Country Kitchen, in Banning.   After lunch, and taking CA routes 57 and 22, I was in Long Beach, in less than ninety minutes.

I found myself in a pleasant, but definitely untouristed, part of town- the south side.  On Anaheim Street, there is the large, and multiple use, Recreation Park.  Several young ladies were engaged in a variety of artistic activities, on and around the band shell.  I don’t take photos of people, without their permission, as a rule, so any people seen in the next few photos are strictly incidental.  My main focus in Recreation Park was Yokkaichi Friendship Garden, a small, but heartfelt project, in concert with Yokkaichi, Japan- one of Long Beach’s sister cities.

There are three essentials of a Japanese garden that are evident here:  The open gate, arranged flowers (usually in a semi-circle) and carefully-placed rocks.  A fourth essential element, flowing water, is not present.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES I felt a fair amount of serenity, with most of the  “recreationists” very busy with sporting activities and practicing dance routines, elsewhere in the great city park.  Below, see the back of the band shell building.  I did not photograph the dance practice taking place in the front.

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Next up, Palos Verdes’ Point Vicente.

 

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 234: Back to California, Day 4

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July 20, 2015, Lomita, CA-  I bid farewell to my back-to-work son, around 8:15 this morning, and went back on the road apiece.  We agreed that my main focus, over at least the next five years, has to be my staying closer to base and building my stock back up. The rest of the world will be there, when I am 70, and beyond. Others have concurred with that, while acknowledging that jaunts around North America, and over to Europe, were a good thing for my soul.

I made my usual visit to Orange County, stopping in San Clemente, for time with a longtime friend, J.  We go for a short walk, take lunch and engage in about an hour’s worth of detailed conversation.  Today’s pier walk offered some good views of big waves, brought to SoCal by Hurricane Dolores, which also gave us two days of rain.

The waves, of course, attracted surfers, of various skill levels, up and down the coast.

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You see, above, the progressions of three waves, as they crest and break.

My friend and I went to lunch at Fisherman’s, on the pier’s edge, and each enjoyed salmon and chips.  Our server, R, was keeping a game face and tending to us very well, given the humidity.  We were inside, and I noticed the poor ladies out on the patio, looking as if they were about to keel over.  Tip your servers well, in this hot oven of a summer.

The bougainvillea, off to the north, added some festivity to the scene.  SoCal will surely enjoy at least a brief respite from July & August brownery, with the just passed storm.

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Bidding my friend farewell, I headed up the 405, past Long Beach, to the Pacific Coast Highway.  The Palos Verdes Peninsula was next on the agenda.  My friend, M, who lives not far away, calls this “his” peninsula. He and I had a long phone conversation, afterwards, though he was indisposed for a visit.

Anyway, the headlands are a natural preserve.  One may enjoy the view from above, and/or go down a formidable series of steps, to the beach itself.  As I had to call M, before he turned in, the upper view sufficed.

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A lovely day overall was capped by a gyro sandwich & rice, at Mr. Soulis, a Greek establishment, a bit up the road from Royal Inn, Lomita, where I was staying the night.  Another wonderful soul tended the counter and lit up the room with her smile and graceful demeanor.

Things are going well, and I must remain responsible.