A SoCal Break, Day 1, Part 2: Point Vicente

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJune 12, 2017, San Onofre-   

Since first visiting Palos Verdes Peninsula, west of Los Angeles, a couple of years ago, I have wanted to go back and actually walk a bit, from one of the overlooks, down to the beach and back.  This afternoon, I chose the southern end of the peninsula, at Point Vicente, to make that hike.

The Point Vicente area is the site of a U. S. Coast Guard lighthouse, one of three in southern California- the others being at Point Loma, in San Diego, and at Point Conception, between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.  As an active Coast Guard facility, it is off limits to visitors, save for a few hours on a certain day of the week.  This was not that certain day.

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Point Vicente does have a lovely Interpretive Center, operated by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.  The small museum, focusing on marine mammals and other aquatic life, is supplemented by a crew of docent volunteers.

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There is also a spacious viewing platform, with a particularly fine view, today at least, of Santa Catalina.

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In between the platform and the island, however, there is much to hold a visitor’s attention.  Beach plum is as plentiful here, as it used to be at the beaches of Massachusetts, when I was a kid.

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Once down to the narrow beach, it is possible to walk for about 1/4 mile, before a field of boulders renders the walk questionable, at least in the eyes of locals.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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Small rocks jut out of the open water, as they do all along the Pacific Coast, the result of continuous volcanic activity, over the eons.

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Kelp is also plentiful, though the mollusks which feed on it are much rarer in southern California than they were, even ten years ago.

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The rock below gave me the sense of a stranded turtle, looking seaward.

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Flowering plants, like these daisies, always seem to find a niche, whether on the shore or in the desert.

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I could not remember whether these are hydrangea or Oregon grape.

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Palos Verdes’ trail system is also part of the California Coastal Trail, which “when completed” will provide access to 1200 miles of California shore line, from San Ysidro to the Oregon state line- after which, of course, the Oregon Coast Trail takes over, clear to Astoria.  I’m not getting any bright ideas, mind you, though there were four middle-aged people who made the trek from Crescent City to San Ysidro, in 2003.  The Trump Corporation has even granted an easement across its National Golf Course, south of Point Vicente.

Point Vicente, by the way, got its hybrid name from Captain George Vancouver, after his friend, Friar Vicente, when his ship rounded the peninsula, in 1790.   The connection, then, is with Mission San Buenaventura, some 92 miles to the north northwest.

A good day’s exploration done, I called it a rest, and headed southward, arriving here at San Onofre State Beach, a bit after 7 PM.  Tomorrow will bring a more sanguine visit with a friend of several years and a bit of collecting ocean water.

 

 

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.