A Pastel Day


December 14, 2022, San Clemente- I walked along Dana Point Harbor’s southern flank, whilst waiting for my friend, Janet, to arrive for our customary lunch, a signature part of any southern California visit, since 2011. Much was the same, along the boardwalk, with an addition that honours Dana Point’s recent history. Here is a tall ship that is moored among the charter boats and private yachts, at the southern edge of the harbour.

The Curlew, originally moored in Dana Point Harbor, in the 1920s.

Janet has been a corresponding friend, since my Xanga days (2008-11). Our lunches have been followed by short walks along one or another of Orange County’s beaches or botanical gardens. More recently, we have met for extended conversations at Harpoon Henry’s, with its west-facing view of the harbour. Dana Point Harbor will be undergoing a facelift, of sorts, over the next few years. Hopefully, Henry’s will be spared.

Today was a far quieter day, weather-wise, as an extended period of sunshine seems to be taking root, in the Southwest, which includes “SoCal”. It assumed a rather pastel hue, in the sky and along the beach front. After conversing with Janet for about an hour, I came back to House of Trestles, rested a bit, then visited Trestles Beach, a favourite of some surfers. I found the ocean rather calm, with a lone surfer having packed up and carrying his board and gear off the beach. Trestles is rather flat and somewhat removed from the cliffs, thus giving it a pastel feel, as well.

Trestles does share information about the sport, which I had not encountered on any other beach.
Trestles Beach, named for the adjacent railroad trestles that lie just to the east.

It was a fine, somewhat quieter day, following the roiling cloudy and stormy period earlier in the week. I found little to clean up, at Trestles Beach. It seems the surfers do a good job policing their own.

Stewarding the Beach


December 13, 2022, San Clemente- I was briefly considering heading down to Little Italy, and dropping into Harbor Breakfast, when the call came over the loudspeaker at Samesun Ocean Beach. I had had a wondrous time playing an impromptu card game, last night, with five young hostelers, and had been getting to know some of them better, over coffee and toaster waffles. This ended when the announcement was made to be at the front desk at 10 a.m,, if interested in joining a beach clean-up. The ladies had other plans, but I am always interested in giving back to a host community. So, I got all my stuff out of the room, put it in storage and met with three other hostelers and a community member, and headed to the beach front.

The organizer, a sometime airline pilot named Joe, does these kinds of clean-ups in various locations around the world, in his free time. He has led several clean-ups of Ocean Beach, and other locations along the California coast. The community member who joined us is a barista at the coffee shop next door to Samesun and is a clothing designer, as well. We covered about a two -mile area, netting four bags of trash, a crab trap and an old half piece of luggage. Surfers and unhoused people thanked us, as did several dog owners-as one of the areas was OB’s Dog Beach.

This gives me the inspiration to spend some time tomorrow, cleaning up Trestles Beach, before or after meeting a friend in Dana Point. Stewarding our environment is something that needs doing on a regular basis, and I can certainly get back to doing this around Home Base, as well.

Joe treated us all to brunch, at OB Surf Lodge, one of the several magnificent eateries in this lovely little community. The fare was excellent, and I was able to help Joe avoid losing out on a job-thus paying back in a different way.

We steward the environment, and have each other’s back, because that is the way the world needs us to be.