Sunday, February 26, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
And, guess what? It’s Saturday, sunny, warm and tomorrow is cool and rainy. We had to park a mile away. The beach was packed
Here’s my favorite hiker - all dressed up in her very best hiking outfit.
Cool day. Good last hike.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
It started in 1835 when city leaders designated a large section of land for recreational use, making it one of the older such sites in the US. 1400 acres were added in 1868 and the land was put in trust to be a park forever. In 1892, local horticulturist and botanist Kate Sessions leased 36 acres for a nursery and thus began the marvelous gardens that still grace the park.
In 1910, with preparations already underway to hold an expo to coincide with the opening of the Panama Canal, the park was named for the Spanish explorer Vasco Balboa, the first European to cross Central America and see the Pacific Ocean. A number of the buildings as well as much of the present-day look and feel of the park can be attributed to the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Scheduled to last only one year, the 1915 Expo was extended for a second year, and more than 3.7 million visitors came to the expo during its run.
Twenty years later, San Diego hosted the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition to boost the local economy during the depression. Additional structures and landscaping were added to the park, including the Old Globe Theatre, International Cottages, and Spanish Village, all of which are still in use today.
In 1977, Balboa Park, and historic Exposition buildings from 1915 and 1935, were declared a National Historic Landmark and National Historic Landmark District, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Here’s the first building you see as you enter via the Prado, the main avenue into the park. It’s the Museum of Man with its iconic tower and weather vane. Must be Balboa’s ship crossing the oceans.
When the original rescue teams came, they had only a small chain saw. like raking a yard with a fork. You can see where the tree lay across the roadway here - from the small pile of branches on the left hand side to the branches on the right hand side.
The next day we had lunch with my aunt and took her down to an area called Liberty Station. Back during WWII, it was where Naval training took place and many officers had their offices. Marilyn, whose husband was an officer used to shop at the Exchange here. After the Navy left, the area sat vacant for many years but was recently remade into shops, art studios, museums, restaurants, a high school and lots of homes which cost well above 7 figures. They designed a central square with a fountain and walkways and Marilyn donated for several bricks for it. She hadn’t been to see the bricks recently so we brought her down.
Monday, February 20, 2017
We like this campground for the location, right on Mission Bay, 10 minutes from Pacific Beach and this is the view I have as I drink my coffee in the morning.
Across the bay is Sea World. We see paddle boarders, crews of 8,2,4, canoes and others walking the beach of Fiesta Island across from us. Can you see why we have our reservation already for 2018 and 2019?
Although, it’s not always ’Sunny Southern California.’ Sometimes it rains, and rains and rains. Here are some rainfall totals from yesterday.
But what happened first was wind speeds of 30+ mph with gusts up to 50+ and more. Right from the south so the beach that you see here slowly but surely was blown into the campground. We had sand that swirled around the front of our RV and then dumped right outside our door - 3” deep. The campground maintenance staff was busy for the next few days shoveling it all up and depositing it back onto the beach. Sometimes they used a front-end loader.
Here’s the most expensive site in the park, right on the beach with faux grass in front and a nice little wall. Well, it ’s the nicest in the sun but when the wind blows, this is the first RV it hits. This guy had the most sand in his site for the whole park. You can see all the sand on the ‘grass’ and all the sand he has already shoveled off and piled up out side his site. Maintenance helped with the sand removal but, at times, it was do it yourself. Yesterday, I collared a maintenance worker as he tooled by on his cart and asked for a shovel and broom to clean our site. He brought them back to us and then helped us get the sand up. This guy must not have been able to collar a worker. I was in the right spot at the right time.
One final picture of the changes wrought by the storms: here I am standing next to a ‘tumbleweed’ that blew up onto the sidewalk. They were piled high here. Lots of them were stopped by the chain link fence to the right. These are actually shore plants, not tumble weeds that blow around. But they sure look like tumbleweeds as they tumble through the campground and land between cars, under RV’s and in corners.
How about another huge pile of sand? Yep, the beach. We’re back to Ocean Beach, one of our favorites: it has a lo-o-o-ng pier, marvelous white sand beach, people to watch, a cool little coffee shop with the best peanut butter chocolate chip muffins (The New Break), rocks to clamber over to walk further down the beach and - well, what’s not to like?
So, fortified with a muffin, we’re off down the pier, the signature feature of OB. It is NOT the longest pier on the west coast, it is merely the second at 1971’, but it is the longest CONCRETE pier. Here’s a picture that I got online that shows its entire length. Phillip Colla has a beautiful picture here. You can see the restaurant in the middle of the pier, the cliffs off to the right hand side in the sun where we walk he rocks and way off to the right is Mexico - the island in the distance.
The extensions add 193’ to one side and 360’ to the other.
Lots of tourists crowd this pier on the weekends though it was originally built for fishermen so they wouldn’t get their lines tangled in the vast kelp and rocks beds that lie near the surface of the water here. With the pier, the fishermen are able to fish in 25’ - 30’ of water and catch fish that live in deeper waters.
It was officially christened on July 2, 1966, just in time for the Independence day weekend. Over 7000 of San Diego’s then 600,000 residents were there to celebrate its opening.
Ocean Beach Pier was originally named the San Diego Fishing Pier. The original plaque is still there.
The pier has over 500,000 visitors per year. (We can attest to that, we’ve seen thousands in the times that we have been here.)
Many people believe the Ocean Beach Pier is the longest pier in CA. It isn't. At 1971 feet it is the longest concrete pier on the west coast. The pier at Santa Cruz is 2745 feet.
The 1st fish caught on the pier was an 8-inch perch, first thought to be a type of sunfish. The 2nd and 3rd fish caught were a gray shark and a crab. (Now, who in the world is keeping records and how did this person see the very first fish caught?)
The most common fish you will witness being caught on the pier are herring (often called queenfish). There is no limit on them.
Then CA governor Edmund G. Brown made the first cast off the OB Pier and reportedly fished for 5 minutes. As he fished, a large cabin cruiser with a banner reading "Reagan for Governor" circled the corner of the pier. Brown caught nothing and was defeated in November. (Coincidence?)
Currently no fishing license is required on the pier.
In 1991 over $2 million was spent on the pier to repair damages caused by winter storms.
I like picture from under piers showing the regularity of the columns and the waves rolling in.
One of the reasons we came today was to see the waves which were supposed to be over 10’ tall. We expected surfers to be ecstatic about this but there were few to be found. The waves were cresting at unusual places and, when they crested, they were dissolving in foam, not good for surfing. But, great for watching.
Since the rain had been pretty heavy the night before, we expected to see some damage along the sand cliffs. Thankfully, none of the cliffs seemed to have been any more damaged than they were before. The blue tarp and the sand bags held. They had beefed up the blue tarp which now covered more of the cliff than when we first saw it a few weeks ago and they had added the sand bags to hold it down.
The waves frothed and splashed as they crested.
Some hit the pier with such force that you can feel the pier move.
And, as we headed home we saw this. Perfectly arced over the city.
Do the birds have a tape measure to ensure they are the right distance apart? Look how evenly spaced they are.
And, the pelicans, grace in the sky.
Any day at the beach is a day well spent.