View from Cabrillo National Monument of the Coronado Islands that Lie Off the Coast of San Diego

The Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542.  He and his crew were the first Europeans to arrive in what is now San Diego, California; however, the area had been inhabited by Native Americans for centuries before that time.

There was a thin layer of fog laying on the horizon on this December day.  You can see in the fog-shrouded distance one of the Coronado Islands that lie off the coast of San Diego.  They lie in Mexican waters.  My husband, daughter and I sailed out to these islands many years ago with a friend who piloted the sailboat.  I remember the beauty of the sea, but also remember the sea-sickness that plagued my daughter and I throughout the trip! We were more than ready to get back on the dock at the end of that adventure!

There is also a lighthouse at this National Park that you can climb into and get a sense of what life was like when it was first built.  This is a fun day-time adventure when you visit San Diego.

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Pacific Ocean Skim Boarder on a December Day

Yes, I know it is December. Yes, I know it is freezing and snowing in many parts of the United States.  But here is what Southern Californians do in December! These young men are doing what is called skim boarding.  Rather that starting in the water, these boarders begin high on the beach, run like crazy into the surf, jump up on their boards and skim along the waves and ride them back onto the beach to begin again.

On this afternoon the sun created a fascinating light on the water, the sand, and the cliffs.  Can you hear the waves crashing on the beach, feel the salt-water spray and the warm afternoon sun on your face?  Want a winter get-away?  San Diego is an amazing place to be!

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Delightful Surprise at Big Sur

One of my husband’s and my favorite things to do is to explore.  After an overnight stay at Lucia Lodge in Big Sur we drove north along Highway 1.   At Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park there is an unmarked trail along the west side of the highway.  So we decided to pull over, drag out the camera gear and hike down the trail.  The first photo was the view from a short distance down the trail.  After hiking clear down and to the right to the beach, we hiked back up to a fork in the trail and followed the left fork.  We were met with a pretty little wooden bridge that crossed into the forest.  After a short walk we saw the tunnel in the third picture and walked through it to be greeted by the sight of this family picnicing on the rocks near the cove.  Later we checked Google and discovered the cove is named Partington Cove after John Partington who, in the late 1800s had the tunnel built in order to use mules to haul the bark of the tanbark oak from the forest to the cove.  At the cove you can see the remains of the loading stantions that were used to load the bark on the ships that could pull into the deep cove water there.  It was a really short, but steep hike and well worth the adventure!

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A Favorite Location in San Diego, California

This park is found by La Jolla Cove in San Diego, California.  Since I live in the San Diego area, this park holds many memories for me.  My husband and I shared a bittersweet farewell barbecue here the night before his first deployment on a six-month Western Pacific tour of duty when he was in the US Navy.  We have watched the fireworks on the Fourth of July with family and friends here.  Our daughter was baptized in the waters here.  We play tag with our granddaughters on the grass.  We watch the sea lions and harbor fur seals lounge on the rocks just below here. And this is where I photographed my first sighting of an osprey in the wild.

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Sunrise Over Monastery Beach

I could not resist doing one more post from my recent trip to Carmel, California.  I got up early on a misty morning and arrived at Monastery Beach in time to capture the light as it illuminated the sky and the surf line on the beach.  The sand here is extremely large grained and so thick that my feet sunk four inches into it as I walked along the beach. I must admit I had a moment of recalling quicksand TV scenes, but laughed that off and continued on my way! There is a monastery across the highway from this scene, which is where the name for the beach is derived.  Solitude and quiet, other than the sound of the waves lapping on the beach.

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A Walk on the Wild Side

A Walk Along the Point Lobos State Reserve trails near Carmel, California is a stark difference from a walk along the coast in southern California where I live. There is a wildness to the surf as it crashes and surges onto the craggy coast.  The sound of the waves is strikingly thunderous. There is a swirling energy that is mesmerizing.  On this early, somewhat stormy morning, the mist was still nestled in the canyons and the sun was just beginning to burn through the clouds.  More food for my soul!

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