The Warning Signs

Photo Jul 24, 3 39 18 PM (1)

I’ve been a little late in my postings lately, as this summer is busy and full of unexpected happenings.

But, I did take some time out for a few little adventures, while i stayed for week in Southern California in late July. One place there in particular, had my attention for a half day, Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, a wonderful stretch of coastal preserve north of Long Beach, close to San Pedro. Once there, much of the area is easy to miss with the road access high and paralleling the clifftops, with small parking lots and vista points. The trails down to the waters are not obvious.

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Yet, with a little exploring and walking further from the parking area and picnic tables, there are signs of access and danger. One just needs to needs to heed the warnings and find the right access point, and continue to heed the warnings…

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Photo Jul 24, 2 43 40 PM

I did go with a few friends, of which some were familiar and knowledgeable of the area. The whole time, very worthwhile and lots of fun. Most of the danger was just being careful and being very aware of the your surroundings, weather and tides.  I shall post more on this, sometime this week.

– Orion T

Summer Daze at Ocean Beach part 2/2

Ocean Beach, San Diego

Continued from part 1.

Put the world behind you, and enjoy the best part of Ocean Beach.

The dense and plentiful sand, a grandest sky, the endless water, the resonance of unending tides. OB has it all in wait.

Further out, is the amazing Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, standing tall since 1966, This is my favorite escape, within an escape. The OB pier is where one takes good time, slow walk and let the worries of the wold fade out with each step out. Among you will be those with fishing poles, casting out for good catch. Maybe, I will someday join them.

Look out and far, especially on a clear day.

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Also, the OB Pier is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast at 1,971 feet (601 m).

Ocean Beach, San Diego

Looking over, the pier is a great place to watch surfers in action. Like much of California’s Coast, OB is a prime spot for the surfing culture.

Here in OB, the surfing lifestyle has its early roots. Surfing was been traced back as far as 1916 when local lifeguard Charlie Wright borrowed a wooden surfboard from the Hawaiian Olympic swimmer and surfing’s living legend, Duke Kahanamoku. Wright went on to produce more boards, gave lessons, and promoted surfing to the local area. Afterwards, that surfing community grew as the sporting became native to San Diego.

Photo Jul 22, 5 20 35 AM

Some surf late, enjoying the best of the golden Californian sunset.

Ocean Beach, San Diego

Ocean Beach, San Diego

For me, I often go for another walk on the great OB pier. The coming night offers a different reward for those looking for quality alone time. Also, one could enjoy a more illuminate view of the coast looking back. On my last visit, the camera battery power faded. So, I present these views from the same place from a previous time some years ago, upon the night of a Harvest Moon.

From here, there are no more words..

Ocean Beach, San Diego

Ocean Beach, San Diego

Ocean Beach, San Diego

Summer Daze of Ocean Beach part 1/2

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Welcome to Ocean Beach, at the coast of San Diego in the great California state.

I tell myself this, often coming back after some annual business in San Diego. This is my end priority, after seeking out some fantastic yet cheap tacos. Visitors should be anxious to settle the many great beaches here. Choices are great, depending on your surf and sand desires. One is greater in surrounding youthful party energy (Mission Beach, further north), another is more upper crust (La Jolla, more further north). Ocean Beach is always my choice, the perfect balance between California’s more chillful beach culture and a small town vibe that doesn’t overwhelm in tourist behavior, yet still holds great entertainment value.

Ocean Beach is that surfside place of simple joys. Here, a medium family-friendly community connects to a beach big enough to support appreciators of the Pacific Ocean soothing roar. OB has nothing to draw attention to itself to the abroad travelers flocking to popular beach elsewhere. Lacking are the visible souvenir shops, tacky tourist museum traps, carnival and stereo noise.

Ocean Beach is the better escape.

I get that sense just walking down the main Newport Ave. Within the surrounding area, I see little of the big name stores or snobby label fashion outlets. Fast food is pushed away with only one Starbucks (with a very aggressive no-public bathroom policy). More inviting, are some great thrift stores including the 2 Dollar Thrill, a store store chock full of DVDs, fun beach-themed clothes. Near to that was a five (or was it 3.99) dollar store with similar themes.  Also, I found Galactic Comics, a collectibles and sequential art store with good geek treasure (hint: look up). Down the way, some tempting antique stores, especially the one with an army of tin robots in the window.

Ocean Beach, much to love before the beach.

Ocean Beach, San Diego

The eats are plentiful and good on choice; with much local-owned or exclusive to San Diego. One personal favorite is the Lighthouse Ice Cream & Yogurt, where one could grab their amazing hot waffle and ice cream sandwich. Another fav is the South Beach Bar and Grill, where I found the best fish tacos ever. Also, the taste of fumes of the BBQ House on Newport Ave are hypnotic, heavenly, a must for carnivores. All this and more, very reasonably priced.

However, the biggest star of Ocean Beach’s local food scene is Hodads, a bar and restaurant that claims the worlds greatest burger on their menu. I come here often questioning that, but always face a line down the block. I ask a few in my waiting attempts on the worthiness of Hodad’s great burgers. Heads nod, and replies imply its lengthy waits are rewarded.

I always consider Hodad’s olate, full of tacos or ice cream. Next time..

Photo Jul 22, 7 13 08 AM

The most colorful building on Newport avenue is Ocean Beach’s International Hostel. Someday, I must go inside, perhaps even stay the night. Otherwise, there is another hostel of choice for me; the Point Loma Hostel, of which I personally recommend for visitors. That and this hostel, you will likely find a friend or few to further explore this wonderful area.

Ocean Beach, San Diego

There is more to share about Ocean Beach, but must wait until next blogging time. Then, more time at the beach and a walk on the pier. Also, a some surfing and some moonlight later. Come back!

Ocean Beach, San Diego

The wonders of Cape Perpetua, coast of Oregon

photo by Orion Tippens

I want to go back.

To Cape Perpetua, south of Yachats, of the Oregon Coast.

I was there for about one hour. That was not enough two summers ago, last since exploring its beautiful scenery. I could love so much, during my break from a southbound day drive to Eureka in Northern California, from Tillamook, Oregon.

The distant scenery is beautiful, especially up high through various lookout points. This is the very best of the Oregon Coast, of which I have seen so far. I plan to eventually witness the giant sea lion caves and Cannon Beach in time. The Oregon coast is amazing. But, I think Cape Perpetua represents the accessible U.S.Pacific Coast at its raw, most powerful, and a bit dangerous.

Come closer, go down a few trails. Do some exploring, and watch your step over the shore rocks. There are many slippery areas, tide pools, deep holes. Some rocky areas extend far out, and more visible during low tides.The high tides can be violent, crashing, surprising, warning you to stay back. If here, study your maps, know the tides, and be careful. With patience, you will find some amazing and unique wonders.

Including:

Devil’s Churn

Cape Perpetua Devil's Churn

Here, a large deep crack accessible via a short, curvy forest trail. You can walk the edge if careful, watching every step, and walk slowly. If you find your way down, it’s best to find a good spot in the back area, and gaze at the incoming ocean motion. Watch the water fill and retract in constant repetition. During the high tide, the waves can be intense in their crashing. The video below better captures that excitement.

Thor’s Well

Memorizing, boggling is this nature-made well. The timing of the tides must be perfect, otherwise, it’s too dangerous or too calm to witness its full effect. Away from the shore among the scatters of rocks, you will find this strange hole in the ground. The water seeps in, fills up, spits out, and then sucks back in the nothing. Sadly, my timing was off and missed out. There are pictures online, mostly a bit unreal; the stuff of strange fantasy. Watch this found video clip:

Cook’s Chasm

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Similar to Devil’s Chasm, and below a bridge. I missed this place but learned of something that makes this very worthwhile; a spouting horn to the side. What is a spouting horn? I can’t find much on the physics of a spouting horn. I assume it’s some pressure within the rocks, push forth by the crashing waves. Here is another video found:

There are many tide pools, sand dunes, and nature trails. There is a stunning vista point overlooking Yachats, an old stone observation building lookout shelter, and a lighthouse; all of which I missed. The inland area is also interesting, full of dense forest and lakes. There is definitively more to see and discover on your own.

I will be back.

For more information on Cape Perpetua and the surrounding area, click here.