Likes: Long Walks on the Beach

8 Feb
2012
Posted in: California, Hikes, Parks
By    3 Comments

I’m standing on the beach north of San Diego, and I’m feeling a sense of completion, of contentment. I’m about as far west (and south) as I can physically get in this great country. And I’m toasty warm. But Paul wants more — he looks out at the ocean and wants to keep going, until he can’t see land on any side. I don’t get that. All I want to do is walk to that next bluff or cavelet…and then the next one…and then…let’s just see what’s around the next bend…then we’ll turn around.

In this manner, one day we walked  from South Carlsbad State Beach to downtown Carlsbad, about four miles. We didn’t plan to walk this far — we’d only gone for a morning stroll and didn’t bring any water or snacks, so we were starting to feel a little shaky. For sustenance, we ducked into Pizza Port in Carlsbad to find what must be the best lunch special in Carlsbad: a slice of pizza, a huge salad, and a house-brewed beer for $7. Dizzies gone, we visited Fahrenheit 451, a quirky used bookstore (quote from website: life-long readers know that the most awesome, life-changing books you’ll ever find are the ones that find you, not what Oprah, the New York Times or the book clubs tell you to read), scored another Edward Abbey book, then, fortified, made the four plus mile hike back to our temporary beach home. The morning stroll turned into a full day walk. Great day.

We stayed in Carlsbad for four nights — two at a La Quinta (in honor of our ten year dating anniversary — it felt like a five star resort) and two on the beach at South Carlsbad State Beach. Even though the beach campground was packed (it was the weekend) it didn’t feel too crazy or crowded (though I could have done without the dude puking in the shower). The campground is literally on the edge of the bluffs — so close that you can see where they’ve needed to move the fence back at times due to bluff erosion. High tide laps at the foot of the bluffs. If you wake in the middle of the night, you can be lulled back to sleep by the sound of crashing waves (or kept awake by thoughts of erosion!).

Each day we woke up and the conversation went like this: Paul: “Well, what do you want to do today?” Me: “We should go in to San Diego, but I think I’d just like to go down to the beach.” Paul: “Sounds great.”

Soon we’ll be heading north up the California coast from San Diego, only as far north as Monterrey for now (got to be in Phoenix for spring training in March!). We’ll jump from state beach to state beach, with a few national forest nights thrown in t0 ease the budget — state beaches are expensive. I’m not sure how the beach lifestyle is going to work with my blogging schedule. The sound of the waves erases thoughts from my mind. I can’t be bothered to check and reply to emails, write posts, or do anything other than walk on the beach, watch the waves, and slowly get covered by a thin film of salt spray. My posts might be extra boring for the next few weeks.

Every house along the bluffs has its own stairway down to the beach.

Every house along the bluffs has its own stairway down to the beach.

The Carlsbad train station.

The Carlsbad train station.

Bluffs in one direction...

Bluffs in one direction...

Bluffs in the other direction.

Bluffs in the other direction.

Just block out the power station in the background.

Just block out the power station in the background.

Notice that Paul has both a reflection and a shadow. Cool.

Notice that Paul has both a reflection and a shadow. Cool.

Pre-sunset, looking southwest.

Pre-sunset, looking southwest.

Sunset from the campground.

Sunset from the campground.

Enjoying a glass of wine while the sun sets. As you can see, the campground is RIGHT on the edge of the bluff.

Enjoying a glass of wine while the sun sets. As you can see from the camper in the background, the campground is RIGHT on the edge of the bluff.

There was no green flash, much to the disappointment of the kid next to us watching the sunset with his parents.

There was no green flash, much to the disappointment of the kid next to us watching the sunset with his parents.

  • 3500leavitt

    Looks great. I learned to surf, badly, on that beach.

  • Sarah

    You guys are torturing me right now.  How I do miss the ocean….

  • Barb

    You tapped into the San Diego I love!