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February 07, 2016

Urban Biking - Port of San Diego and Coronado

The Port of San Diego maintains a paved path from Spanish Landing 5 miles south to the Hilton Bayfront.  I do have a destination in mind for today that will almost triple this distance, so this will be an urban bike rather than an urban hike.

Spanish Landing has ample parking and a small sheltered beach.  It is located directly across Harbor Drive from the San Diego Airport.
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There are several playgrounds and picnic areas along this northern end of the walkway.  The Cancer Survivors Park, is just a short distance.
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In a couple miles the boardwalk begins to fill with joggers, walkers, baby strollers, bikers and tourists.  The call here is ‘On your left!’, meaning the caller wants to overtake you on the left side of the boardwalk, step to the right.  But not all the tourists get it … 

It is a working harbor with crab and tuna boats.  The Maritime Museum maintains a fleet of retired boats.  The tourists with their selfie sticks add to the congestion along the waterfront.
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The Crown Princess is in town.  During the winter months it cruises to the Mexican ports, but in the summer it goes north along the Inside Passage.  The Coronado Ferry berth is dwarfed as sits between the Cruise Ship Terminal and the USS Midway at the Broadway Pier.
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The Cabrillo Ferry runs on the hour to Coronado, for $9.50 I bought a round trip ticket which includes a bicycle if desired.  This is by far the most congested section of the ride, but my destination is on the island and I need to use the ferry.
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Across the bay both the Carl Vinson and Theodore Roosevelt are dock at North Island.
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When the big boats and a cruises ship in town the security patrol is out.  Two of these fast boats patrol the area.
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As the ferry leaves the dock the Unconditional Surrender Statue occupies the point.
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The shops at the Coronado Ferry Landing are total tourist traps, but there are some good restaurants here.
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But with only about 2 hours left to make my appointment I’m off on the Port of San Diego boardwalk again.  On the Coronado side the boardwalk can be followed all the way down the Silver Strand.
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Totally cute little RV.   Not part of this blog, but too cute to leave out ….
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Since my ultimate destination is just south of the Hotel Del Coronado.  I have time to toss a little bit of Oz into this ride.  My first stop is the Coronado Public Library.  In front of the library is one of a dozen Heritage Trees, this one being guarded by a dragon.
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A tour of the ‘Heritage Trees’ is an excuse for another bike ride ….

Inside the library is an ‘'Oz themed glass wall that divides off the children’s section.
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My next stop is this little unpretentious yellow house on Star Circle.  Officially known as the Meade House, it is better known as the ‘Oz House’, where L. Frank Baum wrote 3 books of Wizard of Oz Series.

The house itself has a bit of history too.  Grandfather Meade won the house in a poker game while he was at the Hotel Del.  The house remains as the Meade residence and is not open to the public.  But they acknowledge the history with an unpretentious entryway that is open.
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From Oz House it is a block to the Coronado Central Beach.  It is a great beach always rated one of the best in the nation and voted #1 (2012) by Dr. Beach.
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A short walk down the beach is the Hotel Del Coronado.  The hotel was used as some of the inspiration for the Emerald City of Oz.
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My 2 PM appointment is low tide.  Just south of the hotel is the wreck of the SS Monte Carlo.  Known as the Ship of Sin, was anchored beyond the 3 mile territorial waters during prohibition where booze was not regulated. 

On New Year’s Eve 1936 the moorings broke and it was washed ashore, buried in the sand.  It was last seen in 2010, but the storm of this past week have exposed it again.  Then deck can be explored with a negative tide now.
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Remember that round trip ticket I bought?  I used it to ride the nice new Cabrillo ferry over, but it is also good for a ride on the old wooden Silvergate ferry to the Convention Center.  The dock is next to Joe’s Crab Shack in the shadow of the Marriott and Hilton hotels at the San Diego Superyacht berths.
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Among the 12 superyachts here today are the catamaran Mousetrap, the black bullet Ahimsa, and the record setting schooner Atlantic.  And a little workhorse, the Silvergate ferry
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The Rock Man at Seaport Village.
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Next to the Unconditional Surrender Statue is the National Salute to  Bob Hope and the Military
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Finally back to my truck I find this limo parked next to me.  It’s a 1929 Hupmobile available for hire.  It’s stopped for a photo op of the waterfront, but the limo seems to be the center of attention.
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“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with,” ~Dorthy
Yes Dorthy I do live in paradise … but it is nice to visit other places.

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