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April 30, 2016

Tijuana – the Crossing, the River, the Estuary, IB Festival

Occasionally I’ve been asked to shuttle our sister-in-law from the San Diego Airport to the Pedestrian Crossing at Tijuana.  But the crossing has moved – Who knew?  …  not me!

Still exit I-5 S at Exit #1A, but instead of going straight to the drop-off point.  Now crossover the freeway and wiggle around behind the McDonald's to the new drop-off in the culede-sac.  It’s very much unnoticed until you are there.  Return to I-5 N by going straight through the light on Rail Court.

Neither of us have done any investigation of the Tijuana River Park and it’s trails.  On the way back we decided to stop and give it a look. 

With over 20 miles of trails I expected more than one restroom, and it’s not near where I parked.  But a short loop out to a wildlife blind overlooking one of the ponds and a return on the boardwalk was an easy level walk.  Even the snails were out in force to enjoy this cool gray morning.
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We’ll come back with the bikes and explore the Tijuana River Park again.  But for now, it’s back to the freeway and over to the Tijuana Estuary, with it’s grand Visitor Center and nice clean restrooms.
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But alas it is Girl Scout day!  The few trails are amassed with lots of young girls whose voices have not changed yet.  Their display booths are set up at the view points along the trail, as that is the widest spot.  But the trails are still blocked.   At least there’s no line at the men's room Smile
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But once past the congestion and the exhibits at the Visitor Center the trails open up over the estuary and salt marshes.
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But there’s not a bird to be seen!  Over 340 species and all are in hiding!  Yes the anxious young gals are charging delightedly along trails, wanting to be the first to sight/scare any wildlife out there, not even a gecko was safe.

But fortunately as a ‘local’ I do know how to get to, and where to park, on the other side!  We’re now off to walk the beach along the west side.  There’s really no trails here, simply walk down the beach … all the way to Tijuana if the tide is low (and it is!) or turn back at the mouth of the Tijuana River.
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This is a great beach to explore.  Although never quite empty, it is never crowded.
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And this is where the birds have gone for the day!  Don’t blame them a bit!
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The tide is indeed low, with the Tijuana River not quite reaching the sea, but still it’s a good place to start back.
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The beach is easier to walk on than the uneven berm, but the berm provides different views as we return to our parking spot.

The restaurant on the end of the Imperial Beach Pier is the Tin Fish, our next destination.  I’m parked right next to this pile of rocks, a total primo spot.  Should we walk or drive?

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Today Imperial Beach is holding their 1st annual Festival del Mar, a celebration of the sea.  And since the “C” is missing from the Imperial Beach sign, they do need some other “C” to celebrate.

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Rosarita Beach, BC has provided live entertainment for the event in the form of dancers, musicians and a really good ‘spray can’ artist.   The sand sculptures are local talent.
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But with regrets we turn down the street food.  And continue on to the Tin Fish at the end of the pier.  Why? Because the the location went up to bid last year and just reopened last week.   The new owner Mike is from Fairbanks, AK and we leave for there in June.  And they have the #1 rated crab cake in San Diego …
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The fish and chips I’d give two thumbs up, the hot sauce – too much vinegar, the crab cake had great flavor, just too mushy in the middle.  Dropping a frozen crab cake into the fryer is inviting a mushy middle.  Next year - street food!

April 29, 2016

San Diego’s Tecolote Canyon–Central Section

In January I had planned to hike both the lower and central Tecolote Canyon, however as noted in that blog post the center section had storm damage for both the surface runoff and sewer drainage systems.
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Great entrance sign – Golf is only available in the lower section, rather than posing a more acurate entrance sign it was obviously easier to just paint over it.  As with most of the city hikes behaved dogs are welcome on leash.

With repairs completed last month and wanting to stay close to home today,  it was time to take this section on again.  It’s a short walk to enter this section near the golf course as before and do it as a figure eight loop.  I’ve already posted the lower half of the loop and the upper section of Tecolote Canyon.  Today we will do the less traveled figure eight of the central section.
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Repairs to damage cause by the storm floods were not only made to the drainage up also to some, tho not all, of the trails in the canyon.  At least the new sections of the trail are now well marked. The fence and bridges have all been rebuilt since the El Nino flooding that took this section out.
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It ‘s been quite a few years ago that we would mountain bike this route, passing under Balboa in the drainage culvert.  Using the culverts was how we could do all three sections in a fun ride after work.
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I do not expect to enjoy that ride again.

In January pumps were installed in the damaged section of the canyon to bypass the broken pipes.  The pumps are no longer needed now that drain pipes replaced.

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A sewer pipe that could not maintain the water volumn was also broken, now replaced.
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As we exit the center section and looking over Tecolote Golf Course I notice the trails on the lower section have also been regraded.
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And the flowers from today.  Our winter project is to continue to investigate options for a more drought tolerant landscape.
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