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October 14, 2016

Encinitas–Cottonwood Creek Park and Moonlight Beach

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Parking in Encinitas can be a bit of a challenge, my tip is to park at Cottonwood Creek Park, or to ride the Coaster, which is just across the street.  The Coaster station is the original train station and Cottonwood Creek provided water for the train.  It now provides water for a very nice urban park.
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The park as a walking path, a pair of nice tennis courts and two half-court basketball courts.  The walking path follows the creek, displays educational interpretive signs.
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There is a short out-and-back hiking trail in soft sand along the creek.  The trail is lined with oak, cottonwood and cactus.  It's only about a half-mile RT.
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The interpretive trail is a walking path that goes off and on the sidewalk to Moonlight Beach.  The trail starts here.
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We’re a little early for the beach run and wander through town and down to the D Street View Point.  Encinitas is a mix of modern store fronts with condos above, right next to the landmark 1927 La Paloma Theater
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Encinitas sits on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean.  From the viewpoints the folks on the beach, like this skim boarder, look like crabs running along.
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The D Street Viewpoint is a great place to watch the beach activity and has a nice long set of stairs to join in the fun.
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First a bit about Moonlight Beach.  There is limited parking on the bluff above at the C Street lot.  There is a concession stand for snacks and drinks, the restrooms are clean with outside showers.  There are a limited number of fire rings and picnic tables.  The white soft stand stretches both north and south.

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And we are here to join in the fun, and what fun it is to watch 700 middle school kids run 3K on the beach.  The kids are divided into groups based on age and gender, however our 6th grade track star Aj will be running with the 8th grade girls!  No worries …
And here they come!
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Aj and team going through their pre-race warm-up.
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The starting line is the flag on the left.  Yup their shoes will get wet!  But at least the wet sand is hard packed.  Some of the kids are going to run barefoot – I would too.
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And they’re off!  at 16:38 Aj returns, not bad for a 5K in the sand, sure beats my time!
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“Well done Aj!, where can I take you for dinner?” “Pizza!”
Leucadia Pizza is also across from where we’re parked, perfect answer!
We’ll follow the Cottonwood Creek watershed back up the hill a couple blocks.
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Aj, in amazement, “It’s so green; AND THERE’S WATER!!!”
Gads you’d think she was being raised in the Sahara!

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The city of Encinitas has already allocated the permits, security, parking and needed facilitates for their annual Surfing Madonna Beach Run/Walk.  The middle school kids are not part of that big event this weekend, but get to take advantage of the timing.

Somebody objects to the name Madonna …
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And Leucadia Pizza is the home of the Surfing Madonna.
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Next week Borrego Days!

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