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May 18, 2018

Santa Barbara - the American Riviera

Santa Barbara with its south facing beaches providing a Mediterranean climate is called the American Riviera.  It must be 20 years since my last visit, when Fran and I came up for a birthday celebration.  And 20 years before that we rode the train up and our bicycles back to San Diego.  Despite all there is do experience, Los Angles is just a big deterrent to coming this way.

In the late morning’s heavy fog I left Gaviota, stopping at the Arroyo Hondo Overlook.  The fog was too thick for any view from the overlook, I could just make out the fish ladder of the Hondo Creek.
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The viewpoint does have some signs detailing the history of the area, the difficulties of road building and the extraction of the oil along the beaches.  The derricks along the coast are long gone, but off-shore platforms remain.
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My next stop was Tecolote Canyon, living near Tecolote Canyon in San Diego, this made for a good stop to explore the Public Access Trail System.  I chose this trail to Haskell’s Beach as an example of the maintained trails as it also has a bit of history.  The trail is well maintained, with lots of informative signs.
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After crossing a few rocks and a bit of driftwood the wide, long, sand of Haskell’s Beach would make for an inviting walk on a sunny day.
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Haskell’s Beach is one of the locations where the Japanese attacked the California Coast.
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I mentioned the abundance of poison oak in my previous post on the missions.  But not all ‘leaves of three’ are bad.  This trail is lined with wild blackberries.  Note the thorns on the green stems, rather than the smooth stems of the poison oak.
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My next stop was the 10th California mission Mission Santa Barbara, which has a large free parking lot.  Enough space for RV parking!
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The Queen of the California Missions is noted for its graceful beauty.
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The Moreton Bay Fig tree in the cemetery has seen a lot of funerals.  Planted over a century ago, in what is still an active cemetery.
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The chapel has been enlarged 4 times since the 1786 founding of the mission.  However,it remains unchanged since its last rebuild in 1820.
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The museum contains many original works and is well worth spending more time in.
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The bike paths are wide, paved and well marked.  Some have a designated section for pedestrians.  When I last biked here it was with Fran on touring bikes, that we rode back to San Diego.  My current bike is a lot different, it collapses to be carried inside the RV and has a motor to assist on the hills around here.  That’s Kg riding it around the campground a few days ago.
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Today’s ride will just be along the water front, from West Beach to Shoreline Park at Leadbetter’s Beach.  Yup it’s still foggy.
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On the return, I’ll make my lunch at Stearns Wharf.  The Santa Ynes hills beyond the city are lost in the fog, as is the horizon beyond the fishermen at the end of the pier.
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Lunch!  Crab cakes on the wharf. 
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It’s time to pack it all up and begin the drive home.  It’s less than 50 miles further to follow the foothills past Pasadena then take the 15 back to San Diego, thus bypassing LA.  The kids went that way and said it wasn’t bad, so I’ll give that a try.

It was heavy news this morning that Lynne Braden of WinniViews succumbed to her cancer.  Lynne Was an inspiration to all who followed her travels.  She told her adventures with love, wit and her amazing photography.  It was Lynne who encouraged me to begin this blog.

"Be the light.  When told to act divisive, seek unity with one another.  Overcome hatred, ignorance, and power grabs.  Be humble.  Find and live with grace and honor.    In the end, it is the only legacy we each can leave." ~Lynne Braden

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