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October 28, 2020

Ventura - vintage trailers

When my friend Doug first asked if I could help him relocate his cousin Elizabeth (Beth) from Oxnard to Ventura I said sure.  But as the time grew closer and the specs on her Airstream Argosy were not as comforting as I’d like … I wanted to withdraw my offer and beg off.  Glad I did not!

We hooked her trailer up in Oxnard, and my ancient Prodigy Brake Controller worked perfectly with her equally ancient Argosy.

And we were off the 10 miles north on 101 to Waypoint Ventura.

Airstream made the Argosy as a ‘lite’ version of the aluminum units.  They are also known as ‘painted’ Airstreams.

Beth has a lease on a site at the southwest end in the immaculate park.

Here’s a look at some of the other units in the park.

This unit with the airbrush graphics is next door:

Many classics are full time residents:

Some are available for rent like this awesome Root Beer unit.

 I really liked this restored unit, which is the game room.

A fire pit for Happy Hour with TWO BBQ grills and a sink for cleanup:

Doug inspecting the hookups at Beth’s Argosy:

Inspection complete -  meet the cousins Doug and Beth:

Just outside the park is a shop that restores these classic units to their former glory using new appliances and classic woodwork.

It’s a 5 minute walk over the pedestrian bridge to the Ventura Pier.

My typical rate for assistance is two fish tacos and a bottle of wine might also be required.


Today I only wanted one fish taco on the pier – Thanks Beth!  It was a very good taco!  I'll be back for more!  :)  My treat next time.

From the pier it is a short walk to the harbor and a ferry to the Channel Islands.  Such a great location!

Back in San Diego, Doug provided not one but TWO bottles of Sanford Pinot Noir.  Sanford wines were featured in the movie Sideways, have you seen it?  I bet this made a dent in his wine cellar.

Son, Michael, provided wine from ... my favorite, the monks New Clairvaux, Fran is still in Ohio and left me clues, in Spanish! – arg will I ever learn that language?, to find the card and (appropriately) vintage puzzle.

A day with friends and meeting Beth
A wonderful location near the beach
A nice feeling of accomplishment
Good food, friends, wine to be opened

It’s a long drive? and to do as a day trip???, but I’d do it again!

October 23, 2020

Borrego Springs - Orionid Meteor Shower

Borrego Days marks the official opening of the tourist season for Borrego Springs.  All the Pomp, Parade, Hoopla, Food and Fun that usually accompany this event have been Covid-Cancelled this year.

Christmas Circle sits empty, but the grass looks great!

However the Orionid Meteor Shower was not cancelled!  And I’m here with friends Doug and Marilyn for that.

We are parked in the NO Zone (no cell service) at Yaqui Pass.  It’s only attraction is the Kenyon Overlook Trail

We are setup on the west side of the camping area to have a better view to the east.

I brought my telescope for views of the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in the evening sky.  The Orion Nebula,  the Pleiades and Venus after midnight. 

This was indeed one of the better meteor shower displays in years!  Totally worthy of many highlight reel events.   Again my new Lumix performed well at home, but not when it counted!  No night shots turned out, ... again!   I have to learn to change settings in the dark!

With Clark Lake permanently closed to boondocking, we decided to check out an old favorite of Doug’s.  The Vernon Whitaker Horse Camp.

It’s now $25 a night!  It’s been awhile since Doug has been here :)  Sites are spacious, horse corral for each site, showers, flush toilets, instead of doggy bags – wheel barrows and rakes are provided!  And it has cell service …



The dispersed campsite at Peg Leg Smith was empty!  And a brand new pit-toilet restroom has been added.  Nope not on the street side (where it should be), but smack-dap in the middle of the desired desert side.  OK I see the need for  it, with Clark Lake closed anyone hiking to the Snake will depart from deep in Peg Leg Smith, but not at the desert entrance … Who comes up with this stuff?

While we were there the Goleta Meadows sculpture areas were closed.  One of the messages from Borrego Days Zoom Meeting announced that all the sculptures are now open.  Masks required … The Friday Farmer’s Market is again open to be held at Christmas Circle Friday mornings.

There were Help Wanted signs at most locations.  Borrego Springs is used to shutting down during the summer and revamping every Fall.  Want to be a winter 'workcamper'?  Check out the openings in BS.  Jilbertos was popular, in the time it took to take this snapshot folks came and left with their carryout orders.

Carlee's seems to have figured out dine-in.  Always a popular spot, I'm not ready for dine-in.

I may have stayed longer, but both Doug and I have committed to be in Ventura Saturday.  It's time to hitch up and go.  

I  was home in time to attend the Zoom Meeting on the Borrego Springs Shadeway.  (The link is to a brief YouTube presentation.)

From the County Parks website:

Borrego Springs Shadeway

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is in preliminary planning stages to design and install a shadeway connecting Christmas Circle to Borrego Springs Park along Sunset Road. DPR staff will be reaching out to the Borrego Springs community this fall and winter through a series of virtual events and online surveys to engage residents in the design process.

DPR is partnering with the Department of Public Works during the design and construction of the project because DPW is simultaneously working on a sidewalk project along Sunset Road.

DPR hosted our first public meeting on October 22. If you weren't able to attend, you can still participate online by viewing the pre-recorded presentation found within the  survey and sharing your preferences by November 5. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you!


For more information about the project please contact Park Project Manager Stephanie Kopplin at (858) 966-1344 or Stephanie.Kopplin@sdcounty.ca.gov __________________________________________________________________

The comments in the Zoom Meeting were interesting … the locals do not see the need for it and would prefer to have more shade at Christmas Circle, although they do appreciate the new pedestrian crossings.   I agree Christmas Circle could use more shade!  It has FREE 4G, 4G LTE and 5G, but the only place to see the cell phone screen is out of the sun in the restroom.

And for refence I marked up a Google Map showing the pedestrian crossings in red and the Shadeway in violet.

And this is what I returned home to!  ARG!

The city is upgrading all the sewer and water systems less we become another Detroit, OK ... and I have been assigned the neighborhood fire hydrant! Lucky me ... Should I buy a Lottery Ticket?

October 13, 2020

Cardiff and Solana Beach - now connected by trail

Last week San Elijo Lagoon opened a new trail connecting the Nature Center with Harbaugh Seaside Trails at the north end of Solana Beach.  Two foot bridges over the lagoon and a pedestrian underpass were constructed to complete the trial.  I edited the map from their website to show the new trail in red.

But I am getting way ahead of myself.  This will be my destination, the reason to enjoy this sunny day near the beach.  I'll be doing this as a 'bike'n'hike', although 'hike' is a bit of an exaggeration. 

I unloaded the bike at the south entrance to Solana Beach.  Parking can be tight here, there is paid parking along Via de la Valle along with 2 hr free parking spots or free untimed spots in the residential area.  Start here because it's fun!


Solana Beach has completed its section of the Coastal Rail Trail that will eventually connect Oceanside to San Diego, some 44 miles of multi-use bike, hike, jog paths.

Like the Solana Beach welcome banner, the pillars of the Coastal Rail Trail are adorned with artwork of the regions history.  Note that water faucet on the left side of the following pillar!  It's important and a little known trivia of Solana Beach.  I'll get to that on my ride back.
The trail follows HiWay 101, and although there is a bike path on 101, this is a lot more relaxed and fun.
Rest benches on the trail are designed like waves, appear to be made out of sand, complete with shells.
Not just along the trail but throughout Solana Beach can be found fun quotes from poets, writers we've heard of ... even if the quote cannot be placed.
"The moon is distant from the sea,
and yet with amber hands 
She leads him docile as a boy
Among appointed sand" ~Emily Dickinson
Art and thoughts are not just underfoot, there's fun stuff at eye level too.

Be sure to stop at the foot bridge, it's well worth the time and is another work of art.  At the foot of the stairs is a drinking fountain for adults, kids and furry friends.  Yes the trail is pooch friendly for well behaved leashed companions.

The fountain stands in colorful sea life mosaic
The bridge floor is embedded with sea glass and colored stones.  A lot of thought and effort went into this.

Across the bridge is the Solana Beach artsy-fartsy-yuppie side, Cedros Avenue.  Well they do offer a Sunday Farmers Market for the gentry.

Crab Crossing?  That needs some research, any takers?

Yup, even the pedestrian crossings have artwork.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post and shown on my version of the trail map.  Both the Coastal Trail and the San Eligo hiking trail meet.

They meet at Harbaugh Seaside Trails.

The south entrance to the trails is in Solana Beach.  Guess that requires more artwork.

The Seaside Trail down to the pedestrian underpass is bike friendly!  Who Knew!  Yupper I walked it!

It's an easy walk through the newly planted native gardens and views to the horizon.

The west entrance to the passage under the train tracks.  Technically I would be in Cardiff-By-the-Sea at this point, but the tunnel also has artwork ... and not from the spray can artists.

Going through the tunnel the Nature Center is to the left and the south trails including Annie's Canyon are to the right.  I've hiked Annie's several times, the first time it was still called the Sand Canyons, then with Fran and there's a ladder at the end.

It's probably less than a half mile from the underpass to the Nature Center, which is my ultimate destination.  But there's a couple stops to share from the bike.

The right lane of 101 in both directions is a bike lane for the pedal pushers.  But the shoulder is set off as a safety path for families, or in my case slow geriatric bikers.  No pedestrians allowed in the northbound side of 101.  A bi-direction path is set aside in the southbound lanes

To reach the nature center turn right at the Cardiff Kook stay in the right lane and then right again after the tracks

Final destination achieved, but now have to backtrack to the underpass following the new lagoon trail.  No bikes allowed on these trails.

The first of the new foot bridges is the longer.

The second has the same construction of concrete with metal rails.

Nice views of the lagoon can be seen from most trails in the park

A side trip to the right of the second bridge leads to a lesser traveled overlook of the lagoon.  OK birds stamped into the cross members of the train trestle.

Homes in Cardiff are built right down to the waters edge.

The return bike path is with the southbound lanes of 101 and shared with pedestrians who travel both directions.  Again the righthand lane of 101 is a bike lane for the hardcore, with the same marked off section for families, peds and geriatrics.

Remember that water faucet on the pillar at the beginning?  Solana Beach is built on a sandstone bluff, originally there was no beach.  The early developers realized it needed to have  beach.  Fletcher Cove was carved out of the bluffs using water cannons!  Still the beach is best accessed at low tide.
This is a lot harder than it looks! 

"Sit in reverie and watch the changing colors of the water that break upon the idle seashore of the mind" ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In my last post I mentioned that Achilles Tendonitis is a bit of a problem.  I do not have a magic cure, for this outing I used tape and Ace bandages, and a lot of ice on the return!


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