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May 21, 2023

Fiesta del Sol - Welding and a Topper

Fiesta del Sol:

Solana Beach hosts Fiesta del Sol annually, on the last weekend in May.

I entered Solana Beach via the Coastal Trail for a bike ride.  I always find something new on the gateway pillars.  This time a mama-bird caring for her chicks.

A team of horses taking local eucalyptus to be used for the railroad.  The horse team is four abreast!  I haven’t noticed that before.

The trail is a paved multi-use 1.25 mile path the length of Solana Beach.  It was totally alive in color this visit.


After 1.25 miles the paved section of the trail ends at a little park overlooking Cardiff by the Sea.

From there I retraced my route to its midpoint and entrance to the Kickoff To Summer.

The fest is often held under May-Gray skies, but the welcome sun did come out for a bit.

I wandered down to Fletcher Cove, to watch some of the surfing action.

But the only action was this SUP trying to get out.

Although the wave tossed him off his SUP, he has leashes on both the board and paddle.  After recovering all his gear, I saw him going back and forth, but not trying to come in, nor go further out. 

The main stage area was crowded.  It looked like a lot of folks waiting for the National Anthem. :)

Nope they were waiting for the endless parade of local garage bands.

I didn’t take any photos of the festival, as my blog last year focused on festival.  Rather than repeat, that blog can be found HERE


This post will be much shorter than my last, which mentioned the kids are getting their house painted.

That requires a lot of prep-work.  More prep-work over the weekend, which included repairing the metal fence.  Here Aj is becoming the fence to ensure nothing gets in.

Neighbor Glenn has welding equipment and the tools necessary to help with the job.

The rusted section removed and a new piece of steel measured to be cut.

Kami primes and paints the finished sections.

Which are then ready to be reinstalled.

Glenn has taught himself basic welding by watching YouTube videos and practice.  His work is pretty good, and quite adequate for this project.


The slideout topper tore a few inches on last year's Ohio trip.  Awning tape kept the tear from getting too much worse.  But alas it needs a better fix.

While waiting for ShadePro to arrive I enjoyed a really good coffee, and a lemon muffin from the Beach Club.

Travis arrived a few minutes late, but set right to work removing the old topper.

And installing the new.

It looks possible as a DIY project.  But for $200 installed I’m glad I didn’t attempt it.  Travis made it look easy!


  1. Such pretty colors along your ride. Ah, replacing slide toppers....a seemingly never ending job.

    1. The Coastal Trail was indeed more colorful this year than in previous. It was very enjoyable. Those slide toppers take a beating. Like most ours does not have any protection from the elements nor freeway driving.

  2. Gay and JoeMay 22, 2023

    Good morning Jeff. Love all the color along the path. I’m guessing it’s a result of your very wet winter. I think it’s so cool how you and Fran just get on your bikes and go everywhere! We have done a slide topper by ourselves…it’s definitely a two person job. The second time, we paid someone else!

    1. The riot of colors along the path was certainly a result of this season's rains and the maturing plants. despite the May-Gray it was a very cheery and relaxing ride.
      Travis make the slide topper look easy, but with his moving from ladder to ladder to push and pull the topper along, it's defiantly a two-person job. Or for a young man with good knees!

  3. Beautiful pictures along your route.
    Have to agree, having someone else change the Slide Topper is the better choice.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. It was a beautiful route, I just pointed the camera in the general direction :) If you and Kathy were in the area, I'd ask you to give some demonstration on proper welding techniques.
      For sure on the slid topper!

  4. Jodee GravelMay 23, 2023

    Love the detail on the pillars! Although cloudy it looks like everyone's dressed for warm weather and having summer fun. Nice to have neighbors with the right equipment :-) Ladder work is always for someone else around our place!!

    1. Hi Jodee - It's May-Gray season for us on the coast, as the desert warms up it sucks the clouds in off the ocean. This will last into the June-Gloom, but shorts and flip-flops are still part of SoCal.
      My creaky knees never want to meet another ladder!

  5. I am always amazed that May and June are gray in San Diego - right when everyone else is finally seeing nice weather, you get the gloom. Fortunately, it's only 2 months of the year, and whatever rain you got this winter certainly made for some beautiful flowers!

    1. That is true we did have some awesome blossoms this year! When the desert warms up it pulls the moist air in off the ocean. Typical May/June, but some years it may start as early as Gray-pril or even last into Fog-aust.

  6. Nice to have skilled folks around.

    1. It certainly is1 Skilled and willing to help, not as common as it used to be.


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