Friday, July 16, 2010

Cabrillo National Monument Park - Bayside Trail (#22)

July 13, 2010 - When Portugese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo set foot here on September 28, 1542, I'm guessing he liked what he saw.

I hiked the
Bayside Trail of the Cabrillo National Monument Park, accompanied by my wife, on what could reasonably be called the first "real" day of summer here in San Diego.

After weeks of mediocre 65 degree gray days the sun finally decided to present itself in all its glory and I can't think of a more splendid view of San Diego on a day like this than from this vantage point.

The Bayside Trail itself is about a 3 mile walk round-trip from the Visitor Center and back.

Great views the whole way.

Part way down the trail you find the bunkered encasings of spotlights stowed away in the side of the hill. Apparently the lights could be rolled out on tracks and juiced up by a nearby generator to put the light on potential unfriendlies trying to enter the bay.

When you get to the end of the trail you have a more close up view of the harbor entrance and all the comings and goings of the varied marine craft serenaded by the barking seals and crying gulls.

North Island Naval Station, Downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge were all on display for us as we watched the exiting of a fairly large naval vessel.

On that topic, you may know that I have been curious about a particular ship that seems to appear any time I am near the bay or the ocean. You know, the one that almost crashed into the bridge?

Well I just happened to find a picture of it displayed on a placard. As you see in the photo, that ship would be known as an amphibious transport dock. Now you know!

As far as walking, the return trip uphill was a great little workout involving sweat and all of that good stuff like that there (heart-rate, breathing, pain in the side, etc.).

Back at the top we passed by the "Old" Point Loma Lighthouse.

Old implies that it may no longer be in use and that would be correct. What's interesting, though, is that it didn't take long after first lighting it up in 1855 to realize that there was a flaw in its placement.

It seems that fog and low clouds often obscured the light. After only 36 years of use they built a new lighthouse down along the shore which has been lighting the way for boats ever since.

Looking closely at the photo of the new lighthouse you might notice a couple of unridden waves. That surf spot, my friends, is known as "Ralph's." The waves there are AWESOME! Very long perfect waves that wrap around the point and are always uncrowded. The reason for that is that you are not allowed to enter the water from the shore and therefore can only get there by boat. I consider myself fortunate to have surfed there about 5 or 6 times. INCREDIBLE waves!

Unfortunately it didn't work out so well for its namesake however. Seems that "Ralph" didn't make it all the way across the harbor when he attempted to paddle from Coronado on his surfboard. Sharks they say.

In the next to last photo you'll see a coastline that should look very familiar to hike #16 which you no doubt recall was the Sunset Cliffs. Fact is, Sunset Cliffs is not too very far down the way as you head north along the coast. I guess as I keep walking all over San Diego everything will eventually connect, huh?

Anyway, another GREAT hike!

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