March 19, 2017 - San Diego

Hard to find much to complain about here.  San Diego is almost as different a place as is Pheonix to an easterner.  The traffic is awful, there are many quirks, and the desert is near at hand, but the weather along the coast is very pleasant, except when it is foggy or smoggy. 

We arrived at this Mission Bay RV Park after dry camping along a lake in the desert last week.  Made a detour across a last desert flat between rugged mountains called Anza Borrego State Park.  Rumor had it wild flowers would be in bloom there.  They were.  The hills were dappled with color, lines of sand between gray, blue, yellow, and greens sharing tints of all the other colors.  The ocotillo bushes were dark green and covered with leaves.  These will be shed when the drought returns.  The tips of the branches were coral as buds had formed and some had opened into pink flowers.  Dazzling Costa and Anna’s Hummingbirds stood on post defending these resources. 

On the ground were flowering mats and tiny plants with large or tiny blossoms emerging from the sand.  Asters, lillies, primrose, and snap-dragon type herbs were in abundance.  LIzards scurried. 
Going northwest we faced a wall of mountains.  Eventually the road began its ascent and our motor home towing auto went chug, chug, chug up and up and up.  The slopes became at first dry with rock and sand dominating our sight, and then, turning over a ridge and around a corner we were in a green prairie with grass and scattered pines.  Fences and cattle appeared.  The air conditioner went to off. 
A couple of tourist towns came and vanished as the hills turned even more green and the road became four-lane.  Many cars appeared.  The speed increased.  We descended among hills covered with fine homes and entered a “freeway” and roared toward the coast.  We arrived at Mission Bay where the city has a large park around the water.

A disappointment is that this park seems to be public or at least public lease with too many rules, some silly.  It is within a park and on a peninsula surrounded by vacant and collapsing houses.  Seems that was lease land and the city decided to end the leases.  Some homes were removed but most of the houses, some “park models” but others fine homes built in place were abandoned.  Signs warn to keep out.  It is a ghost town. 
Within the rv park are many very happy RV’ers.  Many are Canadians.  They remark how awful the weather is in Alberta.  When I mention we are from Pennsylvania, they say, “oh weather is bad there too.”  I return the compliment and say that there were those who scoffed at Pauxatany Phil’s prediction this year, but the ground hog is always right.

Here we have birded and found the famous and tiny California Gnatcatcher.  We walked a couple of miles through Border Field State Park to the southwest corner of the United States.  We could not drive.  The road was flooded and closed.  At the border an ugly old fence there extends about a hundred yards into the Pacific.  On the other side is the beach at Tijuana.  A year ago we walked about the same distance to watch the water of the Rio Grande flow into the Gulf of Mexico.  That was a much more pleasing sight.  Here, the residents complain of a horrid spill of “something” into the Tijuana River in Mexico.  This stream flows across the border and drains into the Pacific south of San Diego proper.  The birds enjoy its estuary.  So did we despite the fragrance and the knowledge that there were eyes upon us as we walked alone on this section of beach south of the Tijuana River.

We invited John to supper on Friday and joyously celebrated St. Patrick’s Day evening.  Today we all picnic at David’s after a hike in the eastern hills.  I tease Anne that we are now saved having a sibling farther than ourselves from the center of Woods gravity. 

Yesterday we joined San Diego Audubon for a Sea Watch at La Jolla.  We ended up very near where Chris once lived.  A fabulous place to watch sea and amphibious creatures, fish, fowl, and flesh.  Of course the dawn was foggy.  The wind was down and the sea lions roared.  Cormorants nested on the tops of cliffs.  We saw their eggs and chicks.  A snowy egret stood quietly among them hoping a parent would be negligent so it could snatch a small chick.  Gulls and terns coursed the shore and shearwaters fluttered far out to sea.  A peregrine falcon was perched on a pine and a newly arrived hooded oriole sang from the top of a tall palm.
Three hours later the wall above the cliffs and beaches was lined with people, bathers, scuba divers, sun worhippers, tourists, venders, shoppers, joggers, bikers, and lovely dressers.  We had made our good-bys as the group broke up.  A three-hour parking limit had ended the affair and we were ready to return to camp for lunch.  The sun was shining.  The temperature was 68 degrees.

So hard to complain about San Diego.


Nice you could visit with John, David, Gaby, Chris and Sarah.  Love to all!