Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Monday, December 9, 2013

Laguna Beach to Oceanside, California December 6

December 6.....36.36 in 3:30.....Pam got me out the door by 9 AM, and Jeeped me back to South Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach was a hazard the other night as I was finishing up in late afternoon traffic. The lanes are narrow and parked cars were everywhere. Fortunately, I got through that, and was starting in South Laguna. Laguna Beach is another very long town, stretching between the ocean and the mountains that pop right out if the sea. I really didn't see any beach access in Laguna, because it all looked like it was built on a cliff. I started out with very sore legs, and they didn't loosen up for a LONG time. That first hill felt like the lactic acid was gorilla glued to my muscle fibers. I don't think I should be this sore, so it must be old age. I had sun,  55 degrees, and a decent headwind, which made it seem cooler than 55 feels like with sun and a tailwind. The road widened out nicely and Laguna turned into Monarch Beach, which turned into Dana Point. We have been in touch with Nick and Tracy Ingerto, who live in Dana Point, and were neighbors of ours in North Beach in Rodanthe NC. Tracy actually saw Pam drive by in the Jeep after dropping me off. Dana Point is a really nice town with a beautiful harbor, which I overlooked from a cliff, high above the actual water.
Outside of Dana Point, the Pacific Coast Highway peeled away from Rt.1, which I had been on, and took me right along the ocean, along a railroad track that runs Amtrak and other coastal commuters. I passed  Doheny Beach, which the Beach Boys mentioned in a song, and Capistrano Beach, which is near San Juan Capistrano, where the swallows are famous. I then went into San Clemente, where Richard Nixon was from, and the ACA map took me off of the busy, downtown, El Camino Real highway, and into a residential district that was like a roller coaster. The hollows, and canyons, and rolling hills were brutal, but they are probably what finally forced my legs to start working and loosen up---a little. 
The next ten miles or so were spent in San Onofre State Park, running parallel to Interstate 5. The park looks like a barren, brown, wasteland of scrub brush between the interstate and the ocean, but it actually has bike trails, trails to the ocean, and hundreds of picnic tables with fire rings, and restrooms every couple of miles. I rode on some bike trail, but mostly a wide road that had zero vehicular traffic on it because the park is shut down for the season. It was hard to tell where the park ended and Fort Pendleton began, but I passed through a gate, and that was probably the border. The Marines had heliports, pillboxes, and I thought I saw a runway, mixed in with the scrub brush, probably for training purposes. There was also a nuclear power plant right on the ocean, that looked like none that I've ever seen. It had no smokestacks, like Three Mile Island, but had two massive concrete domes as its largest features.
 I then passed under I-5  in a short tunnel that was reserved for bikes and military vehicles. Then, I knew I was in Camp Pendleton . I soon started to see military tents and equipment off in the distance, and then I came to the security gate, and had to show ID to ride through the camp. We learned that there about 45,000 Marines and family on base, and it is a huge place, but I think I rode near a lot of practice ranges. I did see some facility buildings, some workout fields, as well as a huge elementary school, and some housing. Right before I left the base, I passed the commissary and shopping area for the Marines, and then emptied out right into Oceanside. Since I knew my way around town a little after taking yesterday off and exploring it with Pam, I didn't have to figure out my ACA map, and the campground was right on the Pacific Coast Highway, my intended path of travel. 
Speaking of yesterday, my off day, Pam and I walked for quite a few miles on the beach, on Oceanside's Strand (a concrete boardwalk), and out onto their pier. We also went to a downtown farmers market, and the town's Christmas tree lighting and saw the arrival of Santa Claus.

House on the hill at Laguna Beach

Marina at Dana Point

Dana Point

Entrance to Dana Point


Another ghost bike with memorials of water bottles , shirts, etc

Bike trail in Camp Pendleton

Tents in Camp Pendleton

Tunnel under I-5

Tents at Camp Pendleton

Equipment at Camp Pendleton

Had to keep watch for the tanks!

Riding down the road in Camp Pendleton

Housing in Camp Pendleton - it's changed a little hasn't it Daddy?!!

Obstacle course

Part of course

Mechanized Museum at Camp Pendleton

Old tank at the museum

Chapel at the Santa Maria Ranch at Camp Pendleton

Front of house at Santa Maria Ranch

Back of house

One of the entrance signs for Camp Pendleton
Mike made a friend while walking at sunset

California sunset

Surfers coming out of the water

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