We left the desert and the Salton Sea and headed west to San Clemente.
and our meeting with the Pacific Ocean.
Those are dolphins not sharks.
We spent five glorious days here, walking on the beach and working on
our tans. We could only stay five days because campsites go online seven
months in advance and weekends get grabbed up quickly. The only sites left
for later reservations are Sunday through Friday. We also visited Richard
and Caryn in Venice one night. After the five days we south to the Santee
a suburb of San Diego and camped at the Padre Dam Water Authority Seven
This campground is run by a public agency and has no park models but there
was an interesting twist. Campers can stay for 6 months and many people actually
live here in their trailers, motor homes and fifth wheels. After six months
they have to leave for two weeks but can make reservations
for their next 6 month stay. Electricity is metered and these long
term campers (residents) pay for their usage.
Susan came to visit for the Thanksgiving weekend and we made
dinner in the trailer. Unfortunately, the weather got colder but it was
a pleasant visit.
We couldn't come to San Diego and miss the San Diego Zoo but weren't as
impressed as we had hoped to be.
They had some interesting animals in nice habitats but they also had some
in old fashioned cages. However; the San Diego Zoo has another location called
the San Diego Wild Animal Park, it's in Escondido, in the mountains beyond
town and this was impressive.
There are no fences separating the animals, except the predators
and visitors can take a photo safari and ride through the exhibit on the
back of a truck.
We visited Balboa Park, an in town park similar but different then
Central Park. All the cultural sites like museums and the zoo are all located
in the park. We walked in Mission Trails Regional Park a really spectacular,
hiking, biking park with many trails a primitive campground, a nature center
and a National Historic Landmark. Unfortunately when we went hiking I made
the mistake of leaving my camera behind.
The highlight of our visit besides for seeing Susan was our trip to Cabrillo
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was the first European to set foot on the
west coast of the United States. The military history and beautiful scenery
had nothing to do with making this the highlight of my trip. Cabrillo is
a National Park Fee area so an entrance fee is required. When I retired and
we started camping more, we purchased the annual National Park pass which
provides free entry to all the National Parks. At Cabrillo I was glad
to pay even though I didn't have too. I had just turned 62 and I bought my
Golden Age Passport which cost $10, it doesn't have to be renewed annually
and it also entitles me to a 50% discount in National Park campgrounds. Hey,
some times you get value in return for your tax dollars.
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