Tag Archives: cabrillo national monument

Out & About—San Diego’s snow-capped mountains

Out & About San Diego

I arrived in San Diego on April 27, 1993. It was to be my last stop on my attempt to find a place to live outside of the Great Nation of Texas. I considered myself retired from all previous professions, so I spent my time visiting all the beaches between Mexico and Los Angeles. Gawd I was having a good time.

One day, while playing beach volleyball with some friends and new acquaintances, someone suggested going skiing. Well, we’re at the beach so what could be more logical than hopping in a boat and going skiing on the great Pacific Ocean. Ha! That’s not what the suggester had in mind. He wanted to go snow skiing. Uh, we’re in San Diego. There’s no snow anywhere for miles around.

I was only partially right. Snow and ski resorts were only 90 miles away. I had been snow skiing several times before so I was game. We headed to Big Bear, California, and spent the rest of the day snow skiing.

Several years later, I saw a picture of downtown San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background. I thought it had been photoshopped until I saw it for myself a few years later.

I have been trying for 23 years to get my own picture of San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background. Absent an airplane, helicopter, or hot-air balloon, the only place to get such pictures was Point Loma, about 40 miles due west of the mountains.

For me to get such a picture, not only would it have to snow down to about 1,800 feet above sea level, but it would have to be a beautifully clear day to see all that way through clouds, fog, and smog. Although it snows down to 1,800 feet every five years or so, clear days while the snow exists are few and far between.

When I woke the morning of February 22, 2019, I learned that it had snowed in Alpine, just 7 miles east of where I live, and right at 1,800 feet above sea level. I knew the higher-elevation mountains would be covered in snow, lots of snow.

I can see the mountains from my house, and they had lots of snow on them. It was a beautifully clear day at 7:00 a.m., so I immediately headed to Point Loma. The result of my trip is the three pictures below.

San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background

San Diego with snow-capped mountains in the background

The first picture was taken from Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma. The second picture was taken from Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, also on Point Loma. Here’s another picture which includes part of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery:

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, downtown San Diego, and snow-capped mountains

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Didn’t see a single fox. Sad.

Picture of the Moment

I go to the coastal tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument a couple of times each year, and now that I have a lifetime pass ($10 if you’re 62 or older; price is going up to $80 under Twitler), I will go even more often.

When I went on my birthday in March (the day I turned 62!), I saw a crossing sign that I had never seen before:

Fox crossing

Nope.

Didn’t see a single fox.

Maybe it was because of the fog bank covering the peninsula.

Oh, well.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Lighthouse of 1854, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego CA

San Diego Historical Landmarks: #17—Lighthouse of 1854

San Diego Historical Landmarks

The Lighthouse of 1854, San Diego Historical Landmark #17, also is known as the Cabrillo Lighthouse and is located on the grounds of Cabrillo National Monument.

Lighthouse of 1854, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego CA

Just 19 days after California was admitted as the 31st state of the United States, Congress authorized $90,000 to build six lighthouses along the California coast. By the time they got around to building the Cabrillo lighthouse, there was no money left so congress had to authorize another $59,434. Construction began in April 1854, was completed in October 1855, and was lighted for the first time at sunset on November 15, 1855. Officially it was light number 355 in the Twelfth United States Lighthouse District.

The lighthouse was decommissioned on March 23, 1891, being replaced by a new lighthouse at a lower elevation. During its time in use, it was at the highest elevation of any lighthouse in the United States. However, what originally was considered good turned out to be bad, bad, bad. Being at the top of a 400-ft cliff meant that fog and low clouds blocked the light from ships.

The light was re-lit in 1984 for the first time in 93 years for the site’s 130th birthday.

The lighthouse tower normally is closed off to the public. However, there are two days a year when it is open: August 25, which is the National Park Service’s birthday, and November 15, which is the Lighthouse’s birthday. I can highly recommend trekking to the top of the tower; it’s pretty cool.

Cabrillo Lighthouse stairway, Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego

Lighthouse of 1854, Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego CA

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the San Diego Historical Landmarks series, go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Imperial Beach pier

The Pier

Inspiration

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Poetry always gives me a certain feeling, a certain kind of inspiration.

I love it, then, when I find poetry in unexpected places.

Recently I found poetry on a pier….

….about a pier….

….on and about this pier:

Imperial Beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Following is the poetry, but you don’t have to try to read the picture. I have transcribed the poem below the picture.

The Pier, by J. J. Blakely

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Pier

Weathered and worn, dark pillars reach for the rolling sea
Ninety-six years have passed since she came to be
Fisherman’s lines, generations’ casts, pleasantly intertwine
Blue waters, white mist, etched warmly upon our minds

Summer’s breeze flows sweetly past to the shore
White gulls sail free, swooping, diving ever more
Frolicking black seals dip and rise with each Pacific wave
Majestic blue dolphins swiftly glide, leap and splash as they play

With every turn magnificent sights greet our eyes
North to west, and south to east is where they lie
Cabrillo’s house lights for the wayward soul
Loma’s point flashes for those it tolls

Carrier of gray, wings upon her deck, fades to earth’s horizon
Sails of white, blue and red bulge under the day’s sun
Deadman’s Isle, draped in eerie fog, resting his head to the west
Serpent Islands close in, snap at his feet with zest

White capped surf washes upon Playa de Tijuana sands
Bull ring rises by the sea, cheers gone from her stands
Huts of tin and board, poor and destitute masked from afar
Cries for help, for merciful change, fall silently hard

Ocean’s breeze rises upon mountains of sage brush and vine
Otay’s rocky peaks silhouette the eastern sky
Mount Miguel stoically stands watch over the sea
Hills run to the shore, brown hawks graciously soar free

Aroma of lemon trees past linger throughout the land
Cities Chula Vista, National and San Diego spread where they did stand
Blue of bay’s bridge lazily arches, touches Coronado’s coast
Crowns of red brightly sit atop the Del’s royal towers and boast

Strands of silver sand flow, gently caressing my soul
Sea’s waters rushing beneath planks of time, come and go
God’s mighty storms pound and push over the years
Standing strong, unshakable, haven for peace, the pier

J. K. Blakely, November 6, 2005

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The poem describes the many sights and sounds to be experienced from the Imperial Beach pier. Here are a few of the sights, although not necessarily taken from the pier:

Cabrillo’s house IMG_6335

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Carrier of grayUSS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from the sky

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Playa de TijuanaPlaya de Tijuana

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Blue of bay’s bridge lazily archesSan Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Crowns of red brightly sit atop the Del’s royal towersHotel del Coronado

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The pierImperial Beach pier

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Submarine in San Diego Bay

San Diego Naval Submarine Base

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

To say that San Diego is a huge military town would be a great understatement. A couple of years ago the Chamber of Commerce announced that San Diego County had surpassed the Arlington, Virginia, area as the greatest concentration of military personnel in the free world.

Of the numerous military bases here, one of the more interesting is the San Diego Naval Submarine Base (CA79R4) at the entrance to San Diego harbor.

San Diego submarine base

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego submarine base

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There are three great viewing points of the submarine base. One is Cabrillo National Monument, where the above pictures and video were taken. Cabrillo National Monument is closed until further notice due to the federal government shutdown.

A second vantage point, and one of the most fun, is by making a splash on the SEAL.

Make a splash on the SEAL

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Although the SEAL is fun, how close you get to the submarine base is dependent on the SEAL driver, whether or not any submarines are in port, and the United States Coast Guard which keeps gawkers like me from getting to close via the water.

The last vantage point is at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. It directly overlooks the submarine base but is rather high, so you’ll need a zoom lens to get good pictures.

San Diego submarine base

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California

What do you do during a power outage?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Out & About San Diego

 

I usually have a lot of fun on holidays, and Memorial Day was no exception.

Made SeaWorld in the morning to stand in line for an hour to experience the new Manta ride.

Line for the new Manta ride at SeaWorld San Diego

 

The new Manta ride at SeaWorld San Diego

 

Played with the dolpins. First time I’ve ever petted one.

Dolphin at SeaWorld San Diego

 

Went over to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery because I’ve always wanted to get a picture of the headstones, each with a little flag in front of it. About 65,000 of them.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California

 

Visited Cabrillo National Monument for the best views of San Diego while standing on the ground (flying’s better).

San Diego from Cabrillo National Monument

 

Back to SeaWorld to dine with Shamu:

Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld

 

Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld

 

“Dining with Shamu” at SeaWorld San Diego has to rank as one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The food was far better than I expected for a theme park, and it was a buffet. Along with the one-hour meal came a 30-minute private show by two Shamus (note that there are eight “Shamus” at SeaWorld San Diego). The meal and show is only $39 per person (adults).

When we got home it was dark:

Darkness

 

I mean dark! The condominium complex where I live was the only place without electricity. According to my neighbors, there was a loud explosion around
2:30 p.m. San Diego Gas & Electric had seven huge trucks and about fifteen people here trying to figure out what was wrong. Power was restored a couple of hours ago at 3:40 a.m. Thirteen hours without electricity, which also means no Internet! And it was a noisy 13 hours with all the racket going on.

San Diego Gas & Electric

 

Poor Zoey the Cool Cat didn’t know what to do.

 

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Downtown San Diego from Cabrillo National Monument

For the most spectacular views of San Diego: Cabrillo National Monument. It’s free this week only.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Out & About San Diego

When you come to San Diego, there are three places you should go to see the gorgeous panoramic views of San Diego County:

  1. Mount Helix in La Mesa — Mount Helix has a private park with a large cross at the top. Great sunsets because you’re far enough inland to actually get sunsets instead of the coastal marine layer. Mount Helix is about 1,370 feet high.
  2. Mount Soledad in La Jolla — At 822 feet high, you can see the coastline from Mexico up to Los Angeles on a clear day. The marine layer usually burns off around noon, but then it rolls back in off the ocean as early as 5:00 p.m. on some days, so get thee yourself up there around 2:00 p.m. for the clearest views.
  3. Cabrillo National Monument — At the outer edge of San Diego Bay, these are the most spectacular views of Mexico, Coronado Island, downtown San Diego, and all that lies in the San Diego Harbor, including the Submarine Base and the Navy Air Base on Coronado Island.

Mt. Helix and Mount Soledad are free. All you have to do is drive your car to the top.

Cabrillo National Monument, being a government institution, costs money to get in. However, for this week only, from April 21 (yesterday) to April 28, it’s free!

Cabrillo National Monument map

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Downtown San Diego from Cabrillo National Monument

Submarine from Cabrillo National Monument

 

I’ll have lots more pictures this week. Meanwhile, I’m off to the San Diego Zoo in a couple of minutes, then back home to do a home inspection report, and then off to Cabrillo National Monument this afternoon.

Happy Sunday to all!

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos