Tag Archives: point loma

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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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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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat