14 May 2014--Cut our trip a bit short and left San Diego today to return to San Antonio...we were supposed to stop in Yuma and Fort Huachuca, AZ, but will have to save those for another time. Anyway, our 2 weeks in San Diego and on Coronado Island were really nice. I must say, more than anything else other than the ocean and beaches, California outdoes itself with its bike paths. I think you can bike the entire length of the state without stopping...it is great!!!
We spent several days just riding our bikes around the island, 1st heading into the main part of town where this incredibly big and very pretty hotel complex dominates the area. It is called the Hotel del Coronado and was built in 1888, one year after the restaurant in the 1st picture was built as a practice vehicle for the workers.
Posters in a shop window that I included here just because I thought they were funny. haha
Another day we headed to the far north of the island, a mostly residential area that also has a ferry you can take over to San Diego. We had planned to take the ferry one day with our bikes, but time ran out on us. It is so pleasant just riding around, you almost feel like you really don't have to do anything else to have a really great day!
These purple trees are all over this area, and really pretty especially when you see them in bunches.
Riding home a couple days we saw some Navy Seals out training on the beach area across from our RV Park. They are in an "off-limits" to the public area, unfortunately, cause I would love to have gone up and talked to them.
Another day we went to the far south of the island, to the Imperial Beach and Pier. It is an area that is clearly "the wrong side of the tracks" as you drive through it, but beautiful at the beach anyway.
At the commissary one day, in what I think was aisle 6 (haha), my cell phone suddenly texted me "Welcome to Mexico", and went on to explain the text and calling rates. We knew we were close to the border, but not quite that close, so outside we looked around and could actually see "the fence" in the distance. So the next day we drove over to San Diego to a spot that Cathy had seen on the internet where the fence went straight into the ocean. This was really interesting...we started at this state park, that looked a bit forbidding at first...I wasn't really sure I wanted to walk the mile and a quarter I read about down this lonely dirt road behind Cathy in the 3rd picture. But seeing as this claims to be the 1st place a border marker was placed in the country, I figured we would chance it. haha
We weren't walking long when we saw these people on horseback walking towards us...Ellen, I was starting to think of me, you and Karen in Mexico 30 yrs ago (haha)...so we pressed on. That is Mexico in the distance of the 2nd pic.
Here we approach the beach and have to walk to our left another 1/4 mile on the beach to get to the border. That's it behind Cathy.
Other than some nesting birds and the border patrol guy, we were the only ones on the beach for miles.
When we finally got to the fence, we were surprised to see that there are actually 2 fences, as you can see in the 1st 2 pics. I walked over to the border patrol guy sitting in the car and asked why there were 2, and he said "just to slow them down a little"...haha. I swear to God, that is what he said. He went on to say that in some places there are actually 3 fences, and that someone sits where he does 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just to stop them crossing here. Said some of them are skinny enough to get right thru the fence, and that others either swim around the fence or wait for low tide to walk around it. When I mentioned how bored they must be and that I would be hoping someone would cross just to have something to do, he readily admitted that is exactly how they feel. haha We chase them down, arrest them, and then bring them back to our jails. Seems like an incredible waste of time and money to me, but who knows?
Here I am zooming in to see some people on the other side of the fence. Now I thought this was interesting...seemed like quite a few people over there, enjoying the beach and their families, while there wasn't anyone on our beaches at all. Having been up close and personal with the Berlin Wall when it was still up, I found myself thinking of that a lot as I stood here. The only difference was when you looked over the Berlin Wall, all the East Germans seemed dark and gray and unhappy. And why is this such a forbidding place that no one comes to this beach on our side any more? Something is wrong with this picture if you ask me.
Here is the lighter side of it all. Notice that the fence behind me and Cathy goes out into the water...not very far at all...and think just how stupid it is that we have spent so much money putting it there...I promise you I wouldn't have to wait for low tide to get around it!!! haha And if you are from Southie reading this, tell me you are not thinking the "L" street beaches with their fences into the water. What a trip!!! And finally, Ellen...notice the 3rd pic...people horseback riding at the water's edge...just like we all wanted to do all those years ago that ended as a total fiasco!!! You should show this picture to Kathy Croake and Peggy Belotti just to bring back the memories. haha
Two members of the "rapid response" team on their 4-wheelers. 1st they told Cathy and I we had to get off the road, as we were on federal property, but then I asked them for a picture and they quickly spun around to join me...haha Everyone's a ham!
The monument we went to see is actually on the Mexican side of the fence. You can see it in the 4th picture, almost directly in front of the lighthouse, but behind the fence. And then in the 5th picture, especially if you blow it up, you can see the silhouette of it. This is the southwestern-most point in the continental United States.
You can see the border patrol car in the 1st pic here...they couldn't pay me enough to be that bored all day. Notice that even though it is really pretty, the beach is really empty.
These tires are dragged behind a patrol car every day to erase all the footprints, so that when they patrol again they can see if any illegals have passed in the night.
Here is a quick video of the fence up close so you can see better how far it goes, or doesn't go, into the water! haha
OK...so that's all folks! Our trip is done! Had a great time! Saw some beautiful sights from the mountains to the ocean! Will be back in San Antonio for 2 months...back to some heat (haha)...and then taking off again for New England in July. I'll be back!!!