The Beach Every Day, Several Ways

Today, we move on, from Tijuana River Valley Regional Park to a whole honking half-hour away, to a county park east of San Diego. A week there, then up the California coast. As I leave here, I realize it might be the only place we’ll be on the entire Pacific Coast where we could walk and bike from the trailer to a sandy beach—so that’s how I’ll remember it.

My Beach Time

Every day we’ve been here I’ve ridden my bike down the ten-minute path to the beach, no matter how windy or chilly.

The ride itself has lovely spots, like this area of scrubland that’s been blooming each afternoon (note the wall on the horizon with Tijuana on the other side).

I’ll take a teeny folding chair to use as a backrest and sit on a blanket in the sand, reading and soaking in the sound of the surf, while Tracy goes looking for birds and shells and rocks and sea glass.

At sunset, we hiked to a lookout point on the mesa above the campground, hoping to catch the green flash, but there’s fog/mist/lots o’moisture in the air, so no green. Plenty of Oohs and Aahs though. Our first sunset over an ocean, I believe.

Mystery Beach Mother

Then there’s the story of the young woman I watched walk by me on the beach, coming from Tijuana, which is impossible unless she’d swum around the wall, which she hadn’t because she had a baby on her hip and two small kids trailing behind, all with backpacks. Mysterious enough, but then, there she was again, four hours later, sitting at the picnic table at the campsite beside us.

This is a very long story (for her and her kids for sure, and in my head, as well), so fast forward two more hours as the sun’s setting, and there’s no sign of a tent or a camper or anyone bringing them food or clothes. She speaks no English. So I recruit Spanish-speaking Tracy, who learns that her husband had to work late and is stuck in traffic. (What, he was picking her up at this isolated beach after work?) I give her my blanket, then a sweater, then crackers for the kids. (Thanks for the suggestion, Susan, who shared my worry via texting while I spied out the windows, waiting to see who was coming to get them: a family member or border patrol or no one?) Finally, in the dark, her husband picks her up and they drive away. Lots of mystery there which I will leave alone.

Happy Beach Friends

And who are those familiar people in the top photo? Why, none other than our former neighbors at Imperial Dam LTVA—who snapped us out of our campground stupor here and showed us around Pacific Beach in San Diego.

They’re staying in a beach hotel while their RV’s in the shop, so we drove up to have lunch with them, walk around the neighborhood, and check out famous PB.

I’m talking full-on Southern California with every stereotyped bell and whistle: boardwalks with rollerblading, skate boarding, boomboxes, dreadlocks, volleyball, thongs, and, of course, surfing.

I’ve literally never seen this culture in real life and was surprised to learn that it’s more richly “California” than it’s always been depicted. Dude.

Thank you, Marcus and Shana, for showing us this iconic beach (and beware that we might not leave, next time).

Goodbye, beach campground: beachy in so many ways. More San Diego is up next.

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