Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moseying around San Diego

With a long ride & a longer night to recover from, yesterday was pretty casual.  The sun managed to even come out a bit from behind the marine layer of cloud as we wandered around the Seagrove Village area of Embarcadero (downtown on the harbourside).  I left Valerie to look around the aircraft carrier USS Midway (I checked it out last time) & then took off around the bay to Point Loma & had a look around Cabrillo National Monument. The monument commemorates the first landing of a European on the west coast of the USA - by Juan Rodr√≠guez Cabrillo of Portugal in 1542. There were good views of the North Beach Naval Air Station & its jets taking off, the city & harbour and out over the Pacific. Being on a headland to an important harbour, there was of course an old lighthouse to look around.
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Not able to bring myself to have two consecutive days off the bike, I had found a nice close & short ride to attack before lunch. Heading south to Chula Vista & then east to the San Miguels I was riding at nine o'clock under a cloudy sky. Shortly after setting off, I was heading up Mt Miguel & quite rapidly. There were a lot of switchbacks, & not all were as friendly as those up San Juan on Thursday. With the rocks on some of them, they were right at the limit of my middle-ring strength but I managed to keep pushing it around. After almost 300m climbing in half an hour I was at the summit under clear skies & feeling a little warm. With the biggest cairn I'd seen in a long time, I could work out why the trail was named Rockhouse - there was what looked like the simplest rock-outlined maze next to it. I suppose if you used your imagination you could see the waist high walls as a basic house floorplan.
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The ride off the peak was steeper than that up, so I was pleased to not have gone up that. The last section had a bit of service road before flattening out to loop around a smaller hill. Here I saw my first roadrunner. At least, it looked like what I thought one ought to look like. Alas, I didn't see a coyote go flying passed with rocket-propelled shoes so I couldn't be sure. It strutted around a bit & had a interesting call (not quite meep-meep). The trail around the hill was nice & I was enjoying the scenery. More service road (at least there were some big water bars to jump off) & singletrack mix gradually wound itself back to the car.
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By the time I got back into the city, the clouds had also disappeared from there too - so we spent the afternoon wandering around city parks. Balboa Park was great in the sunshine. I stupidly left my camera behind, but as I'd been there before wasn't too concerned. The Spanish architecture built for the 1915 Panama-Californain Exposition is just fantastic. After getting a bit of simple work done on the car, we checked out the Mt Soledad Memorial with its great panoramas of the city & then headed down to La Jolla Cove to wander around the seaside & look at the seals, sea lions & pelicans.

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