From the halls of Montezuma

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land and sea
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

I thought it was appropriate to open with the Marine Corp Hymn, since most of today’s ride was on Camp Pendleton, and because it kept running through my head the whole time we were riding on the base. So I salute you Marines, from the past and the present!

Dennis and I are getting into a habit of doing longer rides on Tuesdays. We ride other days, but lately we’ve been doing 50+ mile rides on Tuesday. This past Tuesday we decided to pre-ride the upcoming San Diego Recyclers ride from Oceanside to Dana Point and back. It’s a fairly flat 60 mile ride that we’ve done many times over the years. This time we were looking forward to seeing the flowers in bloom along the coast. We’ve gotten more rain this year than for many years past, and consequently it’s been a great spring for riding. Flowers in the desert, flowers on the coast and flowers everywhere in between.

Nudity Prohibited

Nudity Prohibited

I stopped here, because it looked like a nice  place to take a picture, and it is. But the partially hidden sign somehow tickled me. As if someone would be out traipsing in those coastal shrubs in the nude. There’s actually a beach below, hidden by the bluff. But all I could think of was some person out there getting stuck in all the wrong places, because the ignored this sign. 🙂

Coastal Canyon

Coastal Canyon

I’ve ridden by here many times, but never stopped to look before. There’s a little jog in the bike path, to go around this canyon. It’s mostly hidden by tall shrubs, but if you stop to look there’s an idyllic view of the beach, through the coastal canyon. Click to see a larger image.

Dana Point

Dana Point

This is Doheny State Beach just south of Dana Point, looking north. You can see the point, on the horizon.

Dana Point Marina

Dana Point Marina

And here’s the Marina, where we stopped for coffee and a snack at The Coffee Importers Espresso Bar. They sure can put a lot of boats in a small area. I’ll bet the slip rents are cheap here, too. 🙂

Gulls in Flight

Gulls in Flight

On our way back to Oceanside we stopped took a little side trip to the San Juan Creek bike path. We didn’t get very far east, before we ran into construction. I guess they are doing some levee work according to this article in the Orange County Register. I guess the trail closure has some of the bicyclists and walkers upset.

San Juan Creek

San Juan Creek

I’m not a big fan of gulls, but it is quite a site to see hundreds of them take off at once. After our brief side trip up the creek, we returned to this outlet. I saw hundreds of gulls on the water feeding.

Freeway Daisies

Freeway Daisies

Although the flowers were in bloom all along the coast, none of my pictures of them came out well. In  part I was nervous taking pictures on Camp Pendleton. Ever since 911 I’ve been hearing stories about tourists being accosted for taking pictures of all kinds of government facilities. Since we were guests on the base, I didn’t want to get in trouble with our hosts. This last picture was taken on the way home as we got on the freeway. The interchanges around Oceanside are planted with “Freeway Daisies” and they are in bright display right now.

Another beautiful day in paradise. It doesn’t get much better than this.

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