Torrey Pines Extension hike to the DAR plaque.

This morning I enjoyed an incredible (and relatively easy) hike along several short trails through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve’s less-visited Northeastern Extension.

I started from the trailhead at the northeast end of Del Mar Scenic Parkway and, watching for rattlesnakes, climbed north along the Mar Scenic Trail to the DAR Trail.

When I reached the trail junction where one turns to reach the DAR plaque, I elected to continue west downhill for a short distance, just to enjoy the amazing scenery. Beyond picturesque Torrey Pine trees stretched the wide blue Pacific Ocean and Torrey Pines State Beach.

Finally I retraced my steps, turned north on the West Ridge D.A.R., and made my way to the historic DAR plaque.

It reads:

TORREY PINE STATE RESERVE

D A R TRAIL AND MEMORIAL GROVE

THIS TRAIL AND MEMORIAL GROVE
ARE DEDICATED TO OUR PLEDGE TO SAVE
AND FAITHFULLY DEFEND FROM WASTE
THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF OUR COUNTRY.
ITS SOILS, MINERALS, ITS FORESTS,
WATERS AND WILDLIFE.

THE CALIFORNIA STATE SOCIETY
OF THE
NATIONAL SOCIETY
DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
MRS. LEROY CONRAD KAUMP, STATE REGENT
NOVEMBER 16, 1971
U.S.A. BICENTENNIAL PROJECT

What a fantastic walk!

Unlike the very popular main section of Torrey Pines State Reserve, which is located to the south across Los Penasquitos Lagoon, it’s possible you won’t encounter another human being while hiking through this small area of protected wilderness. Wear sturdy shoes or boots because the sandy path can be a bit slippery. And bring some water. It can get pretty warm!

Enjoy the following photos!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Amazing art at U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

If you’re in San Diego this Labor Day weekend, you need to go to the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge at downtown’s Broadway Pier. The annual event is just as incredible as ever, with amazing, eye-popping sand sculptures by some of the top sand artists in the world!

This morning I got my ticket right as the event opened, and I directed my feet straight into the Broadway Pier’s Port Pavilion, which is where the Sand Masters were working on their masterpieces. It seems every year the sculptures become more elaborate and beautiful.

I took some photos with my little camera to provide a taste of what you will see. In addition to these masterpieces, you’ll enjoy other sand sculptures by local San Diego teams, plus all sorts of three-dimensional artwork outside on the pier. Plus there’s live music, lots of food trucks, and a big sand box where you can make your own sandcastles!

The competition’s theme this year is Wonder. Here’s a glimpse of the amazing sculptures, with each piece’s title and artist.

On the Loose, by Chris Guinto.

If We Don’t Change, the World Will Soon Be Over, by Abram Waterman. (The sculpture depicts Stevie Wonder.)

The Force, by Jihoon Choi.

I Wonder About You, by Hanneke Supply.

Think and Wonder, Wonder and Grow, by Anique Kuizenga.

Wanderlust, by Dan Belcher.

The Other Side, by Brian Turnbough.

Just Wondering, by Martijn Rijerse.

Why, How, When? by Melineige Beauregard.

Full of Wonder, by Thomas Koet.

Wonder Woman, by John Gowdy.

With Love Through Life, by Pavel Mylnikov.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Music like shadow and sunlight in leaves.

This evening I enjoyed another extraordinary concert of the 2019 San Diego International Organ Festival.

In a groundbreaking musical performance, San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez was joined on stage by a symphonic string quartet. Kathryn Hatmaker and Wesley Precourt played violin; Hanah Stuart played viola; and Alex Greenbaum played violoncello. The result was nothing less than brilliant.

The highlight of the concert was a sublime performance of César Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor, transcribed by Raúl Prieto Ramírez for the organ.

The resonant voice of the Spreckels Organ and the yearning quality of the strings combined to bring forth exquisitely complex emotions. Bittersweet joy and heartbreak flowed together. The notes were rich with passion and tinged with regret. A whole lot like life.

A standing ovation concluded the evening.

Before the concert began in Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I walked through the nearby Japanese Friendship Garden.

When I saw my photographs of the garden’s natural beauty, it occurred to me that the music this evening was much like shadow and sunlight in leaves.

The rare magic produced this evening was the result of three San Diego treasures coming together: the world-class San Diego Symphony with its many talented musicians, one of the world’s most accomplished organists, and the Spreckels Organ, one of the most amazing musical instruments in the world.

May this magic become a tradition.

A most extraordinary organ concert.

Over the years, during the course of many International Summer Organ Festivals in Balboa Park, I’ve been fortunate to hear concerts by some of the greatest organists in the world.

But this evening’s concert was extraordinary.

I’m at a loss for words to describe how much I was moved by the masterful, absolutely astonishing performance by Gunnar Idenstam.

Gunner Idenstam, from Sweden, has distinguished himself by winning some of the highest prizes and honors in the organ world. In 1984 he won the very prestigious international competition in improvisation, the Grand Prix de Chartres.

His concert tonight, to my ear, was perfect. He made the Spreckels Organ sound like a sparkling heart.

From his fingertips, through the pipes, came waves and droplets and streams of emotion from the deepest wells. The organ’s voice was complex, subtle, dancing, regal, triumphant, exuberant, sometimes manic, and it soared and soared, and stirred, and soared again, lifting me to a place of pure, exalted emotion.

I don’t know how to describe it.

Parts of his composition Metal Angel were so exultant I almost felt myself flying.

Listening with my eyes closed, I could feel my spirit whirling forward through an epic story. With victory in reach.

Amazing, fantastic, crazy cosplay everywhere!

Cosplay out of control!

Amazing, fantastic, super creative cosplay everywhere!

The explanation? It must be another Saturday afternoon around San Diego Comic-Con!

Late this afternoon and into the evening, a few blocks of the Gaslamp Quarter were so jammed with cosplayers posing in their elaborate costumes and onlookers turning every which way with phones and cameras, a person could barely move!

I’m not even going to attempt to identify every one of these great cosplays. It’s just too much. (But I must confess I really like both Ron Burgundy and the Sand-witch.)

As you can tell by these photos, 2019 Comic-Con is just as crazy and as wonderful as ever!

One more day of Comic-Con to come!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Strange, bizarre cars of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Strange, bizarre vehicles are displayed by Ripley's Believe It or Not in the Interactive Zone at Petco Park during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!
Strange, bizarre vehicles are displayed by Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the Interactive Zone at Petco Park during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not has a really great display at 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. A bunch of strange, bizarre cars can be viewed in the Interactive Zone at Petco Park in Ripley’s fun Car Lot!

It’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not’s very first time exhibiting at Comic-Con, and I hope they return in future years! I was told they have numerous very odd vehicles in their museums around the country, and even more in storage at their Orlando warehouse.

Check out these photos!

The Peel P-50 is the smallest assembly-line manufactured road-legal car ever. It's 54 inches long and goes 15 mph!
The Peel P-50 is the smallest assembly-line manufactured road-legal car ever. It’s 54 inches long and goes 15 mph!
A Mercedes Benz and fire truck coffin. Fantasy coffins are often used by the Ga people of Ghana, Africa to reflect the occupation or status of the deceased.
A Mercedes Benz and fire truck coffin. Fantasy coffins are often used by the Ga people of Ghana, Africa to reflect the occupation or status of the deceased.
A look inside the Fire Truck Fantasy Coffin.
A look inside the Fire Truck Fantasy Coffin.
This amazing, functioning Austin Mini is covered with over 10,000 Canadian pennies, each plated with 24 karat gold!
This amazing, functioning Austin Mini is covered with over 10,000 Canadian pennies, each plated with 24 karat gold!
A full-size working replica of Luke Skywalker's X-34 Landspeeder!
A full-size working replica of Luke Skywalker’s X-34 Landspeeder!
This replica of a Hummer H-3 is covered with over 39,000 lottery tickets!
This replica of a Hummer H-3 is covered with over 39,000 lottery tickets!
A closer look at the Lottery Ticket Hummer.
A closer look at the Lottery Ticket Hummer.
Bad to the Bone is a one-of-a-kind motorcycle made of animal bones from dead cows and road kill.
Bad to the Bone is a one-of-a-kind model of a motorcycle made of animal bones from dead cows and road kill.
A wood-carved Ferrari F-50 took five months to create for Venice's annual Lenten carnival.
A wood-carved Ferrari F-50 took five months to create for Venice’s annual Lenten carnival.
This cool Wooden Ferrari also functions as a boat!
This cool Wooden Ferrari also functions as a boat!
The bizarre High Heel Car has a dragster-style frame in the shape of a large high heel shoe!
The bizarre High Heel Car has a dragster-style frame in the shape of a large high heel shoe!
The Spirit of LeMons was built with a Cessna 310 fuselage!
The Spirit of LeMons was built with a Cessna 310 fuselage!
Photo of the airplane cockpit where the driver operates Spirit of LeMons.
Photo of the airplane cockpit where the driver operates Spirit of LeMons.
Another look at the Spirit of LeMons!
Another look at the Spirit of LeMons!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Naoko creates a flower.

I met artist Naoko Ozaki today at the Art Club of San Diego show in Balboa Park. She was very nice and demonstrated Japanese brush painting for my camera.

Together let’s watch her gather brush, black ink and paper, and magically create a flower!

Naoko Ozaki can be found at this website.

Her art is both subtle and powerful.

Like a memory.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!