Walking east along the Sweetwater River.

A couple weekends ago I walked a very short segment of the Sweetwater River Bikeway, from Hoover Avenue west to the Pier 32 Marina. You can revisit those photos here.

Today I returned to the Sweetwater River and walked east along the bikeway from Hoover Avenue all the way to Plaza Bonita.

I was struck by the contrasts.

The rocky-sided river channel, as seen looking down from Interstate 5, appears almost barren, but when you walk along the bike path you notice many plants among the broken rocks, and the ones that are deep-rooted were very green in the summer sunlight.

During the day bicyclists and runners passed me by as I slowly walked, and the nearby busy westbound lanes of U.S. Route 54 sometimes came into view. But late at night, the scene is obviously very different. There was graffiti which increased as I progressed east to Interstate 805. There was trash and frequent evidence of homelessness. As I came into the vicinity of Interstate 805, I passed several active homeless encampments. And the graffiti spoke of gang activity, with references to drugs and death.

But as I headed east, the river also became more alive. A marshy wetland appeared with discarded shopping carts and happily paddling ducks. Trees began to flourish along the banks, and eventually grew so thick they concealed a river full of reeds and lush greenery.

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!

Walking part of the Sweetwater River Bikeway.

View of Interstate 5 over the Sweetwater River from the Gordy Shields Bayshore Bikeway Bridge.
View of Interstate 5 over the Sweetwater River from the Gordy Shields Bayshore Bikeway Bridge.

In my last blog post, I shared some photos that I took during yesterday’s walk along part of the Sweetwater River Bikeway. Those surprisingly artistic images were from the path beneath Interstate 5.

Now I’ll share additional photographs from my walk.

I began at the trailhead at the south end of Hoover Avenue. Once I reached the Sweetwater Bikeway, I headed west along the river, with a short detour to check out the Gordy Shields Bayshore Bikeway Bridge.

If you recognize Paradise Marsh and those overgrown old railroad tracks, that might be because a couple years ago I posted photos of them a little farther north here.

I walked onto the Sweetwater Bikeway from the trailhead at Hoover Avenue and W. 33rd Street in National City.
I walked onto the Sweetwater Bikeway from the trailhead at Hoover Avenue and W. 33rd Street in National City.
Turning a corner, about to go under a ramp from I-5 to U.S. Route 54.
Turning a corner, about to go under a ramp from I-5 to U.S. Route 54.
Here comes a Blue Line San Diego trolley!
Here comes a Blue Line San Diego trolley!
About to find myself on the Sweetwater River Bikeway.
About to find myself on the Sweetwater River Bikeway.
I begin walking west toward various bridges.
I begin walking west toward various bridges.
This guy and his bike found some summer shade by the water.
This guy and his bike found some summer shade by the water.
If you continue west, you eventually reach Pepper Park.
If you continue west, you eventually reach Pepper Park.
Bicyclists on Sweetwater Bikeway about to go under Interstate 5.
Bicyclists on Sweetwater Bikeway about to go under Interstate 5.
I took a bunch of cool photos under the freeway and shared them on my previous blog post!
I took a bunch of cool photos under the freeway and shared them on my previous blog post!
The head of a bicyclist is visible coming down the Gordy Shields Bayshore Bikeway Bridge.
The head of a bicyclist is visible coming down the Gordy Shields Bayshore Bikeway Bridge.
I turn for a moment to look back east.
I turn for a moment to look back east.
The Gordy Shields Bridge is dedicated to a civic leader who advocated for bicycling.
The Gordy Shields Bridge is dedicated to a civic leader who advocated for bicycling.
Now I'm walking south on the bike bridge, heading over the Sweetwater River channel.
Now I’m walking south on the bike bridge, heading over the Sweetwater River channel.
Looking east at traffic on Interstate 5.
Looking east at traffic on Interstate 5.
A guy on a skateboard passed me.
A guy on a skateboard passed me.
Looking west down the Sweetwater River channel toward San Diego Bay. That's Pier 32 Marina on the right.
Looking west down the Sweetwater River channel toward San Diego Bay. That’s an old train bridge. That’s the Pier 32 Marina beyond it on the right.
Someone made this cool peace sign out of some artificial wreath material.
Someone made this cool peace sign out of some artificial wreath material.
Another look east. That peak in the distance is San Miguel Mountain.
Another look east. That peak in the distance is San Miguel Mountain.
Freeway ramp swings south over part of San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Freeway ramp swings south over part of San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Sign at intersection of Bayshore Bikeway and Sweetwater River Bikeway.
I’m back by the water’s edge. A sign at the intersection of the Bayshore Bikeway and Sweetwater River Bikeway.
Biking west along the river channel.
Biking west along the river channel.
Continuing west. Lots of bikes out today!
Continuing west. Lots of bikes out for the weekend!
Looking north at Paradise Marsh, part of San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Looking north at Paradise Marsh, part of San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Part of Paradise Creek, which winds its way through the protected marshland.
Part of Paradise Creek, which winds its way through the protected marshland.
Paradise Marsh is a refuge for many local and migratory birds.
Paradise Marsh is a refuge for many local and migratory birds.
These old train tracks pass south over the Sweetwater River on a bridge that is no longer in use.
These old train tracks pass south over the Sweetwater River on a bridge that is no longer in use.

At this point the Sweetwater Bikeway turns away from the river and starts around the Pier 32 Marina.

That’s all for now!

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!

Cool photos under I-5, over Sweetwater River!

Check out these very cool photos!

Yesterday I walked a little around National City. When I found myself under Interstate 5, where it passes over the Sweetwater River, my camera got really busy!

You might not think a freeway bridge over a channel of water would make for such interesting photographs. But I was stunned!

Some of those curving ramps you see overhead lead to U.S. Route 54, which runs parallel here to the Sweetwater River.

If you wonder about the bicycles, this is where the Sweetwater Bikeway intersects the Bayshore Bikeway. I saw lots of people out cycling in the sunshine–and through the dark shadows…

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!

A hidden paradise in San Clemente Canyon!

You’d assume a hiking trail beside a freeway wouldn’t be beautiful.

Not when it’s a trail through enormous willows, oaks and sycamores in San Clemente Canyon!

Marian Bear Memorial Park occupies this narrow canyon between North Clairemont and University City–and so does California State Route 52. But when you hike by the creek through the many trees, which conceal the freeway, you quickly tune out the muffled noise of traffic. Your mind is busy with the surrounding beauty.

It’s everywhere.

Today around noontime I started from the Genesee Avenue trailhead and walked east. I passed under a freeway on-ramp, over stones in shallow muddy water, and entered a hidden paradise in the middle of the city.

The trail was easy. There were benches for resting. There was plenty of shade. I saw many birds. High above the trees I glimpsed a red-tailed hawk.

I saw families with smiling kids enjoying a day in nature. Bring water and sturdy shoes!

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!

Sportfishing mural seen from Interstate 5.

Drive along Interstate 5 between Mission Bay and Bay Park and you’ll see a huge sportfishing mural. It’s just north of Tecolote Road. Across the west side of the Kleege Industries building, a pair of enormous marlins chase leaping dorados!

I walked up West Morena Boulevard over the weekend to get close-up photos of the mural over a fence.

The artist is Chuck Byron, and the somewhat faded mural was painted in 2003. Sadly, according to my research, that is also the year he passed away.

He painted several large murals in California, Nevada and Mexico.

Chuck Byron was the captain of a fishing boat out of San Diego and a highly regarded fish and wildlife artist. He painted in a style referred to as exaggerated realism. In his San Diego studio he created some really great drawings and paintings, some of which you can see at the Chuck Byron website here.

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!

Photos beneath I-805 bridge in Mission Valley.

Yesterday morning I jumped off the Green Line trolley at the Rio Vista station. I walked east over Qualcomm Way via the pedestrian bridge then continued down the little-used walkway that runs parallel to the trolley tracks.

I had never gone that way before.

The concrete walkway leads behind the Marriott Mission Valley and several large, gleaming office buildings and finally terminates by a parking lot directly beneath the very impressive I-805 freeway bridge.

I turned my camera upward and snapped photos beneath the tall landmark bridge!

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!

Historic Highway 80 mural on El Cajon Boulevard.

Mural by artist Jonny Alexander at El Cajon Boulevard and Winona Avenue remembers old U.S. Highway 80.
Mural by artist Jonny Alexander at El Cajon Boulevard and Winona Avenue remembers old U.S. Highway 80.

A cool mural in San Diego celebrates old U.S. Highway 80. The street art reads “Cruise Historic Highway 80” and features an image of a motorcyclist crossing desert and mountains to reach the Pacific Ocean. The mural was painted near the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and Winona Avenue in 2015 by Jonny Alexander.

U.S. Highway 80 was a legendary cross-country route that at one time ran 2671 miles from U.S. Route 101 in San Diego, California east all the way to Georgia. The segment through San Diego was eventually decommissioned in favor of a newly built Interstate 8.

Much of old U.S. Route 80 ran through San Diego where El Cajon Boulevard is today.

A motorcyclist riding west has reached the Pacific Ocean after crossing desert and mountains.
A motorcyclist riding west has reached the Pacific Ocean after crossing desert and mountains.
Much of Historic Route US 80 ran where El Cajon Boulevard is today.
Much of Historic Route US 80 ran where El Cajon Boulevard is today.
Cruise Historic Highway 80. A celebration of the old days depicted in a cool mural in San Diego.
Cruise Historic Highway 80. A celebration of the old days depicted in a cool mural in San Diego.

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!

Photos of a walk up India Street in Middletown.

The Interstate 5 pedestrian overpass at Palm Street connects India Street to Kettner Boulevard. It is little used. The homeless sometimes make it their home.
The gritty Interstate 5 pedestrian overpass at Palm Street connects India Street to Kettner Boulevard. It is little used. The homeless sometimes make it their home.

Just a few quick urban photos.

My long walk today included a stretch along India Street in San Diego’s Middletown neighborhood. I sauntered up India Street from Palm Street to Vine Street, in order to check out something indescribably cool that I will soon blog about. I then turned about and returned to the pedestrian freeway overpass, where I crossed over to Kettner Boulevard and made my way to the nearby Middletown trolley station.

The road here is in constant motion, with loads of traffic to and from Interstate 5. As I headed up the sidewalk I passed a number of small businesses in plain, mostly unremarkable buildings. Looking eastward I observed a jumble of modest but colorful houses climbing the steep hill. From busy India Street, residential streets ascend a short distance toward the top of Bankers Hill, and Mission Hills to the north.

Stay tuned! I have many more photos coming from today’s adventure! There’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy the aforementioned super cool sight!

In addition, before I headed up India Street, I checked out a new park in Bankers Hill and learned about some incredible, little known San Diego history!

I also swung by Balboa Park. I’ll be posting those photos later on my other blog, Beautiful Balboa Park!

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

At first glance I thought some people were just hanging out above the freeway--but I was wrong! They were taking urban photographs with a model.
At first glance I thought some people were just hanging out above the freeway–but I was wrong! They were taking urban photographs with a model.
A stretch of India Street looking north from the overpass. Cars speed along continuously. As I proceeded up the opposite sidewalk for many blocks, I saw no other walkers.
A stretch of India Street looking north from the overpass. Cars speed along continuously. As I proceeded up the opposite sidewalk for many blocks, I saw no other walkers.
Bright clouds in an urban setting.
Bright clouds in an urban setting.
An interesting doorway beckons customers into the Starlite eatery.
An interesting doorway beckons customers from India Street into the Starlite eatery.
Cacti rise below electrical wires.
Cacti rise beneath electrical wires.
I'm approaching the Aero Club.
I’m approaching the Aero Club. It seems my camera was aimed upward quite a bit today.
Bold graphics on the white wall by their parking lot.
Bold graphics on the white wall by the bar’s parking lot.
Two golden mermaids above the front door of the Aero Club.
Two golden mermaids above the front door of the Aero Club.
It appears someone scratched many warnings, symbols, theories and ideas on a section of the sidewalk.
Someone scratched many warnings, symbols, concerns and thoughts on a section of the sidewalk. Where is that person now?
A fragment of sidewalk remains from 1914.
A fragment of sidewalk remains from 1914.
A colorful dinosaur on the building of Dyno Brand custom t-shirts!
A colorful dinosaur on the building of Dyno Brand custom t-shirts!

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!

Tiny, watchful eyes on a very lonely bridge.

Small, vacant eyes stare up from a seldom used bridge in downtown San Diego.
Small, vacant eyes stare up from a seldom used bridge in downtown San Diego.

A pedestrian bridge in downtown San Diego spans Interstate 5. It’s almost never used. From the extreme end of a large, mostly vacant parking lot below the Veteran’s Museum, it arches high over the wide, busy freeway and descends to a securely gated parking lot next to San Diego City College’s sports fields.  It leads mostly nowhere.

I’ve lived about a mile away for over a decade, but I’ve never set foot on the bridge–until this afternoon. Walking up Park Boulevard, I’ve often gazed at the distant bridge and wondered if it was open. Never once have I seen a soul on it.

I suppose people must visit this place at times, because the bridge is absolutely covered with both new and old graffiti. It’s a singularly lonely place, enclosed in fencing, suspended above unseen drivers flashing by in anonymous cars below.

Here are some random photographs.  Who applied these small artistic faces?  The eyes never blink.

This pedestrian bridge spans Interstate 5, connecting two unrelated parking lots.
This pedestrian bridge spans Interstate 5, connecting two unrelated parking lots.
Two strange eyes seem to sprout from the concrete. Going nowhere fast.
Two strange eyes seem to sprout from the concrete. Going nowhere fast.
Stenciled images of bearded face. Stay fresh.
Stenciled images of bearded face. Stay fresh.
Two contented smiles inside lettering of boldly spray painted graffiti underfoot.
Two contented smiles inside lettering of boldly spray painted graffiti underfoot.
Shy face and downcast eyes. Welcome home.
Shy face and downcast eyes. Welcome home.
Small grinning face in some faded blue words.
Small grinning face in some faded blue words.
These stenciled faces seem to be slowly disappearing as time passes.
These stenciled faces seem to be slowly disappearing as time passes.
A whole crowd of colorful eyes watch in every direction.
A whole crowd of colorful eyes watch in every direction.
Spray painted cartoon looks happy and excited as can be.
Spray painted cartoon looks happy and excited as can be.
Another smiling face in graffiti on the lonely bridge.
Another smiling face in graffiti on the lonely bridge.
A fierce cartoon cat or devilish creature of some kind.
A fierce cartoon cat or devilish creature of some kind.
Above a Facebreaker decal is an old Gasface sticker.
Above a Facebreaker decal is an old Gasface sticker.
Looking down at the freeway where it begins its S-curve through downtown.
Looking down at the freeway where it begins its S-curve through downtown.
Enigmatic face is unable to speak to the few who pass by.
Enigmatic face is unable to speak to the few who pass by.
Another simple, childish smile. Even where it's bleak, there is always hope.
Another simple, childish smile. Even where it’s bleak, there is always hope.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Homeless and graffiti under Highway 163.

Homeless and graffiti beneath Highway 163 in Mission Valley.
Homeless and graffiti beneath Highway 163 in Mission Valley.

These two pics aren’t very cool.  But they are important.  They show another world that many often don’t see.

I took these photos where Highway 163 crosses over Camino de la Reina in Mission Valley.  I climbed up a hill of dirt under the overpass and emerged between the opposing lanes of traffic.

Numerous homeless people live along the San Diego River in Mission Valley.  Some of them hunker down in shelter provided by this makeshift concrete roof.

Another world in the shadows beneath lanes of busy traffic.
Another world in the shadows beneath lanes of busy traffic.

UPDATE!

I got the following three pics late in the summer. I didn’t see anyone, but obviously numerous people pass through.

Looking under Highway 163 where the homeless often pass or gather.
Looking under Highway 163 where the homeless often pass or gather.
This is where Highway 163 passes over the San Diego River.
This is where Highway 163 crosses over the San Diego River.
Weeds and graffiti beneath the concrete.
Weeds and graffiti beneath the concrete.