Rose Creek Bikeway near Mission Bay.

Have you ever wondered what the Rose Creek Bikeway is like just north of Mission Bay?

I did, so I walked along the bike and pedestrian path a few weekends ago. I started at a point near the In-N-Out Burger at Damon Avenue (just east of Mission Bay Drive) and headed south under Garnet and Grand Avenue to North Mission Bay Drive. I then walked west over the Mike Gotch Memorial Bridge spanning the Rose Creek Inlet to the entrance of Campland on the Bay.

As you’ll see in the upcoming photographs, the path along Rose Creek features natural beauty but can be trashy in places. It cuts behind businesses, passes the ends of residential streets, and winds along the edge of several sporting facilities. I also saw evidence that homeless people use the path and camp near it.

The Rose Creek Bikeway is part of the much longer 44 mile Coastal Rail Trail which, when completed, will connect downtown San Diego with Oceanside, California. (Had I walked north up the path instead, I would have followed Interstate 5 toward La Jolla and Sorrento Valley, next to the tracks of the soon-to-open Mid-Coast Trolley extension.)

Looking north for a moment as I get started south.
About to pass under Mission Bay Drive.
Approaching Garnet Avenue.
Approaching Grand Avenue.
A couple walks dog under Grand Avenue.
It appears someone lives under the bridge.
Passing a basketball court.
Walking between Rose Creek and the Mission Bay Youth Baseball field.
Someone practices pitching.
To the right beyond the fence is the San Diego Mission Bay Boat and Ski Club.
Passing the Mission Bay Golf Course and Practice Center.
Turning for a moment to look back north. Sign at North Mission Bay Drive, just east of the Mike Gotch Memorial Bridge, reads: Welcome To… The Rose Creek Bike Path.
Now walking west, near a plaque at the east end of the Mike Gotch Memorial Bridge.
Mike Gotch Memorial Bridge. October 4, 1947 – May 18, 2008. In memory of Mike’s commitment to creating the people’s playground, not just for today, but all generations to come. Dedicated April 20, 2012.
Looking south toward Mission Bay. I see Fiesta Island in the distance.
Passing behind Mission Bay High School’s sports fields.
Approaching Pacific Beach Drive, where the dedicated bike and pedestrian path ends.
Bicyclists start east along the path, near the entrance to Campland on the Bay.

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!

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Bayfair racing action viewed from a bridge!

One of the best places to watch super high speed boats racing in Mission Bay during San Diego Bayfair is from a bridge!

The Ingraham Street bridge on the south side of Vacation Isle provides a view of the race “docks” located south of Ski Beach, the tower near the Bill Muncey Memorial, and the entire oval race course. The farthest end of the course is in the distance, but the height provides a great panorama of all the action! And it’s free!

Today during a walk around Mission Bay I paused for a good hour on the Ingraham Street bridge to watch several classes of boats compete, including the H1 Unlimited hydroplanes, which are the fastest racing boats in the world. Mission Bay, which was originally designed for thunderboat racing, is said to be the fastest such course in the world.

As the super fast boats turned corners, huge plumes of white spray would rise up behind them!

I and a small crowd of pedestrians and bicyclists who were watching from on high gave a conciliatory shout out to one racer below who had to be towed in to the docks when his engine conked out. He must’ve heard us, because with good humor he threw up an arm in acknowledgement.

It was fascinating to see how boats would be placed into the docks with three large cranes, then removed from the water and hosed off at the end of each race. During the racing, other boats would be prepared, testing their engines. Everywhere I looked there was interesting activity.

I guess next year I’ll have to get a ticket and check out the action up close!

Here are my photos from various spots on the 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!

Help build a new environmental field station!

Want to do something tangible to help the environment? Here’s an idea!

UC San Diego is working to fund a new Kendall-Frost Field Station on the north side of Mission Bay. They are raising funds for a much improved education, research and outreach center at the edge of the Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve.

I passed their old trailer today during my long walk through Pacific Beach, and I happened to see the following information on the fence. It includes a rendering of the proposed field station…

Join our fundraising campaign to build a new field research and education building to replace the 55-year-old trailer. The new building will feature a large multi-purpose classroom and community room, roll-up windows and a large deck, bird-watching overlook, and reception area.

Five years ago I visited the old trailer and the working area adjacent to it during Love Your Wetlands Day.

If you want to see the wetland restoration that is done here, and fun photos of that educational event, check out my past blog post.

If you want to help build the new field station, or learn more about this project, visit the UC San Diego web page here!

The trailer is covered with colorful art, but is getting very old.
The environmentally important Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve in Mission Bay.

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!

Mission Bay palm grove honors American hostages.

There’s no need to expound on the terrible developments presently taking place in Afghanistan.

A couple weekends ago, during my walk along the east shore of Mission Bay, I saw a small plaque by the pathway. This plaque is located at Tecolote Shores, a little north of the Mission Bay Playground, near a beautiful grove of tall palm trees. I paused to read the following words.

THIS PALM GROVE PLANTED IN HONOR OF THE 52 AMERICAN CITIZENS HELD HOSTAGE IN IRAN, FROM NOVEMBER 4, 1979 TO JANUARY 20, 1981.

BY KIWANIS CLUB OF SAN DIEGO

Today, in our own time of fear and uncertainty, let us all hope and pray for the best.

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.

Joy on a Mission Bay bench.

There’s a bench on Mission Bay where one can find joy. It’s located on the mostly quiet pathway of South Shores Park, by a small beach directly south of Fiesta Island.

There is water and sky, sunshine, a pleasant breeze. And a plaque…

IN JOY WITH

JOAN E. HELLER

MAY 29,1936 – SHE’S STILL HERE

SIT DOWN, RELAX & LOOK AT THE VIEW

ENJOY YOURSELF

Sit a while on this bench, resume your journey down the path, and you will still be here.

That joy will remain with you.

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 few photos from the Hospitality Point jetty.

One last blog post from my Mission Bay adventure yesterday!

Loving the fresh air, I walked out onto the narrow jetty at Hospitality Point. To my left, beyond the San Diego River, I saw families and their playful dogs at Ocean Beach. To the right, I saw sailboats navigating out of the Mission Bay channel toward the Pacific Ocean. A couple was paddling kayaks nearby. Several guys were fishing from the rocks. Bicyclists also headed down the jetty.

I didn’t notice until I’d taken many photographs that the inside of my camera’s lens had fogged up! But I did capture some decent images. Hopefully you get an idea of what it’s like to walk out on the jetty on a summer Sunday afternoon.

A bright watery world stretches all around you.

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!

An enormous sailing yacht, way up in the air!

Look what I saw as I walked past the Driscoll Mission Bay Boat Yard yesterday. A gigantic sailing yacht, suspended way up in the air!

That towering mast appeared about as high as a five-story building!

How did that enormous boat get up there?

Now that’s one peculiar sight!

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 along the beaches of Vacation Isle.

Yesterday I walked along the beaches of Vacation Isle, which is an island located at the center of enormous Mission Bay.

Many people were out enjoying the sunshine on a summer Sunday. They sat on the sand or nearby grass talking, eating, enjoying life. All sorts of boats were in the water, including kayaks, sailboats and personal watercraft.

Vacation Isle is a kind of paradise, as you can see in my photographs.

I just walked along, taking it all in.

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!

The faded beauty of Marina Village.

Today I went for a long walk along Mission Bay. During my modest adventure I found myself passing through old, seemingly lifeless Marina Village.

I first visited the Marina Village Conference Center next to Quivira Basin when I was a young person–perhaps 45 years ago. I went with my father to some sort of convention or business meeting, then walked around for an hour or two as I waited for him.

Marina Village’s fresh beauty back then made an impression that I still vaguely remember. The warm wood framing airy walkways, the bright bougainvillea everywhere, the friendly-looking buildings, the courtyards here and there, sparkling water and boats nearby…

That great beauty has since faded, along with the place’s popularity.

But if you use your imagination, you might picture Marina Village with a new coat of paint, a few repairs, straightened lanterns, and colorful, fluttering banners.

My memory is far from perfect, but that is how I remember this beloved place almost half a century later in my mind’s eye.

Check out the stained glass panels on one of the buildings that I saw today as I walked down memory lane!

DSCN2963z

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 Bill Muncey Memorial and plaques.

The Bill Muncey Memorial stands on Mission Bay’s beautiful Vacation Isle, on a grassy spot just north of the Ski Beach boat launch ramp. It rises above the nearby blue water like a wing flying through the sky.

Bill Muncey is a legend in hydroplane racing. He is considered by many to be the greatest hydroplane racer in history. The gracefully curving memorial honors his contributions to the sport, and the creation of a 2.5-mile oval hydroplane racecourse in San Diego’s Mission Bay.

The memorial contains two bronze plaques. The first reads:

BILL MUNCEY UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE COURSE
PRESENTED TO THE PEOPLE OF SAN DIEGO
BY THUNDERBOATS UNLIMITED IN THE
MEMORY OF BILL MUNCEY, WORLD CHAMPION.
62 CAREER VICTORIES
4 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
7 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
8 GOLD CUP WINS

The second plaque, which depicts the smiling face of Bill Muncey, reads:

“just running and playing like all the kids I know…”
Bill Muncey 1928-1981

There is a third plaque on a nearby park bench that remembers Bernie Little, legendary owner of the famous Miss Budweiser team. It reads:

IN MEMORY OF
Bernie Little
1925-2003
“The King of Boats”
THE WINNINGEST UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE OWNER IN HISTORY
134 UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE RACES
14 APBA GOLD CUPS
22 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
“IF YOU AREN’T TRYING TO WIN…WHY WOULD YOU RACE?”

To learn more about Bill Muncey and the Bill Muncey Unlimited Hydroplane Course on Mission Bay, visit the San Diego Bayfair’s history web page here.

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