A walk down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

Sculpted tiles form beautiful mosaics that were created by artist Betsy Schulz. This is a red-tailed hawk.
Sculpted clay tiles form beautiful mosaics that were created by artist Betsy Schulz. This is a red-tailed hawk.

On Sunday I walked the length of Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail, which runs along the east side of Highway 101.

I was delighted to observe all sorts of colorful public art, beautiful flowers and trees, and even some unexpected poetry!

My walk was from south to north: from Via de la Valle up to a spot just beyond Ocean Street, where the trail through Solana Beach ends.

The pathway is extremely easy and flat. I saw many families riding bikes along it, and walkers and joggers, too.

Come along with me and read the photo captions.

Two arches by artist Betsy Schulz welcome walkers and riders to Solana Beach's Coastal Rail Trail at Highway 101 and Via de la Valle.
Two arches by artist Betsy Schulz welcome walkers and riders to Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail at Highway 101 and Via de la Valle.
Wild nature on one amazing arch.
Wild nature on one amazing arch.
Local history depicted on both arches includes the native Kumeyaay, who have lived in the region for thousands of years.
Local history depicted on both arches includes the native Kumeyaay, who have lived in the region for thousands of years.
The arrival of Spanish missionaries is depicted.
The arrival of Spanish missionaries is depicted.
The history of Solana Beach includes great upheavals and transformations, including the coming of the railroad.
The history of Solana Beach includes great upheavals and transformations, including the coming of the railroad.
Scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
Scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
More scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
More scenes of Solana Beach in the early 20th century.
The City of Solana Beach was incorporated in 1986.
The City of Solana Beach was incorporated in 1986.
Surfing on the timeless Pacific Ocean.
Surfing on the timeless Pacific Ocean.

You can see more public art by Betsy Schulz by clicking here and here.

As I continued north on the Coastal Rail Trail, I noticed what appeared to be a crescent moon on the pathway, and a poem by Walter de la Mare.
As I continued north on the Coastal Rail Trail, I noticed what appeared to be a crescent moon on the pathway, with a moon poem by Walter de la Mare.
A bit farther on I found another glistening moon. This one includes a poem by Emily Dickinson.
A bit farther on I found another glistening moon. This one includes a poem by Emily Dickinson.
I then came upon this colorful stained glass sunburst, standing between the pathway and nearby Highway 101!
I then came upon this colorful stained glass sunburst, standing between the pathway and nearby Highway 101!
Sunburst of Color, by artist Amber Irwin, 2005. Amber Irwin is a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association.
Sunburst of Color, by artist Amber Irwin, 2005. Amber Irwin is a founding member of the Solana Beach Art Association.
A small garden beside the Coastal Rail Trail was bright with flowers.
A small garden beside the Coastal Rail Trail was bright on a late summer day with flowers.
An electrical box with colorfully painted artwork.
An electrical box with painted artwork.
Looking over a fence, I saw a Coaster rumbling up the train tracks that run parallel to the trail.
Looking over a fence, I saw a Coaster rumbling up the train tracks that run parallel to the trail.
Then I stumbled upon a third crescent moon, and a mysterious hat! This poem is also by Emily Dickinson.
Then I stumbled upon a third crescent moon, and a mysterious hat! This poem is also by Emily Dickinson.
A water fountain near steps to the Dahlia Drive pedestrian bridge that spans the train tracks. The fountain stands above colorful mosaics.
A water fountain near steps to the Dahlia Drive pedestrian bridge that spans the train tracks. The fountain stands above colorful mosaics.
This mosaic is a love gift from the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
This mosaic is a love gift from the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
A local youth group made these many cheerful flowers.
A local youth group made these many cheerful ceramic leaves and flowers.
Across the train track I spotted the huge, eye-catching mural by artist Lindu Prasekti. It's called Myths at Play.
Across the train track I spotted the huge, eye-catching mural by artist Lindu Prasekti. It’s titled Myths at Play.

You can learn more about this very cool mural by clicking here.

I'm passed by bicyclists who are also heading north.
I’m passed by bicyclists who are also heading north.
Sea life mosaics decorate concrete benches at the bus stop across from the Solana Beach train station. By artist Michelle Griffoul.
Sea life mosaics decorate concrete benches at the bus stop across from the Solana Beach train station. By artist Michelle Griffoul.

You can learn more about these eleven benches and see up close images of the sea life tiles by clicking here.

I've come to some steps leading down to the Solana Beach train station platform. Lots of passengers are waiting below.
I’ve come to some steps leading down to the Solana Beach train station platform. Lots of passengers are waiting below.
The visually interesting Solana Beach train station was designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley, and was built in 1994.
The visually interesting Solana Beach train station was designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley, and was built in 1994.
Another photo of people on the train platform below the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach.
Another photo of people on a train platform below the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach.
Some more colorful art on another electrical box beside the pathway.
Some more colorful art on another electrical box beside the pathway.
Red bougainvillea and the Cliff Street bridge over train tracks.
Red bougainvillea and the Cliff Street bridge over train tracks.
A City of Solana Beach plaque on the CLIFF STREET BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE.
A City of Solana Beach plaque on the CLIFF STREET BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE.
As I approached the northern end of Solana Beach, I saw a sign that reads RAIL TRAIL ENDS 500 FT. (At this time the trail doesn't continue into Cardiff-by-the-Sea.)
As I approached the northern end of Solana Beach, I saw a sign that reads RAIL TRAIL ENDS 500 FT. (At this time the trail doesn’t continue into Cardiff-by-the-Sea.)
In addition to the distant ocean, I see something interesting ahead.
In addition to the distant ocean, I see something interesting ahead.
A monument with a plaque stands in a small grove of Torrey Pine trees.
A monument with a plaque stands near an observation platform beside a small grove of Torrey Pine trees.
Some sculptural Torrey Pine artwork on the side of the monument.
Some sculptural Torrey Pine artwork on the side of the monument.
The plaque explains the history of these transplanted Torrey Pine trees. Figuring in that complicated history are billboards along the highway and train tracks.
The plaque explains the history of these few transplanted Torrey Pine trees. Figuring in that complicated history are billboards along the highway and the installation of train tracks.
More beautiful artwork, at the north end of Solana Beach's Coastal Rail Trail.
More beautiful artwork, at the north end of Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

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!

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!

Messages written on the city sidewalks.

As I wander around San Diego, I observe messages written on the sidewalks.

Many of the messages are essential. Some recall history. A few are mysterious. Some are fading.

On these common sidewalks, the forward paths of our lives intersect.

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!

Local history remembered at Trolley Barn Park.

A cobblestone post at the entrance to Trolley Barn Park.
A cobblestone post at the entrance to Trolley Barn Park.

In University Heights, sunny Trolley Barn Park is a favorite place for neighbors to gather. Whenever I drive past I notice the grass field and playground are alive with activity.

Last weekend, as I walked through the park, I observed plaques and a winding path that remember the old trolley car barn that once occupied this beautiful spot overlooking Mission Valley.

In 1913 the Adams Avenue Trolley Barn was built near Mission Cliff Gardens. The popular botanical destination north of downtown was created by John D. Spreckels, who also owned the San Diego Electric Railway Company. The trolley barn was built directly adjacent to Harvey Bentley’s Ostrich Farm, where visitors could actually ride the exotic birds.

The large brick trolley barn serviced hundreds of cars until 1949. That’s when the streetcars, overtaken by city buses, finally ceased operation.

Many old cobblestone walls and posts from the days of Mission Cliff Gardens can still be seen around Trolley Barn Park and the surrounding neighborhood. Like the surprising images of ostriches, these cobblestone structures today are a symbol of the very unique history of University Heights.

To learn much more about the history of Trolley Barn Park and University Heights, you can visit a very informative page here.

Plaque at base of post reads: HISTORIC LANDMARK No. 369 - ADAMS AVENUE TROLLEY CARBARN SITE 1913 - 1949 . . . The Old Trolley Barn Park was dedicated on this site April 6, 1991.
Plaque at base of post reads: HISTORIC LANDMARK No. 369 – ADAMS AVENUE TROLLEY CARBARN SITE 1913 – 1949 . . . The Old Trolley Barn Park was dedicated on this site April 6, 1991.
What appears to be a round table in the park contains an interesting plaque that remembers when trolleys ran through University Heights.
What appears to be a round table in the park contains an interesting plaque that recalls when trolleys ran through University Heights.
Map of the old 1917 trolley line from downtown San Diego into University Heights in Old Trolley Barn Neighborhood Park.
Map of the old 1917 trolley line from downtown San Diego into University Heights in Old Trolley Barn Neighborhood Park.
Dedicated to all of the members of the University Heights Community Association who helped make this park a reality.
Dedicated to all of the members of the University Heights Community Association who helped make this park a reality.
This scenic spot in Trolley Barn Park overlooks Mission Valley.
This scenic spot in Trolley Barn Park overlooks Mission Valley, which lies to the north.
People jog along a walkway which features tracks that wind through the park like the old trolley line.
People jog along a shady path. Its “tracks” wind through the park like the old trolley line.
Along the walkway are the street names once passed by the trolley line.
Along the walkway are the street names once passed by the trolley line.
Another sunny San Diego day as people recreate on the grass.
Another sunny San Diego day as people recreate on the grass.
An electrical box at the edge of the park is painted like a cobblestone post, one of the symbols of University Heights.
An electrical box at the edge of the park is painted like a cobblestone post, one of the symbols of University Heights.
Trolley Barn Park is a beautiful part of University Heights that honors its colorful history.
Trolley Barn Park is a beautiful gathering place in University Heights that honors the community’s colorful history.

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!

The cool sculpture at Humphreys on Shelter Island.

I’ve always wondered about the cool sculpture that stands in front of Humphreys Half Moon Inn on Shelter Island. It’s situated right next to one of the hotel’s driveways.

Last weekend, during my walk along Shelter Island Drive, I paused by the sculpture and looked about for some information. And I found it!

A plaque at the sculpture’s base reads:

OCEAN SONG

The sculpture is inspired by waves
breaking on the shores of the bay.
It Reflects the play of sunlight throughout
the day on the surface of the ocean.
It recalls the connection of the moon and
the tides.
So as waves on the ocean it also portrays
waves of sound.
The mass of the sculpture transforms itself
from baritone to soprano
Creating a song that tells the story of the
place where we have found shelter.

ALBER DE MATTEIS, SCULPTOR

To have discovered such a poetic description was a wonderful surprise. I also noted the sculpture is dated 2004.

If the name of this artist seems familiar, you might recall seeing photographs of abstract sculptures by Alber De Matteis in National City and Liberty Station.

I blogged those photos years ago here and here!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

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A small desert garden inside an old fountain.

A side door to San Diego's City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.
Side door to San Diego’s City Administration Building lies beyond a small garden containing cacti and succulents.

I was waiting for a trolley at the Civic Center station the other day when my eyes wandered over to the City Administration Building. A small desert garden caught my attention, and I remembered how a few years ago that semicircle of garden used to be a fountain.

The next Blue Line trolley was still five minutes away, so I walked over to look at a nearby plaque and a sign.

Plaque near the small desert garden that has been planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Bronze plaque near the small desert garden planted in the basin of The Phil Swing Memorial Fountain, which was dedicated on July 6, 1967.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Sign explains the Phil Swing Memorial Fountain was re-purposed to a Desert Garden. In 1933, Mr. Swing introduced a bill to establish Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Philip D. Phil Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
Philip D. “Phil” Swing was appointed to the California State Water Resources Board in 1945. This beautiful garden honors his contributions to the conservation of desert lands and water resources.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden in downtown San Diego.
A trolley arrives at the Civic Center station near a small desert garden in downtown 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!

Badminton champions compete in Balboa Park!

The Balboa Park Activity Center is filled with many elite international athletes, including past Olympic champions, during the 2019 Dave Freeman Classic Open badminton tournament.
The Balboa Park Activity Center is filled with many elite international athletes, including past Olympic champions, during the 2019 Dave Freeman Classic Open badminton tournament.

Some of the best badminton players in the world are competing this weekend in Balboa Park!

Today I headed up to the Balboa Park Activity Center and was blown away by what I observed. At the 2019 Dave Freeman Classic Open, the badminton action is unbelievably fast and furious!

For several minutes I stood and watched some amazing players perform at a very high level. These elite athletes move so lightning fast their bodies and rackets appear as a blur in nearly all of my photos. The shuttlecocks zoomed and floated. I observed strategy, agility, strength and precision. It’s a sport that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated!

Here are a few photos that provide a small taste of this cool badminton tournament!

Looking at plaques with past champions. The 62nd Yonex Dave Freeman Open 2019 is a USA Badminton sanctioned Classic Series Tournament with cash prizes.
Looking at plaques with past champions. The 62nd Yonex Dave Freeman Open 2019 is a USA Badminton sanctioned Classic Series Tournament with cash prizes.

Bronze plaque inside Balboa Park Activity Center dedicated to Dr. David Guthrie Freeman, one of the world's greatest natural athletes of all time, a badminton legend for whom the tournament is named.
Bronze plaque inside Balboa Park Activity Center dedicated to Dr. David Guthrie Freeman, one of the world’s greatest natural athletes of all time, a badminton legend for whom the tournament is named.
The San Diego Badminton Club is one of the sports groups that meets and plays regularly inside the Balboa Park Activity Center.
The San Diego Badminton Club is one of the sports groups that meets and plays regularly inside the Balboa Park Activity Center.

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!