Love wins at La Mesa’s Weiner Dog Races!

The Weiner Dog Races at the 2021 La Mesa Oktoberfest made for an exciting spectator sport. The crowd cheered. Dog athletes raced down a short track into the outstretched arms of loved ones. Some dogs became confused in all the excitement and ran the wrong way. Love can do that.

One race saw all four contestants wander off in different directions, tails wagging. The judges were forgiving and restarted that one.

The Weiner Dog Races were brought to La Mesa Oktoberfest by the Dackeldorf Dachshund Village. There was also a doggie fashion show, which I missed.

Enjoy some photos that show love wins every time. Even if the furry arrival is a bit tardy.

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!

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!

Tributes to Jimmie Johnson in El Cajon.

As many car racing fans know, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson grew up in El Cajon, in San Diego’s East County.

Born in El Cajon, Jimmie Johnson began to race motorcycles when he was only four years old, and he won his first racing championship four years later. He attended Crest Elementary School, then Granite Hills High School. After he graduated, he competed in off-road motocross racing, with an extraordinary degree of success. To read a good bio of Jimmie, who in his youth also loved dirt biking in the desert during family camping trips and surfing, check out this website.

As one might expect, tributes to the now legendary Jimmie Johnson can be found around the city of El Cajon.

During my walk yesterday, I photographed a sign in the median of 2nd Street, a short distance south of Interstate 8. The sign was placed here in 2014. 2nd Street is playfully renamed Jimmie Johnson Drive – Home of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.

The above photograph shows the sign’s north side. The following two photos are of the opposite side. The sign on its south side is lighter in color, probably due to fading from years of direct sunlight.

Banners celebrating Jimmie Johnson can also be found near the El Cajon Civic Center. In each banner, a cool graphic shows him standing next to his No. 48 Chevrolet, racing during his NASCAR career with Hendrick Motorsports.

The following photos show a banner on the north side of Main Street near The Magnolia performing arts theater. I noticed an identical banner hangs in the nearby Prescott Promenade park.

Starting this year, Jimmie Johnson is competing in the IndyCar Series, driving the No. 48 Honda over road and street courses for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Will the El Cajon native also excel at open-wheel racing? I wouldn’t be surprised!

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 old cars, planes spotted in El Cajon!

During my walk through El Cajon yesterday, I spotted a some cool old cars and airplanes!

The cars were on a couple of electrical boxes! This fading street art, on Main Street just west of Sunshine Plaza, is filled with all sorts of colorful hot rods and custom cars, racing imagery and even a tribute to Route 66.

I suppose this art was painted to celebrate the Cajon Classic Cruise weekly car show on Main Street at Magnolia, near the El Cajon landmark archway. It might also refer to the Cajon Speedway, a race track that used to exist north of here, near the Gillespie Field airport.

You can see the El Cajon landmark sign a couple blocks to the east…

A couple blocks farther east, at the Prescott Promenade park near El Cajon’s Civic Center, I spotted a couple of banners that celebrate old Cajon Speedway…

Finally, check out what I first heard, then spotted high in the sky as I was walking along Main Street!

Six restored World War II-era planes belonging to Air Group One, which is the San Diego Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, were flying in a tight formation!

Air Group One flies out of El Cajon’s Gillespie Field. (I often spot their vintage planes flying over the USS Midway Museum 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!

California Harmony racehorse art in Solana Beach!

Here’s another great Art of the Horse piece created back in 2017 for the Breeders’ Cup, which was held that year at the Del Mar Racetrack. This sculpture, a life-size replica of the Breeders’ Cup trophy, is titled California Harmony. It’s by artist Tish Wynne.

Painted on the racehorse are colorful coastal scenes full of crashing waves, running horses, birds, flowers and ocean wildlife. You can find California Harmony in Solana Beach, on Highway 101 in front of The Boardwalk retail and office complex, a bit south of Estrella Street.

Several years ago I photographed five other Art of the Horse fiberglass sculptures. (There were 20 unique pieces painted for the Breeders’ Cup.) You can see those horses here and 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!

Funny murals at Mason’s Auto Clinic!

During my Saturday walk through Imperial Beach I discovered these funny murals!

Not only does Mason’s Auto Clinic have a cool mural painted near the sidewalk showing off-road desert racers, but there are three images decorating the bay doors that made me laugh!

It seems the intrepid mechanics at this car repair shop deal not only with broken alternators and blown gaskets, but with Darth Vader, gremlins and gigantic apes!

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!

Mural in Lakeside celebrates a moment in history.

A fantastic mural painted in Lakeside at the corner of Woodside Avenue and Maine Avenue celebrates an important moment in this East County community’s surprising history.

Spectators in old-fashioned garb watch an automobile race around Lindo Lake near the long-vanished Lakeside Inn, once called The Coronado of the Hills because of its architectural similarity to the Hotel del Coronado. On one historic day in 1907, race car driver Barney Oldfield set a new world land speed record.

A corner of the mural indicates this nostalgic artwork was painted by David E. Ybarra for the Ron Schafer Family.

I’ve included a vintage photograph of the race depicted in the mural!

Barney Oldfield driving the Peerless Green Dragon at the Lakeside Track, San Diego, California. April 7, 1907. (Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons.)

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!

A short walk through downtown El Cajon.

Last weekend I enjoyed an easy walk up and down Main Street through downtown El Cajon.

I started at the El Cajon landmark sign, where I read some historical information concerning Amaziah Lord Knox, founder of Knox’s Corners, later the City of El Cajon.

I then headed east to the corner of Main Street and Magnolia Avenue, where old photos provided by the El Cajon Historical Society adorn the vacant Salvation Army Thrift Store building. I believe the photo murals were put up for the El Cajon Centennial, which was in 2012.

I continued walking east to Prescott Promenade, where I checked out the handsome old Rotary Club of El Cajon clock and some fun street art. I saw many different banners hung from lamp posts that celebrate El Cajon. Some banners depicted the Cajon Speedway, the Mother Goose Parade, and seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon.

I crossed Main Street, checked out a beautiful fountain and artificial stream near the El Cajon Civic Center, then turned west and walked past a variety of small shops and colorful eateries.

(The second photo below I took during a later walk. I’ve inserted it so you can more easily read the history of Amaziah Lord Knox.)

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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!

Photos of the U.S. Olympic Race Walk Trials!

Some of the world’s top race walkers competed in Santee this morning! The U.S. Olympic 50km Race Walk Trials and ASATF National Women’s and Masters 50km Race Walk Championships were contested on a course near the Santee Town Center trolley station!

Racing the 1250 meter loop course were several amazing local athletes, past National Champions, the past World Record holder at this distance, Erin Taylor-Talcott, and the always smiling 74-year-old multiple record holder Darlene Backlund!

While the 50km race (that’s longer than a marathon!) was well underway, I watched as elite invitational 20km and 10km racers started their competition on the same course.

In these photos you can see how the morning fog eventually lifted and the Southern California sunshine cast its light on some our nation’s most dedicated, toughest athletes. You can see how the faces of many race walkers also shined!

I left before the races concluded. To me, every participant I observed was victorious.

The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team will be competing this summer in Sapporo, Japan.

Go TEAM USA!

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!

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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