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!

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!

Learn to play horseshoes in San Diego!

I made a cool discovery today!

If you’d like to learn how to play the game of horseshoes, you have an opportunity to do so in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park!

During my walk this morning, I spotted members of the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club out having fun in the horseshoe pits in the southwest corner of the park. I spoke with some of the friendly folks and learned that the public is invited to learn the game with a free horseshoe pitching lesson! The lessons are held on Thursdays at 6 pm, near the corner of Juniper Street and Sixth Avenue. Look for the blue sign that reads San Diego Chess Club/Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.

During the present coronavirus pandemic, they have taken all the necessary precautions, so you can feel safe.

Make sure you notify the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club San Diego you’d like a free lesson, so someone will definitely be there! You can connect via their Facebook page here.

The San Diego Horseshoe Pitching Club has a lot of fun at the facility also known as the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
The San Diego Horseshoe Pitching Club has a lot of fun at the facility also known as the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
David Lavallee of the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club is working to grow the love of the game in San Diego.
David Lavallee of the Balboa Park Horseshoe Club is working to grow the love of the game 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!

Healthy air on the water.

Today I enjoyed a long walk from downtown San Diego to Liberty Station then back again. It felt so good to be near the water that I even took a short detour to visit Harbor Island.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, I noticed an unusual number of people out on San Diego Bay, on paddle boards, in kayaks, breathing in the healthy fresh air. There’s a new local regulation that recently went into effect during the COVID-19 crisis. People are now allowed to recreate on the water. And those engaged in safe social distancing aren’t required to wear face coverings. They can fully enjoy San Diego’s watery paradise.

As I arrived at Liberty Station, I noticed many stand up paddleboarders embarking on a journey from the boat channel. They headed under the Nimitz and Harbor Drive bridges and into the sunlit marina behind Harbor Island.

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 a hike up Mother Miguel Mountain.

At the top of Mother Miguel Mountain you'll find the Stone House and its flags, and a view of nearby San Miguel Mountain.
At the top of Mother Miguel Mountain you’ll find the Rock House and its flags, and a view of nearby San Miguel Mountain.

Today I enjoyed a hike to the top of Mother Miguel Mountain, just northeast of Chula Vista. While not as high as nearby San Miguel Mountain, the views of the southern part of San Diego from Mother Miguel Mountain are pretty amazing.

On a clear day you can see Mexico, San Diego Bay, Coronado, downtown, Point Loma, and various peaks including Otay Mountain, Mount Soledad, Cowles Mountain and Mt. Helix. Looking down to the south you can see Salt Creek Golf Course, which was closed a couple of years ago and will undergo future development.

Fortunately it wasn’t very hot today, being early January. I just wore jeans, a simple shirt and some good shoes. Should you hike this steep rocky trail on a hot day, make sure to bring lots of water. There are virtually no trees and no shade. And it’s a constant very rocky climb. Pay attention to where you step and wear boots or shoes with a good grip!

In addition to a fair number of other hikers and some mountain bikers, I saw half a dozen ravens circling above and below, a few cacti, lots of sagebrush and wild grass, and many crumbled rock outcroppings. To the northwest one can look down at Sweetwater Reservoir. And of course, there’s impressive nearby San Miguel Mountain, rising not far to the northeast.

I started at the trailhead at the corner of Paseo Veracruz and Paseo Los Gatos and started up the Rock House Trail for the peak! It’s a moderately difficult 4.3 miles round trip with a 1,171 feet elevation gain. Follow the designated trail, which has many switchbacks.

Halfway up you find a sign which points out and names many of the distant sights that are visible. From there, the trail gets steeper. (Those airplanes flying overhead are making their approach to San Diego International Airport which is near downtown!)

At the top of Mother Miguel Mountain is the Rock House: a large mound of rocks with several flags and an adjacent low stone open shelter. On all sides are scenic views. If you proceed a little beyond the Rock House, there’s a large outcropping and nearby crude wood bench with a small plaque. From it you can look toward the northeast and see distant El Cajon Mountain, often called El Capitan.

If you want to read the photos of signs, click the images and they will expand for easy reading.

Now come along with me and get a taste of this rewarding hike!

Mother Miguel Trail Head Bulletin Board contains useful information and a map for hikers.
The Mother Miguel Trail Head Bulletin Board contains useful information and a topographic map for hikers.
The Mother Miguel Mountain Trail is inside the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Stay on the trails to protect the habitat of many animal and plants species, some of which are endangered.
The Mother Miguel Mountain Trail is inside the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Stay on the designated trail to protect the habitat of many animal and plants species, some of which are endangered.
Starting up the trail, which was muddy in spots.
Starting up the trail, which was muddy in spots. This winter it has been rainy in San Diego.
One of two information signs, on opposite sides of a small bridge spanning tiny creek.
One of two information signs, on opposite sides of a very small bridge spanning a tiny creek.
Sign describes this part of San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and protecting natural biodiversity.
Sign describes this part of San Diego National Wildlife Refuge and protecting natural biodiversity.
The small California gnatcatcher makes its home on Mother Miguel Mountain.
The small California gnatcatcher makes its home on Mother Miguel Mountain.
Second sign describes the Quino checkerspot butterfly, which is listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Second sign describes the Quino checkerspot butterfly, which is listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
A section of very rocky trail.
A section of very rocky trail.
Looking down after climbing for a bit. I could see downtown San Diego and Point Loma in the far distance.
Looking down after climbing for a bit. I could see downtown San Diego and Point Loma in the far distance.
Sweetwater Reservoir appears below.
Sweetwater Reservoir appears below.

Another sign ahead.
Another sign ahead.
Left part of long sign, showing peaks and features from Mexico northward.
Left part of long sign, showing peaks and features from Mexico northward.
Right part of sign shows sights to the northwest, as far away as Mount Soledad in La Jolla.
Right part of sign shows sights to the northwest, as far away as Mount Soledad in La Jolla.

Looking southward toward the San Ysidro Mountains and Mexico.
Looking southward toward the San Ysidro Mountains and Mexico.
Looking back down the climbing trail, you can see green Mount San Miguel Park with its sports fields, not far from the trailhead.
Looking back down the trail, you can see green Mount San Miguel Park with its sports fields, not far from the trailhead.
The view of Sweetwater Reservoir keeps getting better as we climb.
The view of Sweetwater Reservoir keeps getting better as we climb.

You can see some of the now closed Salt Creek Golf Course to the southeast.
You can see some of the now closed Salt Creek Golf Course to the southeast.
San Miguel Mountain rises to the northeast.
San Miguel Mountain rises to the northeast.

Someone stands on an outcropping just below the summit of Mother Miguel Mountain.
Someone stands on an outcropping just below the summit of Mother Miguel Mountain.
Mount San Miguel Park is now far below.
Mount San Miguel Park is now far below.
Flags show we've almost reached the Rock House atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
Flags show we’ve almost reached the Rock House atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
We made it!
We made it!
A couple of hikers brought a blanket to rest on the grass beneath the sky.
A couple of hikers brought a blanket to rest on the grass beneath the sky.
This rocky enclosure at the Rock House might provide a little bit of shelter on a windy day.
This rocky enclosure at the Rock House might provide a little bit of shelter on a windy day.

Continuing along, we approach another rocky outcropping atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
Continuing along, we approach another rock outcropping atop Mother Miguel Mountain.
The view to the northeast includes part of the Cuyamaca Mountains.
The view to the northeast includes part of the Cuyamaca Mountains.
A simple wood plank serves as a bench. I was surprised to see it has a plaque.
A simple wood plank serves as a bench. I was surprised to see it has a plaque.
TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE MOUNTAIN FOR THE BETTER APPRECIATION OF HOME 2016
TO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE MOUNTAIN FOR THE BETTER APPRECIATION OF HOME — 2016

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!

Free activities and help for San Diego seniors!

Look what I discovered today!

I was walking around Balboa Park, looking at an arts and crafts sale in the Casa del Prado courtyard, when I discovered some great information. If you’re in San Diego and at least 55 years old (or if you know someone who is) there are lots of activities and services available for seniors, and many are absolutely free!

A friendly gentleman with the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department told me all about it. The program is called AgeWell Services. You can visit the AgeWell Services website by clicking here.

AgeWell Services offers art classes, senior art shows, needle crafts, poetry parties, dance lessons, talent shows, craft sales and much more. There’s free tea, coffee, water, bingo and social opportunities in the Balboa Park Senior Lounge, and easy walks around Balboa Park. There are laugh hours and free movies. There are informative talks. There is even free assistance for those 60 years or older with a variety of legal issues such as wills and renter disputes!

There are senior activities at many City of San Diego Recreation Centers!

AgeWell Services also has occasional day trips to interesting places like the J. Paul Getty Museum, Big Bear, Catalina Island and Julian. I noticed these special trips are offered for a very reasonable fee.

If you’d like to see all of these activities and services that are available to San Diego seniors, you should subscribe to a newsletter that comes out every few months called The Scroll. The Scroll is packed with all the latest information, including a Calendar of Events.

To join the mailing list for The Scroll, or to learn more about AgeWell Services, simply call 619-525-8247.

Volunteers are also needed! Call 619-236-6905 if you’d like to volunteer!

Have fun on Mission Bay for a good cause!

Today I learned that Susan G. Komen’s 19th Annual Row for the Cure is coming up on Sunday, October 27, 2019!

I can affirm after watching the Row for the Cure out on Mission Bay last year that this event is definitely fun! And money raised is used to fight breast cancer!

Any and all are welcome to participate. There are a variety of activities that you can enjoy, including kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. Or simply hang out on the grass or the sand and watch!

Learn the details by visiting the Susan G. Komen website here!

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Creativity at a museum helps to mend lives.

A wonderful new project is underway for the summer at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. To Do: A Mending Project can be enjoyed by the general public at MCASD’s downtown location in their Danah Fayman Gallery, right next to the America Plaza trolley station.

Artists Michelle Montjoy, Anna O’Cain, and Siobhán Arnold offer a unique workshop environment where people in the community can come together, talk, relax, create, and enjoy a tranquil safe space free of the many societal tensions and stresses in our contemporary world. With simple thread divisions are mended, and people feel whole once again.

As I walked into the gallery, the artists were sewing bags, and smiling and enjoying themselves thoroughly. They gave me a friendly welcome!

I poked my nose around and learned that To Do: A Mending Project has its own website, listing a wide range of activities that anyone can join through the summer. There’s the mending of clothes, knitting, poetry collage, yoga exercises, pasta making, a silent reading group, painting, and a whole lot more!

Check out all the activities by clicking 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!