Los Peñasquitos Lagoon between winter storms.

Debris has been washed by the ocean under the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon bridge at Torrey Pines State Beach.
Debris has been washed by the ocean under the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon bridge at Torrey Pines State Beach.

This morning, the day after a severe winter storm, I visited Torrey Pines State Beach and the ocean inlet to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Arriving at high tide, I found myself astonished by the incredible power of nature. Turbulent waves were crashing onto the pedestrian walkway under the North Torrey Pines Road bridge.

I spent some time exploring near the state park’s North Parking Lot and its entrance. I then headed north along a path at the edge of sandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I took many photographs, striving to capture nature’s awesome power and beauty.

And more winter storms are on the way!

Please read the photo captions to learn a bit more about this special place.

A lifeguard keeps an eye on wild surf at Torrey Pines State Beach.
A lifeguard keeps an eye on wild surf at Torrey Pines State Beach.
The friendly lifeguard said that waves can wash over the walkway during high tide at this time of the year.
The friendly lifeguard said that waves can wash over the walkway during high tide at this time of the year.
The bridge over the lagoon inlet during a very high tide. The storm-disturbed water appeared very muddy.
The bridge over the lagoon inlet during a very high tide. The storm-disturbed water appeared very muddy.
An information sign was pushed over by high winds from yesterday's storm. The power of nature is displayed.
An information sign was pushed over by high winds from yesterday’s storm. The power of nature is displayed.
Open to the Ocean. Over time, the lagoon mouth has filled in and reopened, changed shape and relocated many times.
Open to the Ocean. Over time, the lagoon mouth has filled in and reopened, changed shape and relocated many times.
Across the lagoon to the south rises beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve, home of the endangered Torrey pine, rarest pine tree in North America.
Across the lagoon to the south rises beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve, home of the endangered Torrey pine, rarest pine tree in North America.
Looking west along Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Light shines on a sheet of water swollen by high tide.
Looking west along Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. Light shines on a sheet of water swollen by high tide.
This coastal marsh in San Diego's North County is a special place where wildlife is abundant.
This coastal marsh in San Diego’s North County is a special place where wildlife is abundant.
The sandy beaches, sand dunes, sandstone cliffs and bluffs, provides the habitat for the Coastal Strand plant community.
The sandy beaches, sand dunes, sandstone cliffs and bluffs, provides the habitat for the Coastal Strand plant community.
A cheerful yellow bush sunflower.
A cheerful yellow bush sunflower.
Looking across the wetland toward the train bridge near the beach.
Looking across the wetland toward the train bridge near the beach.
Life in the Lagoon. Birds are the most commonly seen animals in the lagoon. Ample food and nesting materials allow many to live here year-round.
Life in the Lagoon. Birds are the most commonly seen animals in the lagoon. Ample food and nesting materials allow many to live here year-round.
A great egret stands in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, patiently watching for fish in the water.
A great egret stands in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, patiently watching for fish in the water.
People walk west from Carmel Valley Road into the North Beach Lot of Torrey Pines State Beach.
People walk west from Carmel Valley Road into the North Beach Lot of Torrey Pines State Beach.
Sign includes map of the San Diego Trans County Trail, which runs east from the ocean along Peñasquitos Creek, through Los Peñasquitos Canyon.
Sign includes map of the San Diego Trans County Trail, which runs east from the ocean along Peñasquitos Creek, through Los Peñasquitos Canyon.
Closed lifeguard Tower 5 at Torrey Pines State Beach is splashed by wild winter waves during high tide.
Closed lifeguard Tower 5 at Torrey Pines State Beach is splashed by wild winter waves during high tide.
Gazing down at powerful Pacific Ocean surf on a winter day between storms.
Gazing down at incoming Pacific Ocean surf on a winter day between storms.
Coaster train moves along tracks north of Torrey Pines State Beach, heading atop scenic sandstone cliffs into Del Mar.
Coaster train moves along tracks north of Torrey Pines State Beach, heading atop scenic sandstone cliffs into Del Mar.
A line of bicyclists head down Pacific Coast Highway from Del Mar toward Torrey Pines State Beach.
A line of bicyclists head down Pacific Coast Highway from Del Mar toward Torrey Pines State Beach.
Ocean waves crash toward the North Torrey Pines Road bridge over the entrance to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.
Ocean waves crash toward the North Torrey Pines Road bridge over the entrance to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.
Mud and debris under the bridge. The result of a strong winter storm and the mighty ocean.
Mud and debris under the bridge. The result of a strong winter storm and the mighty ocean.

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Student art at Mission Trails: Wilderness Views.

Moth Study 2018, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Moth Study 2018, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.

Before I began my walk yesterday at Mission Trails Regional Park, I ventured into the Visitor Center and was pleased to see walls full of art created by students from the Grossmont Union High School District.

Many of the Wilderness Views are really good. Creativity thrives in San Diego’s East County! I took quick photos of some pieces that I happened to like.

Most of the artwork is for sale. If you’d like to support local high school students and their artistic endeavors, head over to the Mission Trails Visitor Center before the exhibition ends on January 4, 2019.

Untitled, Ashton McDowell, acrylic paint and spray paint. West Hills High School.
Untitled, Ashton McDowell, acrylic paint and spray paint. West Hills High School.
Caught, Rachel Silvis, digital photography collage. Grossmont High School.
Caught, Rachel Silvis, digital photography collage. Grossmont High School.
Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.), Siena Quinn, acrylic. Grossmont High School.
Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.), Siena Quinn, acrylic. Grossmont High School.
Reflective Sunset, Cherish Clarkson, digital photography. Grossmont High School.
Reflective Sunset, Cherish Clarkson, digital photography. Grossmont High School.
The Tears of Nature, Travis McCrae, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
The Tears of Nature, Travis McCrae, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
Quoth the Raven, Amalia Browning, suminagashi ink, acrylic paint. Monte Vista High School.
Quoth the Raven, Amalia Browning, suminagashi ink, acrylic paint. Monte Vista High School.
Malcolm, Siena Quinn, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
Malcolm, Siena Quinn, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
El Tigre, Ryan Zubik, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
El Tigre, Ryan Zubik, watercolor. Grossmont High School.
Dangerous Spots, Maryam Ablahad, scratchboard. Valhalla High School.
Dangerous Spots, Maryam Ablahad, scratchboard. Valhalla High School.
Bambino, Joshua Meriwether, scratchboard. IDEA Center High School.
Bambino, Joshua Meriwether, scratchboard. IDEA Center High School.
In the Leopard's Gaze, Armida Angulo, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
In the Leopard’s Gaze, Armida Angulo, colored pencil. Grossmont High School.
Untitled, Kirsten Fraga, charcoal and colored pencil. West Hills High School.
Untitled, Kirsten Fraga, charcoal and colored pencil. West Hills High School.
Dripping Lily, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Dripping Lily, Evelyn DuVall, watercolor and ink. IDEA Center High School.
Moonrise, Brooke Moran, linoleum print. Steele Canyon High School.
Moonrise, Brooke Moran, linoleum print. Steele Canyon High School.
Smooth Waves, Britney Guerrero, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Smooth Waves, Britney Guerrero, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Lobos, Natalie Burke, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Lobos, Natalie Burke, acrylic. Steele Canyon High School.
Ocean Eyes, Rand Akim, tempera. Valhalla High School.
Ocean Eyes, Rand Akim, tempera. Valhalla High School.
It's Pretty Wild, Savy, acrylic. Valhalla High School.
It’s Pretty Wild, Savy, acrylic. Valhalla High School.
Landscapes, Andy Orosco, watercolor. Steele Canyon High School.
Landscapes, Andy Orosco, watercolor. Steele Canyon High School.

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 to the end of Oceanside Pier.

Yesterday I walked to the end of Oceanside Pier. It’s another one of my favorite places.

I experienced sunshine, the sparkle of the Pacific Ocean, a fresh sea breeze, the smell of wood, the cry of seagulls . . . and happy people all around: strolling, fishing, listening to music, talking, eating ice cream, leaning over the rail gazing down at the colorful beach and surfers in the blue water awaiting the perfect wave…

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!

Storm brings huge surf to Ocean Beach Pier.

Yesterday I went to Ocean Beach. My walk included a stretch along the water, to the OB Pier. It was late morning, right around high tide.

Huge, unrelenting surf resulting from a stormy Pacific Ocean was pounding like crazy and constantly threatening to break over the pier. So the pier was closed.

I took a few photos of the dynamic waves crashing under the pier.

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 good day to catch mackerel in OB.

Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.
Fishermen enjoy a perfect September day along the Ocean Beach Pier. Today everybody was catching mackerel.

Today was a good day to catch mackerel in Ocean Beach. Fishermen were pulling up shining prizes all along the OB Pier.

What was their secret? Cut bait, a little patience, slathered sunscreen, and perhaps a cool beverage and some music. Nothing more. (Not even a fishing license. It’s free to fish from a San Diego pier.)

The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier was built in 1966 and is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its reach into deep water makes it an excellent place to catch a wide variety of fish.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
Not everyone was fishing. Some were just out enjoying the sunshine. A guy on a bike looks down on the busy beach.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
This guy caught a silvery mackerel. They were really biting today along the entire length of the pier.
Young and old alike were having success!
Young and old alike were having success!
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as mackerel in the ocean.
Below the pier, there seemed to be as many surfers as fish in the ocean.
Some kids at the OB Pier's T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
Some kids at the OB Pier’s T-shaped end catch another nice mackerel!
This guy caught one, too!
This guy caught one, too!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
A curious glance backward as a photo is taken of a prized catch!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!
It appears catching that mackerel was a lot of fun!

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!

Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

One of many benches around Mission Bay in San Diego. Most feature a small plaque remembering loved ones.
One of many park benches near the beautiful water of Mission Bay.

My walk today took me a good distance around Mission Bay.

Benches can be found at intervals along the pedestrian and bike path that circles much of the bay. Most of these benches feature a small plaque dedicated to a beloved person or memory.

I paused on several occasions to read these thoughtful plaques. One really touched me for some reason. I found it at the base of a quiet bench next to Riviera Shores. It is dedicated to Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

There are so many stories, and so many lives. There’s much love in this world.

While I sat quietly on the bench, runners flew past.
While I sat quietly on the bench, runners breezed past.
I gazed across the beach at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
I gazed across the sand at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
1999 - In Loving Memory - Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.
1999 – In Loving Memory – Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.

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 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic!

People gather near the beach to watch the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic.
People gather near the beach to watch the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic.

Here come some cool surf photos!

I went to the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic today and enjoyed walking around and watching the action from atop the OB pier.

What a beautiful, perfect day. Check it out!

The OB Pier stretches into the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful morning in early February. A fun surf competition is underway.
The OB Pier stretches into the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful morning in early February. A fun surf competition is underway.
I believe these guys were signing up people for a beach cleanup.
I believe these guys were signing up people for a beach cleanup.
Catching a football on the beach while two surfers head toward the water.
Catching a football on the beach while two surfers head toward the water.
Considering the event is only two years old, a nice turnout was evident along the boardwalk.
Considering the event is only two years old, a nice turnout was evident along the boardwalk.
A musician plays in OB during a surf community celebration.
A musician plays in OB during a surf community celebration.
I believe the winners in different categories would take home one of these small surfboards.
I believe the winners in different categories would take home one of these small surfboards.
Hanging out on the sea wall and the sand berm. The latter protects the nearby street and businesses from high water during winter storms.
Hanging out on the sea wall and the sand berm. The latter protects the nearby street and businesses from high water during winter storms.
A horn sounds. The 10:30 heat is starting out across the beach! May the best surfer win!
A horn sounds. The 10:30 heat is starting out across the beach! May the best surfer win!
The surf competitors enter the water.
The surf competitors enter the water.
One of the surfers has caught a nice wave. The surf was very high today and made for some good rides.
One of the surfers has caught a nice wave. The surf was high today and not terribly choppy, making for some pretty good rides.
Pacific Beach and La Jolla can be seen in the distance.
Pacific Beach and La Jolla can be seen in the distance.
Two surfers tackle a good breaker!
Two surfers tackle a good breaker!
OB is a haven for Southern California surfers.
OB is a haven for Southern California surfers.  It’s fun to watch from the pier.
A nice shot. This local surfer went under the pier and emerged near the competitors.
A nice shot. This local surfer went under the pier and emerged near the competitors.
A fun surf photo. (About the best my little camera can manage at a distance.)
A fun surf photo. (About the best my little camera can manage at a distance.)
People on the pier look out across the turbulent water.
People on the pier look out across the foamy water.
Keep having a good day!
Keep having a good day!
More cool action at the 2nd Annual OB Pier Surf Classic.
More cool action at the 2nd Annual OB Pier Surf Classic.
A line of pelicans flies overhead.
A line of pelicans flies overhead.
People enjoy a warm San Diego winter day on the OB pier.
People enjoy a warm San Diego winter day on the OB pier. One of my favorite places.
Leaning over the rail watching surfers below.
Leaning over the rail watching surfers below.
The guys surfing the south side of the pier were catching some fairly big waves.
The guys surfing the south side of the pier were catching some fairly big waves.
Today we were under a high surf advisory. Perfect for experienced surfers!
Today San Diego beaches were under a high surf advisory. Perfect for experienced surfers!
Surfer in a wetsuit about to paddle under the pier.
Surfer in a wetsuit about to paddle under the pier.
Some photographers and videographers were recording the action.
Some photographers and videographers were recording the action.
Wow! Check out this pic of the surf competition! Very cool!
Wow! Check out this pic of the surf competition! Very cool!
Riding in toward the shore.
Riding smoothly in toward the shore.
Meanwhile, along the beach people were simply enjoying life.
Meanwhile, along the beach people were simply enjoying life.
An artist was displaying some cool surf art at the competition.
An artist was displaying some colorful surf art at the competition.
An announcer calls the action so everyone can follow along.
An announcer calls the action so everyone can follow along.
A wonderful day at the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic. Here's to many more years of success!
A wonderful day at the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic. Here’s to many more years of success!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!