Old airports are fascinating to me, because they evoke the presence of the past. SBA has a spiffy new airline terminal and many recent upgrades, yet here and there are remnants of the past. Like these two hangars left over from WWII when top gun pilots prepared to fight with the Corsair, one of our best aircraft of that conflict. Looking at these derelict hangars you can almost smell oily exhaust, and in the silence hear the distant echo of a giant radial engine’s defiant roar.
In recent years every day has been charmed. Today somehow we dialed the enchantment up a notch. This afternoon we flew to the sweet little community around Oceano Airport (aka L52).
This is the sweetest little town! Once we flew there just to pick up a video at that branch of our regional library (we turned it in here at our branch). We did very much want to watch it (whatever it was), but mostly it was an excuse to fly there. As you can see, we can walk from where we park Tripp by the white square building near top-center, left across the bridge over the lovely slough where migrating birds hang out, and in another block we’re on the beach at the bottom-left. This is where people can drive their vast assortment of RVs, ATVs, dirt bikes, bicycles and assorted other vehicles right on the beach and up into the large sand dunes. Straight up off the top of the pic a block is Old Juan’s Cantina.
That gray beard is a reminder that I’m an old Juan, but what we love about this place is their delicious $105 mini-tostadas.
That’s one in front of Anne in this fuzzy pic. As you can see by the fine crystal water glass, it’s a humble place. As you’ve probably also guessed, these tasty dishes are small $5 treats (plus $100 to fly there). The library’s free, but these meals are an even bigger draw. Another is the sweet shop down by the beach and a couple of other eateries, but even more fun is walking around and taking in things like this that caught Anne’s fancy.
There’s sand just beneath the surface everywhere, accented here by the colors and shapes of this ice plant. Back in the air I spotted somewhat similar colors in this pond, apparently polluted from back in the old field days and now fenced off with warning signs.
As we approached Vandenberg Air Force Base and turned to leave the coast this jagged point with sea caves captivated us yet again with a garnish of puffy low clouds.
After myriad other enchantments we joined the coast again at Gaviota where gathering mist in the distance softened our turn along the shore toward home.
As we rolled into the driveway of our modest home, these “eyelashes” in the clouds provided yet another fleeting delight.
To finish the day and greet the night, I made a couple of small margaritas and we went up onto the roof to sit and welcome the fading of colors into shapes in the shades of darkness with mysterious sounds and twinkling lights of the lives around us. May every day be made more special by an Angel near you.
Passing Pescadero State Beach we turn East toward San Jose, but first a few more pix of this enchanted stretch of CA coast from Oceano to here. Though these homes are conveniently next to the highway with great oceanfront lots you’d want to either live and work nearby, have lots of time and patience, or commute via helicopter.
It’s only 5 minutes’ drive from the store in Pescadero, but the population of 650 or so might limit options. Half Moon Bay with 20,000 or so people is only a bit over 20 minutes if there’s no traffic, fog, or storm. Santa Cruz has plenty to offer after a 45 minute drive or so. But on a good day (and time) you can be in San Fransisco in about an hour, so living here is a great choice for some. On the other hand, if you don’t often need to go anywhere, what a fabulous place to Be!
My guess is the beautiful moss on those rocks means there’s plenty of ground water available, maybe even without digging a well if you have a spring to tap. I wake to surf song and laughing gulls, stroll sleepily out to my stairway and down onto the sand, and let the sea soothe me into the rhythm of another day. Just beyond this little dream is our last bridge on this tour, at Pescadero State Beach.
Turning inland to climb over the mountains we glimpse the little secret gMaps calls Dairy Gulch.
That trail from the beach leads to a narrow foot bridge across the shallow slot canyon.
Breathing deeply, we take in the expansive view back along the path of a leisurely flight taking less than two hours to deliver two million magical moments. This is one of the countless reasons people love to fly.
Though beautiful, this nursery next to the beach was somewhat surprising. I guess some flowers do especially well in this particular climate because the blooms are radiant.
The little cove at Bean Hollow offers many delights for motorists who need merely pull over into the parking area to check it out.
It doesn’t look like motorists will get a glimpse of the nursery, but there are trails along the rocks for strolling surf sounds.
The tidepools in this area are many and varied, and this mansion just above the waves sits next to a haven for tidepool watchers at Pescadero Point.
Looking to the South, you can see we aren’t very far from Pigeon Point. That’s the lighthouse at the top center of this pic. Does this give you some sense of how rich in diverse scenic beauty (often hidden from other perspectives) a two minute slow flight can be?
If you thought Pigeon Point was named due to a past pigeon proliferation there, read the wiki to learn otherwise and also get details about this magnificent 1871 lighthouse that’s tallest on the West Coast.
You’ll also get some info about that row of buildings in the foreground. If you visit, you can get views somewhat similar to this and walk trails along the low beach bluff.
At this point in our flight the wind was fairly strong (check out the foam streamers on the water in this next pic), yet the flight was quite smooth.
Because the terrain here is flat, there’s nothing to stir up the fast moving air so it’s fun to fly in. Going with the wind you get a free ride in the sense that you only need enough power to maintain altitude and let the wind provide the speed over ground. Going against the wind is great too, if like us you’re in no hurry, because with a similar low power setting you have more time to take in the spectacular views. All along this coast though, are indications of why a lighthouse was built at the point.
The rocky beaches would make short work of any boat that chanced ashore here even in relatively calm seas like this. Scary to imagine big waves and a wind blowing directly onto these rocks, especially before there were roads and homes here (and GPS). Speaking of homes, there’s probably full-time work for window washers and tempting sea caves for a lunch break.