John & Anne Wiley

2013/02/06

Capitan

The area around El Capitan has many attractions for us. When I was in flight training most of my flights beyond the airport where I had to fly in circles for hours to practice landings, began after reaching the El Capitan area. That’s what local pilots (and ATC) refer to as the West Practice Area, so often you’ll see planes doing all sorts of strange things (like stalls) out there. It’s also home to a great state beach and campground, and across the highway is El Capitan Canyon retreat center where we once spent the night in one of their cabins and attended a magical Inca event in one of their yurts.

2954 El Cap

2954 El Cap

Like many locals, we call it El Cap and it’s popular with surfers so on most flights we’ll see some boards waiting for the perfect wave, just to the right of the point. You might be able to make out the RV park that the retreat center added a few years ago, just across the freeway at the base of the hill on the far side of the canyon. Speaking of yurts, I hadn’t noticed before that there’s a tiny settlement just to the West of El Cap that includes this yurt.

2953 Tiny Settlement

2953 Tiny Settlement

I wonder what the story is with this place. Looks like some creative people live there. A little way to the East of El Cap is this larger and more spread out settlement we call Naples and just beyond that is Dos Pueblos Ranch where this private beach sits beneath another beautiful rusting railroad bridge.

2965 DP Beach

2965 DP Beach

Even though it’s a very short flight from SBA, the El Cap area always seems to have many attractions for us. I guess a part of the whole magic of flight, is that everything is new when seen from the air. Even places we go every day, take on powerful magical qualities when we fly over them. Our spirits rise with our eyes, and transform the mundane. We are elevated to another realm of renewal.

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