Inline Skating On Vacation Isle

July 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Vacation Isle Landmark

Vacation Isle

        There is a short inline skate trail that runs around Vacation Isle, in the middle of Mission Bay. It’s a smooth, concrete path that follows the eastern and southern shoreline of Vacation Isle before swinging back around the model yacht pond, past Paradise Point Resort Spa and over to Ingraham St.

View Larger Map

Vacation Isle in Mission Bay

Vacation Isle In Mission Bay

        As I sat on a bench while lacing up my skates, I thought about just how lucky I am right now. Even though I spend four hours dedicated to looking for work every day, I am still able explore San Diego’s inline skate paths during the middle of the week, so the crowds are at a minimum and in some case, like in the photo above, non-existent.

Model Yacht Pond On Vacation Isle

Model Yacht Pond On Vacation Isle

        The model yacht pond is a rectangle shaped pond that is for model boaters only. A few times a year there are model boat races in the pond and they always draw a crowd.

Sea Cats On Vacation Isle

Sea Cats Of Vacation Isle

        These stray cats live at the southern end of Vacation Isle, where Ingraham St. crosses over. I was really surprised to see cats that lived by the sea, right next to a skate path. I didn’t try to approach them, but they seemed to be doing all right and since there was a plastic food dispenser nearby, I think that some good Samaritan feeds them at least somewhat regularly. I’ll bring some cat food with next time, because feeding some beach-bum stray cats before inline skating around Mission Bay sounds like a wonderful idea to me.

Inline Skating Along San Diego Bay

June 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Bay, near the Star of India

Great Place To Start Inline Skating Around San Diego Bay.

        My latest inline skating adventure led me to the northwest area of San Diego Bay. There is a path that runs from Market St. & N. Harbor Dr. all the way around the northern edge of the bay, past the airport and over the bridge at the western edge of Harbor Island. I took the orange line trolley to American Plaza station and then walked 1 block west on Broadway, where I popped on my skates and headed north. I was there on a Friday at lunchtime and it was pretty crowded with pedestrians from the Broadway pier until I got to Hawthorn St. At that point, the foot traffic dropped off so it was smooth sailing. The trail is concrete and parallels N. Harbor Dr. and the coast of the bay. It is wide and smooth the whole way, and as the trail curves to the west you can see planes taking off from San Diego International Airport on your right, and watch the calm, San Diego bay to your left. The path goes right past the Coast Guard base, so you can see their helicopters and hangers as well.

Inline Skate Path At San Diego Bay – Shot with Nikon D5000

        In the spirit of making this blog more dynamic and interesting, I am learning the best ways to use my Nikon D5000 to add video to the posts. The best way is probably not to shoot video while hand-holding the D5000 and skating at the same time. That being said, the video above is a little jumpy, but it will give you a great sense of what the path is like, as well as the video capabilities of the D5000, in case you are considering purchasing one. One thing I don’t like about shooting video with the D5000 is that you have to focus manually, which is not fun when you are trying to stay upright on skates.

San Diego Bay Inline Skate Path Between Harbor Island & The Airport

New Flowers For The Path

        The shot above was taken just where the trails curves to the west, between terminal two of the airport and the bay. This will make a great before and after shot, once the plants have matured and the orange safety fence is removed.
        So, yet one more skate path that is accessible on San Diego public transportation. Both the orange and blue line trolleys stop at American Plaza station and from there it’s just a one block walk to the path. To see other blog posts of mine from other San Diego skate paths, click here.

Lake Murray Mission Trails Regional Park

June 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lake Murray Panorama

Lake Murray – Mission Trails Regional Park

        Now that I have been rediscovering my inline skating roots, I am also discovering great places to skate around San Diego. Mission Trails Regional Park – Lake Murray is in La Mesa, CA and is very close to my house. There is an asphalt trail that winds its way around Lake Murray and it is for bikers, skaters and pedestrians only. Awesome! The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant sits along one edge of Lake Murray, and is a restricted area, so the trail is not a loop. That means that it is a 6 mile round trip, and it is worth every bit of it.

Alvarado Water Treatment Plant

Alvarado Water Treatment Plant

        As you approach the entrance to the Lake Murray section of the park, you will pass by the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant, which bristles with fences and warning signs. This is one side of the plant, and the other side is actually a dam that is also off limits to park-goers.

Lake Murray Mission Trails Regional Park Entrance

Lake Murray – Mission Trails Regional Park

Ducks In Lake Murray

Ducks In Lake Murray

        I had never skated this trail before, so my concentration on the terrain and skating technique, not my photography. This path is asphalt, so it will wear down your wheels, especially the front two over the course of the 6 mile skate. There are a few dips and sharp turns, but they are fun, not scary and even a beginner skater will enjoy them. There are only a few sections of the path that are lumpy, but they are short sections and don’t ruin the skate at all.

Lake Murray In Mission Trails Park

Weekend Visitors Enjoy Lake Murray

        Most of the photos for this post were taken at the far end of the trail that circles most of the way around Lake Murray. The shot above was taken from the very end of the trail, with the camera pointed back across the Lake.

Alvarado Water Treatment Plant And Dam On Lake Murray

Alvarado Water Treatment Plant And Dam On Lake Murray

        This is the view from the OTHER side of Alvarado water treatment plant and the reason for a giant NO TRESPASSING sign at the end of the trail.

Fishing In Lake Murray Mission Trails Regional Park

Fishing In Lake Murray Mission Trails Regional Park

        Mission Trails Regional Park is a great place to skate, and entry to the park is free, so if you haven’t skated the trail around Lake Murray, you really should give it a try. If you go on a weekday, you will have the park to yourself, but on the weekends, the beach areas draw crowds, and the path may have enough (walking) people on it to cause you to have to maneuver, but it’s only the skaters and cyclists that go all the way to the end, so the farther from the entrance you skate, the less people there are.

The End Or Beginning Of Lake Murray's Skate Path

The End Of Lake Murray’s Skate Path

        When you see the sign above, you have reached the end of the path. This is where you can hang out, look at the people across the lake, catch your breath and think about where in San Diego you will skate next.

Ocean Beach Bike Path & Dog Beach

June 23, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Dog park on the beach

OB’s Dog Beach

        I have decided to delve into the inline skating community of San Diego. Being able to explore (on inline skates) what San Diego has to offer during the middle of the work day is just about the only thing I can do that does not cost money and bring me joy at the same time. Yesterday I decided to skate the Ocean Beach Bike Path, picking it up just north of the Old Town transit center, and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in a long time. If you are skating west, the trail ends at the mouth of the San Diego River and it was here that I discovered OB’s Dog Beach.

Ocean Beach Dog Park

Running In The Pacific Ocean With Your Dog

Ocean Beach Dog Park

Dogs Just Want To Have Fun

        This park is HUGE and carries itself inland, up the mouth of the San Diego river for at least a quarter of a mile. When I reached the end of the path, I removed my skates in favor of flip-flips and walked down to the shore. Dogs having fun at the beach is a great thing to watch and is also a great photo op.

Ocean Beach Dog Park

Every Dog Is Your Friend At OB’s Dog Beach

        A dog park is very unique because every square inch of every dog park is fair game for photographers. All you have to do is walk down to the park or in this case, the beach and take pictures of dogs running at full gait up and down the beach and leaping into the air catching toys.

Ocean Beach Dog Park

Dogs Jump Through The Air

        I included the above shot because it shows just how weird the world can be when viewed at 1/2500th of a second. Two dogs playing yet neither one is touching the ground.

Ocean Beach Dog Beach

New Friends At The Dog Beach

        I don’t know why, but the beach brings out the best in a dog. So, plan a trip with your dog to Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach, or just skate the bike path to the park and watch other people having fun with their dogs. You don’t have to take a car or a dog to get to this beach since it is the start/finish of the OB Bike Path. A great set of maps that detail everywhere to bike or skate in the county can be found on the iCommute website.

Ocean Beach Dog Park

Dogs Playing In The Ocean

Ocean Beach Dog Beach

Dogs Playing On The Beach

Ocean Beach Dog Beach Park

Triple Exposure Of A Dog Catching A Disc On The Beach

        A safari like this one really helps to illustrate just how fluid life can be. I had planned on taking pictures of the Ocean Beach Bike Path as a reference for other skaters and bikers, but a giant beach set aside for dogs turned out to be subject instead. I thought it would be a good day because I strapped on my skates and had my camera, and it was, but in a completely different way. For those of you interested in places you can skate or bike without having to worry about automobiles, should click on this link. It will take you to a website that shows you every exclusive bike/skate path in San Diego. They are referred to as RED ROUTES. A red route is a bike/skate path where automobile traffic is forbidden. The Ocean Beach Bike Path, which leads to the dog beach is one of them.

Inline Skating Around Mission Bay

June 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Eastern Edge Of Mission Bay, San Diego

Mission Bay’s Eastern Shore

        I had a great day yesterday. Inline skating used to be everything to me, so from 1995 until 2007, I racked up more miles on my skates than most people do in their cars. I skated everywhere, and even spent 3 of those years on a 12 foot vert ramp. Life was good and the future was very far away. Thanks to a very brief, yet poignant article in the San Diego Reader, I got back on the skating wagon yesterday. I discovered a gem of San Diego that, for reasons unknown even to me, I have never explored. There are beautiful, wide, paved trails all around Mission Bay, and yesterday was the first time I skated on them. I have been in San Diego since 2006, and yesterday was the first time I took my skates to Mission Bay and skated the trails there. It was amazing, and now, 24 hours later, I am still trying to get the smile off my face.

South Shore Of Mission Bay In Rose Marie Starns Park

Rosa Marie Starns South Shores Park

        The entire Mission Bay Park area is beautiful, and something that helps to enhance this beauty is the fact that it is very accessible on San Diego’s public transportation. If you live downtown, jump on the #30 bus and it will zip you right into Mission Bay, Pacific Beach or La Jolla Shores. If you live in Old Town, you can grab bus numbers 9, 9a, 8 or 30 to get to the beaches. If you live anywhere else along San Diego’s 53 miles of trolley track, get on, head to the Old Town transit center and jump on any of the above mentioned buses.

Jet Skiing On The South Shore Of Mission Bay

Jet Skiing Along The South Shores Of Mission Bay

        My journey was rather epic on this day. I live in East County and I do not drive, so in order to get to San Diego’s beaches, I must take public transportation. I started out by taking the Orange Line Trolley into downtown, where I had a bite to eat at my favorite taco shop “Azteca” at the Park & Market trolley station. They have a special called the “Big Plate” that consists of 2 rolled tacos, a regular taco and a bean tostada for $4.08 after tax. Yummy! Ordering and consuming this meal took less than 15 minutes so I was able to catch the next trolley up to City College, where I debarked, walked down Broadway and caught the #30 bus. Downtown traffic was a nightmare, but since I was a passenger on the bus, I was pleasantly amused by the traffic, while listening to my iPod. I felt sorry for all the suckers in their cars, I really did, but watching them putz along reminded why I don’t drive, and even though buses are prone to traffic too, but I can sleep, rock out or daydream through it, rather than rage about it.

Sailing In Mission Bay At Rose Marie Starns Park

        I rode the #30 bus into the fringes of Pacific Beach, debarking at Grand Ave. & Bond St. From there I crossed Grand Ave., put on my skates and headed south on the Rose Creek Trail, which took me right to the northern edge of De Anza Cove, which is home of the start (or the end, depending on your direction of travel) of a beautiful, 10 foot wide concrete path the travels down the entire eastern shore of Mission Bay, curls around to the south and on past Sea World. From there, the path parallels Ingraham St, through Vacation Island and meets up with Bayside Walk Path. By the time I reached Vacation Island, I was becoming very hungry, thirsty and… Hungry. The #9 bus runs along Ingraham St., so I ended my skating adventure, jumped the bus and headed to the Old Town transit center. Once there I boarded the Green Line trolley, which took me to Grossmont transit center where I took a #1 bus that dropped me off a few feet from my house in La Mesa. It was a good day.

De Anza Cove In East Mission Bay, San Diego

De Anza Cove In East Mission Bay