Once again, Ed and I have run out of road. Our westward journey crossing California brought us to Oceanside, a coastal town on the Pacific Ocean. It’s here that Highway 78 west intersects with Highway 101.
We enjoyed our explorations of Highway 101 along the Oregon coast last fall. Seals, sand dunes, lighthouses, and undeveloped coastal shorelines are now fond memories captured on hundreds of digital photos. By contrast, the shoreline here is lined with beach houses and condos behind a protective, unnatural seawall of granite boulders. Signs warn: “no loitering” – “keep off” – “private property”. Life guards and armed police patrol the shore in marked vehicles. Pay to park lots near the beach enforce fees 24-hours a day. If you ask long-time residents to comment on Oceanside, we heard repeatedly, “It’s better than it used to be.” When pressed to explain, they gesture with head down commentary about crime and gang activity which are now more-or-less under control.
Boondocking is not an option here, not even in the Wal-Marts nearby. We have spot #42 at Paradise by the Sea RV Resort. Our coach is parked on a concrete driveway just separated by our car and a lone palm tree from the neighboring RV. Security cameras watch over the property. The gate to the beach walk is locked at 7:30 PM. A $15 refundable deposit gets you a key to the park’s restrooms with hot showers. My Verizon air card runs faster than the complimentary Wi-Fi. We have cable TV for the first time in 4 months. The hourly Amtrak train drowns out the sound of the ocean waves.
We’ll be here for a week to take care of some business, visit friends in Los Angeles, and see the famous San Diego Zoo. We’ll walk the beach between the pier and jetty. We’ll enjoy seeing children splashing in the icy cold waves. And, we’ll stand with our feet in the sand and fix our gaze on the tall ship passing along the horizon until we move on to another new venue.
February 8 – 15, 2009
Paradise by the Sea RV Resort
1537 S. Coastal Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054