California beach walking

A long day’s drive took me from St George, Utah to temperate Carlsbad in southern California, avoiding the glitz of Las Vegas and Nevada road stops with their flashing signs, through desolate desert landscapes with occasional sculpted rock outcroppings. Carlsbad has a comfortable and attractive suburban feel with twisting roads over gentle hills, rounding ponds and inlets, and fronting the magnificent Pacific Ocean. I was there to visit a friend, walk the beaches, and enjoy the warm weather, having escaped the deep freeze of the Colorado mountains in late February and early March for a few weeks. I did some other sightseeing in the San Diego area, but beach walking was my main objective and pastime.

The temperatures were in the 60s F, pleasantly warm for me, a little cooler at night, but described as chilly by the residents. Moonlight Beach in Encinitas was a recommended place to wander. I walked and walked, breathing in the warmth and sinking into the soft sand. There’s something calming yet invigorating about watching the waves line up and break into foam, washing over the sand in overlapping layers, then sliding out to sea again, smoothing the wet brown sand as it recedes. Everyday life seems to disappear in the immensity of the ocean, knowing that it continues on halfway across the world, and lulled by its rhythmic motion that never stops. The sound of the sea, the smell of the salt air, the calls of the sea gulls and smaller hopping birds, their wings coasting along the wind drifts, a caressing breeze rustling my hair, picking up smooth stones and broken shell pieces to examine and toss back, tucking a few in my pocket.

Moonlight Beach

Beach people, Carlsbad Beach

Patterns in the sand are caused by the motion of the tides and the wind.

Lunch stops for fish tacos along the route that follows the shore uncovered a few interesting sights.

Mural, Leucadia
Bird of Paradise

My friends went about their busy days and we met for dinner at night. The husband, our chef, spent hours in the kitchen plying his magic. In the evenings, we watched in horror as Russian troops invaded the independent nation of Ukraine. Although I seldom comment on current events in this blog, I’m taking a moment to express my heartfelt sadness and concern for the good people of Ukraine at this unconscionable invasion of their peaceful land, as they courageously try to defend their country or escape to an uncertain life beyond its borders.


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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

64 thoughts on “California beach walking

  1. Glad you had such a nice trip. We are only a few hours from Carlsbad and have stayed there a few times. Leucadia is also another place we head to for quick weekend get-away. Love the photos.

    Thank you for sharing and happy travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you love Carlsbad! I’ve only gone there for Legoland and the Flower Fields, but your photos go to show that there’s a lot more to the city than what one might expect! The beach and fish tacos are staples of southern California, and I’m happy you had a wonderful time there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your holiday sounds very relaxing, full of quiet pleasures. Ending beach-ambling days with friends and carefully crafted home cooked food is as good as it gets. I totally share your view on the current invasion of Ukraine and the deep empathy with people who found themselves in such terrible circumstances overnight. Incidentally, we had a very similar experience in London staying with an old friend of mine. We would meet at dinner time in his kitchen, him after a busy and stressful day at work, us after yet another wondrous exploration of London. And we would watch the news in disbelief and try to anticipate where it all ends.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Ruth! I can’t decide which is more wonderful, your writing or your photos. I’m here to say that they are BOTH magnificent. Thanks for sharing both with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You can’t better a beautiful beach for a walk – the sounds of the ocean, the feel of sand beneath your feet, the freshness of the air. All perfect to lift the spirits and sooth the soul.

    I love your photos of the patterns in the sand, and that Leucadia mural is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Ruth,
    Growing up on San Diego and Newport Beach (where Diane was born) we called those little hoping birds, Sand Pipers. They ate little sand crabs, bugs, etc. found in wet sand along the edge of the waves on the Pacific Ocean.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Ruth, Thanks for taking me along on your walk. There was some great visual imagery that arose for me when I read the description you wrote – ” The sound of the sea, the smell of the salt air, the calls of the sea gulls and smaller hopping birds, their wings coasting along the wind drifts, a caressing breeze rustling my hair, picking up smooth stones and broken shell pieces to examine and toss back, tucking a few in my pocket.” Lovely!
    Carlsbad sounds swedish so I wonder if it had been settled by Swedish folk in the early days?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed my descriptions! It’s about the writing for me, as much as the photography. It’s quite likely the name of the town came from early Swedish settlers. This country is such a mix of folks from different lands – often the original derivation bears little resemblance to who lives there now. Thanks so much for your kind comments!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suspect it is so with many Australian towns being similarly named by the person who established them, or labelled them and put them on the map. Humans are always looking for patterns or connections, so many seemed to use names of certain aspects of nature that they saw, which reminded them of a particular town, or home town, in the ‘old’ country. It is a feature of the new world countries. The names of villages in England and Europe are vastly different presumably because they date from a much earlier time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some places in the US are being renamed these days, where the original name celebrated someone who has since been discredited. I think it’s a good practice. It keeps the names more meaningful.


      3. Oh yes, Ruth. I can relate to that. Times and cultural standards are fast changing, mostly for the better. A small sporting stadium (stand), in a large country city used for seating for spectators was called, “The Nigger Brown Stand.” There have been moves to change its name. It was named in the 1960s after according to Google, “the late Edward Stanley Brown, an international rugby league player of Anglo-Saxon descent. It is believed he was given the nickname “Nigger” as a child because he was particularly fair-skinned”!! Apparently it is now to be demolished due to structural defects and a brass plaque or such like will be placed on the new stand.
        Interesting isn’t it how values change with the times.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. In the American west we are more sensitive these days to Native American history. Mount Evans, a 14,000 ft peak, has just been renamed Blue Sky. Evans was the governor of Colorado that ordered a famous massacre of Indian tribes. Blue Sky was the name used by several tribes in the area.


  8. Hi Ruth. My wife and I make the same drive as you did from Colorado, every summer, to the beach at Del Mar, just minutes south of Carlsbad. Del Mar (“Where the Turf Meets the Surf”) is best known for its horse racetrack, but its one-mile beach is the real gem. I spent my childhood summers on that beach (and later on worked summer jobs nearby) not realizing how lucky I was to live there. Now, like you, my years of memories and the still-beautiful locale are a reliable font of peace and satisfaction whenever we visit (not to mention a welcome break from Colorado winters). Lastly, it’s hard to beat a bike ride up to Cardiff, Leucadia, or Encinitas and back on Highway 1. The bike lanes go all the way between the towns, the ocean vistas are spectacular, and you have many good choices for fish tacos along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You were indeed lucky to spend summers there as a child. Glad to know you are still visiting. It’s a fine balance between Colorado and California climate, both good choices. Thanks, as always, for your comments.


  9. A gorgeous gallery of beachy goodness. Particularly like the opening shot of Moonlight Beach with its misty backdrop and walking figures. Now I want some fish tacos, not an easy thing to come by in our rural village in the English Midlands.

    Liked by 2 people

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