Summer can’t get here soon enough

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It’s Daylight Savings Time across the land. Well, not in Arizona or Hawaii and parts of Indiana. The territories of Puerto Rico, the American Virgin Islands, and American Samoa don’t observe Daylight Savings Time either. There they don’t change their clocks. What does it mean? We gotta get up an hour early today.

The pier at Oceanside Beach, Oceanside, CA (Tim Forkes)
The pier at Oceanside Beach, Oceanside, CA (Tim Forkes)

Winter is just about over. A week from today is the Spring Equinox. We rid ourselves of winter, although back in Wisconsin and that area it is not uncommon to have snow on opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers. It’s slightly less usual to have snow in May, but it happens. Three months later, on June 20 we will officially be in summer.

For most people summer begins with the Memorial Day Weekend. This year that’s May 30, so “summer” will begin Friday, May 27. Mark it on your calendars.

Summer is great, especially if you live in or around a beach community, like Sandy Eggo and it’s various suburban neighbors. I was telling someone that in Sandy Eggo we have 26 different beaches, some more populated than others. My favorite has got to be Pacific Beach, which morphs into Mission Beach as you walk south. Either or, there is a lot to see at both, but the crowds are incredible.

Coronado and the Silver Strand are pretty nice, although the Navy Special Warfare School, where the SEALs train, separates the beaches. One of my friends is a very proud retired Navy SEAL. You know, that water isn’t that warm, usually in the low to mid 60s, but they spend hours training in it. Something to be proud of, if you survive and get your SEAL insignia.

  • Navy SEALs Insignia (Wikipedia)
    Navy SEALs Insignia (Wikipedia)

    There’s nothing wrong with being a Navy SEAL that joining the Marine Corps won’t cure … just sayin’ …

Back to the beaches. There’s Tourmaline, La Jolla Shores, Black’s, Torrey Pines, Moonlight, South Carlsbad, O’Side and Trestles way to the north.

Some spots, like Trestles, Tourmaline and Windansea are primarily just for surfing or catching a tan. The beach break makes them treacherous for swimming, although at La Jolla Cove we get a beach break. But it’s fun, if you don’t get clobbered by the rocks. I’ve lost flesh on those rocks.

Black’s is a great beach for swimming and surfing, but it’s also a clothes-optional beach — which means you will see guys like me walking around sans fabric. Back in the 1970s Black’s Beach was far more famous as a clothes optional beach with a nice mix of men and women, young and old. It’s not so much anymore. Plus, the best way to Black’s is to climb down 300-foot cliffs to get to it, so you have to be judicious about what you carry down to the beach because — and this is the tough part — you gotta haul it back up those 300-foot cliffs.

Black’s Beach from the bluffs above (Tim Forkes)
Black’s Beach from the bluffs above (Tim Forkes)

There is a well-worn path to get up and down, but the cliffs, like all the bluffs along the Southern California coast, are constantly shifting due to the natural effects of erosion. Of course you can walk in from Torrey Pines Beach, the closest parking lot being two miles north of the clothes-optional beach, but that’s two miles.

There is the Salk Canyon Road, which is accessed through the residential area of UCSD. One of the odd features of Black’s Beach is the “Mushroom House.” It’s part of a mansion on top of the cliffs and is accessed by a funicular — a motorized tram from the main house.

At any rate, he beaches are the main reasons I moved to Sandy Eggo nearly 24 years ago. It came with a price; not too encouraging employment picture; General Dynamics had just closed its huge facility, putting about 100,000 people out of work. The cost of living is mind-boggling, and people just aren’t as friendly as in the Midwest. But, if you make friends here, they are great friends.

My friend John loves to go sailing and several times a year I get to tag along, as an inexperienced Gilligan. There’s nothing like being out on the water in a sailboat, miles from shore. And sailboats today are so modern there’s very little work involved with them. You still have to set sails, but the systems are remarkably easy to operate.

Sailing on San Diego Bay (Tim Forkes)
Sailing on San Diego Bay (Tim Forkes)

Summer … just 68 days away, if we count Memorial Day Weekend as the start of the season. Of course this is sunny Sandy Eggo so we’ll have summer-like weather — in between the bouts of heavy rain — well before the Snow Belt feels like summer. We’re in an El Niño so we’re supposed to get a lot of rain. So far it is less than expected.

We still have a lot of the primary season to go. Hillary Clinton still hasn’t wrapped up the Democratic Nomination and her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, keeps gathering support.

Donald Trump still leads the Republican field, gaining support across the country. His rallies have turned violent as protestors have sought to break them up. Trump blames Bernie Sanders because many of the protestors are Sanders supporters. The rest of the GOP blames President Obama — in fact they blame Obama for the rise of Trump … That’s really so far out there in nuttiness it’s too much for even the most creative comedians to think up.

Trump calls the president “The Divider-in-Chief.”

Have you ever asked an anti-Obama person exactly what he’s done — specifically — to divide the nation? Of course they can’t answer because there isn’t anything, but it’s a talking point on the right they keep repeating and it takes hold. Apparently just having different views than the right makes him a divider — that and President Obama being Black. The mere fact of his skin color is why they believe the president is playing the “race card.” These are the same people who think the Black Lives Matter movement is racist. Go figure.

The Mushroom House at Black’s Beach (Wikipedia)
The Mushroom House at Black’s Beach (Wikipedia)

Not soon enough the primary season will be over. On June 7 six states will hold their primaries: South Dakota, North Dakota (A caucus), New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana and California. Usually the nominations are sealed by then, but who knows what will happen this year. My guess is Clinton and Trump will have won the nominations for their respective parties. But this year is really crazy. A year ago who could have imagined Trump being officially in the race, let alone leading the field by huge margin?

And don’t get me started on Bernie Sanders, but he was at three percent when he first got in the race. Well, he’s made the Democratic race interesting.

The District of Columbia will hold it’s primary on June 14 and then we can have a politics-free summer — until the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Summer, can hardly wait for it to be here. I should drop a few pounds so I don’t stand out so much at Black’s Beach.

 Top photo of the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA; by Tim Forkes