Layover Day at San Clemente State Beach

September 14, Orange County Layover Day at San Clemente State Beach

A Sunday layover day on the beach! The sky was a high overcast at the beach all day, though inland a couple of miles the sun shone brightly in a blue sky. Several people “went out” for a day or so yesterday and were not around on layover day. Some of us visited relatives, J had a business meeting, and Steve went to a concert with a friend.

Here is how it goes on a layover day:  breakfast prep and lunch prep people are excused from arising at 6 a.m. to begin coffee. Instead, the first person up (either by routine or need of coffee) gets the coffee ready as well as getting out some breakfast foods. 

Some of us imagined that on layover days we would make eggs and bacon, or pancakes, but it has happened only once, while we were staying at the Sea Ranch house. Otherwise, we seem too impatient to cook together. We stick to the routine some of us have made for breakfast, and lunch is whatever we find that looks good to eat, unless we go out to a restaurant.

This layover day I (Linda) went with Diana and Mel to Sandra Pace’s house (Diana’s sister and our Orange County leader). This was for the opportunity to email out the reports for the website using a real telephone line. 

First Diana, Sandra and I took a walk. That’s what one does on layover day, also. We walked back into the coastal scrub covered hills, up on the hills behind Dana Point, from which we could see Dana Harbor in the distance. There I saw and heard a California gnatcatcher, an endangered species of bird found in the coastal scrub of Southern California. We had been told to look for it at Crystal Cove State Park, and its call was described as a “hoarse cat” mewing sound, so when I heard it I was pretty jazzed!

One can see, back in the hills, canyons filled with large gated housing developments, which contain very, very large homes. The houses are gradually marching up the hills and filling the canyons, but there is still quite a bit of open space in which are found, I was told, coyotes, bobcats, cougar, deer, rattlesnakes and other smaller creatures. Coming from northern California I can only hope enough of these wildlife corridors remain to sustain some wildlife in the spaces between the gated communities.

Otherwise, you may be amused to read, it is nearly my first time in Orange county and snapshot impressions are that these people love their coast and either hike the hill trails or the beach often, most people live in large or larger houses, beach towns are the happenin’ spot on Saturday night, the railroad runs right next to the beach, there are more cars than parking spots, women all know how to use makeup (and do) and everyone knows how to surf. I may not have it just right but I’m open to correction. For a weekend stay at the Montage I could be persuaded to examine the county again. Hotels are huge, by the way.  (Linda Hanes, Jon took a break and I grabbed the computer) 

Top: Sandra Pace, Co-leader with George Pace of the Orange County Expedition and sister of Diana Savage.
Right: The trailer in all its loaded glory.
Left: Opponents of a paved trail on Santa Clemente Beach exercise free speech.