Cabrillo National Monument

After a relaxing morning with breakfast, coffee and reading, I decided to visit Cabrillo National Monument, part of the National Park Service. It’s an easy drive 10 miles north of San Diego, California, yet parking at the tidal pools was impossible. I parked further up the road, walked the half mile coastal trail to the tidal pools, past eroding cliffs and was able to keep a distance from others. (When within 6 feet of each other, people did wear masks, as required.)

There were plenty of birds, but no gray whales. The whales pass by mid-December till March, from the Arctic Sea to Baja California, and do not stop here to eat. They migrate each year of their 60 year lifespan. Most numerous were brown pelicans, double crested cormorants and western gulls.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped on this shore in 1542 as the first European (Spanish) on the now west coast of the USA. He had arrived from Mexico and anchored his ship in the now San Diego Bay as he liked “the enclosed port”. He died during the expedition, but his crew continued on possibly to what is now Oregon. A statue of Cabrillo at the Cabrillo National Monument:

This Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the original lighthouse, no longer in use. It was used 1855 – 1891 and restored in 2004. The lighthouse used now is further down the peninsula and at a lower elevation. There is plenty of history about both lighthouses. A military historical trail is interesting to walk also.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Driving a short distance outside of the national monument is the Fort Rosencrans National Cemetery, located on grounds of the former Army coastal artillery station Fort Rosencrans. I stopped along the road to take a photo which does not capture the thousands of headstones on the 77 acres of land. I also noticed a sign I had never seen elsewhere on the wall where I stood.

I am so thankful for the availability of national monuments, national parks, state parks and places designated for protection of land, animals, plants and some places even have “dark sky” designation. We need to prioritize the needs of our environment along with less pollution of many types and more awareness of how we as humans are dependent on having a healthy planet. When I visit places like today, I can only be thankful for the past smart decisions made and hope that we can be so smart in our present time for future generations to see and experience what I have been fortunate to enjoy. Let’s leave a healthy planet for others to enjoy life in!

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