Thursday, February 18, 2010
For anyone who has been to Orange County and San Diego, you know the main coastal connector is the 5 Freeway. In my four years of college, I drove this way at least every other week, some months even every weekend. During that horrific first summer between first and second year, and the following few beginning months of second year, I often drove home during the week in addition to the weekend trips. Yeah, I wasted gas, I know--but I wasn't in any mental place to stay away from my home longer than I could stand.
How did that get so depressing? Wow. Apologies.
I've always thought I was really lucky to have the drive/almost-commute that I do. Living in Orange County is pretty enough (too pretty sometimes, since it's all planned community and shit), but I get to drive by the ocean to get home. People dream about the ocean, wish for it, spend their life-savings just to see the thing I drive by almost daily. Of course I take it for granted, but I try to remember how lucky I am. Renewed perspective has been given ever since I moved away, and now every time I visit I feel like I'm seeing so much more of it.
So, on this drive, I always pass this:
View Larger Map
What is that, you ask? It's a View Point. I guess the people who constructed the freeway were quite aware the beauty of the scenery, because in the middle of this loooooooong stretch of nothing (it's actually part of the Camp Pendleton Army Base) is this random exit to a view point. It doesn't really look it, but the road is actually the edge of a cliff, and all the dirt you see below that is a drop into the ocean.
For five years, I've wanted to stop there, but I never did. Usually I forgot about it and only remember as I blow right by it (I guess going 80 mph does have its downfalls), and I was always sad. I see so many people there and I just want to know!
Well, mission accomplished! On my drive back this past weekend from visiting a friend, I saw the sign (Ace of Base FTW!) and figured...it's 4pm, I have nowhere else to be, it's an absolutely gorgeous day out...I'm going! I don't care that I'm going to hit shithole traffic, that it's Valentine's Day and it will be filled with couples, that I'll inevitably get weird stares for being by myself (for the record, check mark! on all of those).
And it was. so. worth. it. I'm standing on a cliff, beautiful sunlight, clear skies, crisp air...it doesn't get any better than that.
I tried to take a shot while I was driving, but...y'know...safety and all had to be taken into account. Regardless, you can kind of see what I drive by! In the corner (apologies for the window breaking it) you can see the ship that I got in the zoomed in pictures above.
I forget a lot, but...I really do love California.