The owner of this blog (me) has informed us (me) that he'd rather title these chronicles of our walks "100 Walks" since that is the goal he's attempting to reach in this year of our Lord, 2012. Since he pays the bills, we complied.
I've walked about 15 and 3/4 miles since I last regaled you with the tales of my meandering attempts at exercise. On Thursday, I took a familiar route: Up Sixth Ave. to Balboa Park, across the Prado to Park Blvd., down behind Petco Stadium, over the new pedestrian bridge, past the Hilton and up the Embarcadero though Seaport Village. Construction on a new park (Not a building! Amazing!) catty-corner from the Embassy Suites hotel necessitated me taking a detour up to Broadway and back home, and when I did I passed the display below near the Midway floating military museum (the stern is seen at left...I loved the green water). I pass this way a lot, but never from this angle and had never really paid attention to these bas-relief sculptures on the side of the panels that mark the "Greatest Generation Walk" at the Port of San Diego. The city is a huge military town, with major bases on Coronado, Mira Mesa, and over at what is now called Liberty Station, not to mention the Marine Corps stationed at Camp Pendleton to the north of Oceanside, about 40 or so miles away from downtown San Diego. So, yeah...there's a lot of cool military things around town, especially near the water and the Midway aircraft carrier, which has been a huge attraction since it opened a few years ago. Yes, that's people having lunch out on the lower deck, where there's a little snack bar/restaurant (well, I guess it's more correctly called a "Mess.")
My walk today took me even further afield, but still had a military bent. A month or two ago, I walked to Liberty Station, a relatively new development in Point Loma, and ever since then I wanted to walk to and back from the area. (The first time I met a friend for lunch and she gave me a lift home.) It used to be part of a huge Marine Corps Recruiting Depot (some of which is still there), but a lot of it has been turned over to public use. There are restaurants, shopping, new condos and homes, a giant church, and a whole arts district. The area is beautifully landscaped and contains a huge open area (see the photo below, at the end of this post) that borders an inlet of the bay and is opposite Lindbergh Field, where San Diego International Airport sits. I love the place, but it too has a bit of a military theme.
The open area has a large number of monuments commemorating lost ships and submarines of World War II. They're really kind of elegant, too. I love the "On Eternal Patrol" line which is on each stone. They're so sad to read, though. Each tells the tale of the ship or sub, when they were commissioned, when they sank and how many men were lost. In the case of the USS Flier, pictured here, 8 men actually survived after swimming for 15 hours after the sub was sunk.
My walk continued back over onto Harbor Drive, down past the airport. I'm not sure who thought of the landscaping of the area around the airport, but they did an amazing job. If you're visiting San Diego for the first time and you come in via plane, this is the first thing you see when you leave the airport and drive into the city proper. The natural curve of the Big Bay (that's what they call it...I can't make this stuff up) really compliments the view of the city and it's kind of breathtaking. I never fail to be impressed by it, and I've seen it literally hundreds of times since I started visiting here in 1992 and moved here in '98.
All total, this walk racked up 9.57 miles for me, and I'm feeling it as I'm typing this. The weather here all of this past week has been absolutely picture-perfect. It was probably about 75 degrees for most of my walk, under a clear blue sky. I have a new cap, which I don't think kept out the sun very well, so I'm feeling a bit sun-stroked tonight, nothing serious, but I know I got some sun, even though I do use SPF 50. Also three and half hours of constant walking is a bit much, I think. For those of you keeping track, my walking path was: Fourth Ave. to Laurel St., Laurel to the airport and Pacific Highway; Pacific to Barnett Ave.; Barnett to Liberty Station; LS to Harbor Drive; Harbor to Broadway and home. (I just know you all find that as interesting and compelling as I do.) And yes, I did a little bird-watching along the way. (I think this one was actually watching me, though.)
For the month of January so far, I've walked 9 times. My goal is twice a week, with at least 10 miles per week. That will total 520 miles for the year, in 104 walks. I'm already just shy of 60 miles for the first month of the year, so maybe I need to revise those goals a little. We'll see.