"You're out of your room, and down on the street." --Glenn Fry, from "You Belong To The City."

Cabin fever struck again, yesterday. I was tired of sitting on my duff, listening to the Cowboys take another one up the anal/rectal sphincter courtesy of Brett Farve. San Diego hd also lost again, and the need to get out and do something was rather strong.

So, I switched my Crock-Pot to low heat (and gave the contents a good stir), bucked on my utility pouch, grabbed my Compass Card, put four liters of chilled fluids in my new backpack, and hauled myself out the door. I was headed for the Vista Transit Center on the first leg of my journey.

My destination: The Oceanside Pier.

I arrived at VTC at a little before 4pm. I tapped my Compass Card on the pedestal that held the card reader, then boarded the Sprinter for the trip to Oceanside. I had a seat, checked to see if I had my camera with me...and relaxed as the run began. I arrived at OTC at 4:25 pm, then walked from the center to the street.

I noticed that there was a new restaurant in the complex across from the main NCTD parking lot. I proceded to snap a photo, then began my sojourn to the Pier, snapping plenty of photos as I did. each was digitally stored on a memory card, for later downloading to my computer.

I soon arrived at my destination...The Oceanside Municipal Pier. More photos found their way onto my memory card as I traversed the length of a pier I knew from my childhood days in Imperial Beach (a family friend took me fishing there in 1974). The old girl had seen many changes since that time...not all of them for the good.

A few surfers were in the water, but there were more folks fishing than surfing today. A few seagulls ("sea-going pigeons," a friend of mine from my San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant job days called them) sat on the railings, and two juveniles got close enough for me to reach out and nearly touch them.

At the end of the pier stand Ruby's, a 50's-styled diner that used to be The Fisherman's Restaurant. Still, it's "the spot" for pier-weary folks to go in and take a load off...if you have plenty of "the coin of the realm" and can stand 50's-era "rock-n-roll" music all day long.

Alas, no coin of the realm in my pouch. I did, however, find a nice place to sit down and down two liters of Gatorade (the walk worked up a rather heavy sweat for me ). I saw a couple of kids horsing around by the end of the pier, and wondered what would happen if one of them decided to go further west...as in off the end of the pier? That cold water would probably--given the tide and sea state--would have rendered him fish food withing twenty minutes.

Thirty minutes later, I put my backpack on and walked back down the pier. Got a few more pictures in, nearly slipped on the older section's wet planking...but soon made it to the Meyers' Street Entrance and Railroad Underpass. There was a neat sculpture there of a dude riding down the face of a stylized breaker near the front of the tunnel that connected Meyers Street area with downtown Oceanside. The tunnel takes everything but skateboards, scooters, and motorized vehicles. It's much like the one at the Old Town Transit Center that goes under the parking lot.

I was soon back on board the Sprinter at 5:26pm (after a visit to the john at OTC), made it back home at 6:26pm---then after chucking my outer clothes, I grabbed a bowl fom my cabinet, popped open the crock pot, and dished up my dinner. The walk sure did wonders for my appetite that day!

After chow, I popped the memory card from my camera, put it into the card-reader slot on my computer, and downloaded the pictures. They will soon be up on my Picasa site (give you folks the address later), and for an amateur, I think I did OK.

After a hot shower to remove the sweat residue, I caught part of the Deadskins-Colts game before drifting off to sleep...my ankles a bit on the swollen side, but a fitting end to a day that I got to not only enjoy, but make pictures of.

--LPR

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