I love that end of the earth feeling. It usually involves standing at the edge of a cliff that drops off into a never ending sea full of churning blue water. I can’t help but imagine what it must have felt like to think that the earth was flat and the drop into oblivion was just on the edge of the horizon. What a scary and finite concept. Cabrillo National Monument is a great place to let your mind get swept back to the days of conquistadores, Spanish occupation, and early exploration.
We decided to head over to the tide pools for the first part of our Cabrillo NM tour. I had planned our day around low tide so we would have the best opportunity to view sea life. Unfortunately, and tragically, the Chilean earthquake had hit the day before. Between the tsunami warning and the massive storm that had hit the day prior, the minus tide ceased to exist. The seas were incredibly rough and most of the tide pools were inaccessible. That being said, I felt the rough seas added to the rugged feel that Point Loma possesses.
We followed the trail that hugs the cliffs and stood at cliffs edge, admiring the swirling waters below. The scenery reminded me a bit of Point Reyes in Northern California and served as a nice reminder of what the San Diego coast once was.
We did manage to make it down to beach level and spot a few critters that had washed ashore. Since it was the weekend (and the first warm day in over a week), there were crowds down around the tide pools. I think if the tide was lower and people were able to spread out a bit more, it would have had a much more intimate feel.
Next we headed over to the visitor’s center to get our National Park passport book stamped and learn about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. Cabrillo was the first European to set foot on the West Coast way back in 1542, and historians believe those first footsteps were made on Point Loma.
The views from this area, including the actual Cabrillo monument are filled with vistas of the San Diego Bay and the city beyond.
The visitor center provides educational videos, a small museum, and replicas of 16th century armor for children of all ages to try. My son thought the 16th century sword was particularly cool and wasted no time knocking his sister in the head with it. Luckily, she was wearing a 16th century replica helmet…
If you would like to visit Cabrillo National Monument (and you should) check out the park’s website here. We didn’t have time to visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse (the park closes at 5PM due to it proximity to the naval base at Point Loma) but tours are offered frequently. It will be high on my priority list for our next visit.
For more fantastic travel photos, check out Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday here.