Homer's Travels: Walking on the Ventura Beach

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Walking on the Ventura Beach

Another weekend and another walk on the beach. This time I went out to the Ventura Harbor and walked up the beach towards surfer's point, location of Seaside Park and the Ventura County Fairgrounds. This beach is different from the Hueneme Beach in that it is lined with million dollar beach homes and is much more crowded. Hueneme beach goes along a wetlands area and is rarely crowded. I reached the Ventura Pier, the longest wooden pier on the west coast, that is before it was shortened by the relentless destructive force of wind and wave. The pier has been damaged and rebuilt several times in its history and the latest incarnation is shorter and sturdier.

I decided to have some lunch on the pier at a little grill. The sign was a little scary but I figured if I stuck with the Chicken Sandwich then I probably wouldn't end up with any bait. Nearby someone decided that a warning sign needed embellishing.

After eating I walked out to the end of the pier and watched the fishermen, families, and tourists moving about. I saw a homeless man lying on a bench strumming a banjo, his grocery cart full of his life's possessions and his fishing pole close by. I couldn't hear what he was playing since I was listening to This American Life but I heard enough to know that he wasn't half bad. I walked through Seaside Park and ended up at Surfer's Point. Surfers and their dogs were all over the place - in the water and sitting of the tailgates of their trucks chillin'.

It was time to turn around and walk back. On my little jaunt I witnessed the full spectrum of life: I saw young children being introduced to the Pacific Ocean for their first time, young lovers walking lip-to-lip, Two beach marriages (One near the pier and one in someone's backyard ... urrr ... back-beach?), older couples sharing their lives in the sun, and elders clinging to their faltering memories of the sea breezes and ocean waves. At seaside park I saw the memories. The walk is lined with benches, each marked with a plaque dedicated to someone's memory. One couple are now forever, together, facing the beach I am sure they loved.

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