Friday, August 15, 2014

Emma Wood State Beach

Part and parcel of being a free-lance musician is having to go where the work is. The job might be a couple of miles down the street (seldom) or a 100 miles away. The pay is often not commensurate with the distance traveled. So it goes. I have done this for so long (I was the tuba player for the Santa Barbara Symphony my last year of high school), that I have come to make it point to explore the communities that I play in. It gives me a sense of belonging and a feel for the audience. If there is time in my schedule, I'll get to the area of the gig hours before I have set the horns up. This has the added benefit of allowing me to miss the worst of the traffic. If the pay is right and I'm fairly flush in my personal finances, I will sometimes stay the night. 

Lately, I've had the occasional gig in the City of San Buenaventura. Most of us just call it Ventura. I also like to play the Tuba Christmas up there. They have a friendly group of low brass players in the region. My last couple of trips up I decided to explore the Emma Wood State Beach, a park I always see from Highway 101, as I head to and from Santa Barbara and beyond. In all these years I've stopped to check it out. 

These photos are start from Surfer's Point Park, go along the beach, then across the railroad bridge (which is a big no-no, and I wouldn't want to be on it when a train zips along), down in along the river bank (which I don't recommend as there are numerous homeless encampments down there; only you, them and their dogs), back to the railroad tracks, then Emma Wood State Beach, continuing north along the bike path until I had to turn around. The photos you'll see are a compilation of two hikes (June 6 & 13), but the track on the map is from the second day. You don't see the return path along the beach I took on the first hike, day I came across the rock stacks.  

The concerns with doing hikes like this when I still have to play a job is: 1. getting back in time for the gig and 2. not being to exhausted to play a tuba. I haven't really had a problem with the exhaustion, but there have been a couple of times that I showed up way too close to the downbeat for comfort. 

Here is the link to the map: "Map Link"

The Pacific, near the parking lot.

The lagoon at the end of the Ventura River.

The day of the first hike happened to be when the riders of the AIDS RIDE San Francisco to Los Angeles was using the path.

The train bridge over the river that a lot of people use. Its hip, but it is dangerous...

...see what I mean? Actually, I think this is a fake. On the way back there was a photo shoot going on with some models dressed very Goth.

A shot of the lagoon on the second hike; more vivid colors on this day.

On the bridge.

Looking south/west from the bridge.

Looking north/east from the bridge.

Getting down low with the tracks.

A path to the beach from the tracks. At about this point, I went the other way, along the river and into the warrens of the homeless. I don't have any pictures from there, I was concerned with other things. I spent about an hour down there. I had hoped to come up on the other side of Highway 101, but there is really no way up. I had to double back. I didn't run into anyone, but that is because I made sure not to. 

This is looking up to Highway 101 from the bike path. I can't tell how often I have been on that highway and wondered what it is like down below. 

The bike path.

On of the campgrounds of the State Beach.

A train heading north toward Carpinteria.

Now I am on my way back to auto to get to the performance.

The beginning of the rocky part of the beach. 
The most impressive of the rock stacks.

From a distance.

More stacks.

Death on the beach. 

The bridge from the lagoon.

More of the bridge from the lagoon.
At the gig the evening of the 13th. I performed Procyon lotor - Überall hänge ich meinen Hut is Haus. It is the story of how raccoons got to Germany.

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