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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fort Ord State Park

I went to Fort Ord State Park today. It's a long stretch of beach located in what used to be part of Fort Ord's firing range. Fort Ord was decommissioned in 1994 and is still in the process of being converted into civilian uses, such as the new CSU-Monterey campus. The park opened up earlier this year.
The park consists of sand dunes and about 4 miles of beaches. I was in the mood for some serious beach walking today, so it was a perfect match. It's a gorgeous beach - longstretches of wide, sandy beach. The surf zone is very dangerous there, and there are a lot of rip tides. Visitors are strongly urged to stay out of the water. I saw a few people getting their ankles wet but no one (including me) went in any deeper.
I walked for a long time I didn't quite cover the whole length, but probably walked about 6 miles. The beach was pretty empty - I walked for a long time without encountering anyone. South of the entrance, I encountered a few more people but it was still very empty. I took a break for lunch and later, I lay on the beach and read for a while. It was very pleasant and relaxing.It was slightly cloudy, but the rains had not arrived yet.
The surf was pretty high today. The beach is north of Monterey Bay, so it's less sheltered. As I walked, I couldn't help but think of T, since he spends so much time in Monterey. I wondered if he was out there in the water. But although I was still somewhat sad at times, it was ok.
I saw a sleek seal. It was lying in the sand resting. It looked at me with limpid eyes and eventually flopped off into the water.
I also found seven nice sand dollars. I was surprised to find so many, since the surf was rough and they're usually hard to find south of San Francisco. Iguess it helps that there weren't many people on the beach and a bunch had just washed in.
I'm glad I went and would recommend it for anyone who wants a nice long walk along the beach. Don't bring little kids though - the beach is still contaminated with lead. I wish I'd known that when I decided to lie down on my towel.

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