Out and About Again


The last few weeks to try and make my time here a little less one-dimensional I’ve been getting out and enjoying a good slice of non-surf related activities, after all there’s no point paying for the full buffet and only going for Mac and Cheese….

O’Neil Regional Park

Just this last week after getting back from Big Bear, Jenny and I went to O’Neil Regional park, which is about 20 mins away in the hills above San Clemente. It’s managed by Orange County and is an area of ‘designated wilderness’ which means that it is protected from development and is maintained for the benefit of both people and the wildlife who call it home. The park has a number of well marked out paths for hiking, biking and horseriding and it’s highly recommended that folk keep to these as there is an abundance of critters who if disturbed would leave you wishing you’d been a tad more respectful of their space (e.g. coyote, bobcats, rattlers and mountain lions).

That said, we didn’t have any unplanned beasty incidents, for in most cases they hear you coming a long time before you become aware of them and they scarper pretty rapidly. It’s a lovely peaceful park which given its close proximity to the million or so people who live within 30 mins drive of it is really quite remarkable – definitely one to go back to.

Then a couple of weekends ago when I was parking at Doheny for an early morning surf much of the car park had been cordoned off, but with no sign of a reason why I put it from my mind and headed out. On returning a couple of hours later all was revealed, for today was the annual “Doheny Woodie Show” – yes, yes, I know, I know, simmer down at the back, please. However this wasn’t the annual contest to find Orange County’s proudest member (hopefully that would be held somewhere a little more private, although “held” is possibly not the best choice of word either), but it was in fact a vintage car show, and specifically cars with wooden frames and side panels.

Now I’m not really a car buff – to which anyone who’s familiar with my choice in vehicles will testify – however I couldn’t not fail to be impressed with what was on show as it was a vast collection of near to 100 makes and models. This included some from the 20s and 30s as well as many from the post WWII golden years of American car manufacturing, featuring a number of makes that no longer exist – Oldsmobile, Mercury, Plymouth, Studebaker – and there were even a few of Oxford’s finest Morris Minors on show; although in all honesty, these did look like Matchbox cars when parked alongside the behemoths that the Detroit companies produced. The vast majority had been beautifully restored and very well maintained, whilst a few were works in progress, but with proud owners all of them. It all made for quite a spectacle.