Friday, June 26, 2020

Shoreline Beach


Shoreline Beach is a Mesa beach that is mainly a walking beach. The entrance steps are accessed at the end of Santa Cruz Blvd (just off Shoreline Dr).  It is a narrow stretch of beach, so check the tide charts before going. Park on La Plata (not limited) or an adjacent street in the neighborhood. 

Directions: From 101, take the Carillo St exit. Turn south toward the ocean. Follow the road over the hill which then turns Meigs Rd. Head through the light at Cliff Dr. The road bends and turns into Shoreline Dr. La Plata is on the left across from the park and a wooden arch. The steps are below the wooden arch.

More info

Pros
The walk is short from La Plata. 
It is a good place to socially distance unless the tide is high, but it is busier than most lesser known beaches.
There were cave like places in the rocks that the kids liked.
It is shallow for a long distance out. We hear it is a good tide pool beach (next to Santa Barbara Point). 
There are bathrooms nearby in the park (at the top of the stairs).

Cons
Parking is limited on a busy day.
It is less busy than the main Santa Barbara beaches, but you will not have the beach to yourself on a summer day. 
There is a walk to get there and because of the stairs, you wouldn't bring a stroller or wagon with supplies.

Entrance to the Beach

Stairs

West toward 1000 Steps Beach

East toward Leadbetter Beach

From the base of the cliff

Friday, June 19, 2020

Devereux Beach



Devereux Beach is a Isla Vista beach popular with surfers and students. This beach and neighboring Sand Beach are home to Coal Oil Point, the Devereux Slough and the many Snowy Plover. The beach can be narrow near the entrance steps so you may need to know the tides. The tide pools are best close to the point.

Directions: From 101, take the Los Carneros exit. Turn south toward the ocean. Follow the road until it dead ends at El Colegio Rd. and turn right. Take the second left onto Camino Corto and continue to the end at Del Playa. Turn right and continue to the end. Park in the spots along Camino Majorca under the trees.

We park at the corner of Camino Majorca and Del Playa, then walk straight down the path (directly off the end of the road) down the steps to the Devereux Beach.  Alternately you can go right on the path and head to the end at Devereux or Sands Beach. Coal Oil Point is to the left. 

As a former science teacher, I got lost in all the info for the Devereux Slough. There is a virtual tour. And a videographer that has created videos on the Devereux Slough or the Snowy Plover.
Pros
There were not a lot of people on this beach so it was easy to socially distance. 
This beach has great tidepools at low tide. They are best closest to the point (right from the stairs).
We had a great time rock/shell collecting here. 
The surfers concentrate at the point, so if you keep closer to the stairs, you might have the beach to yourself. 

Cons
The stairs are the hardest place to socially distance and you may want to wear a mask here even if you don't wear one out in nature. 
When entering using the stairs, it does say "clothing optional" to the left (for your planning information).
No bathrooms
There has been a ton of kelp the times we have been there and (this being Coal Oil Point) there is a lot of tar. 
Stairs at the end of Camino Majorca

Devereux Beach East toward Depressions Beach

Devereux Beach East toward Haskell's Beach

Colorful Structure

Path Down at Sands Beach/Coal Oil Point

Path to Coal Oil Point

Nude Beach to the left of the stairs

Tar Rocks

Friday, June 12, 2020

Thousand Steps Beach


Thousand Steps Beach is a Mesa beach that is mainly a walking beach. The entrance steps are accessed at the end of Santa Cruz Blvd (just off Shoreline Dr). (The thousand steps are really about 150, but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it.) It is a narrow stretch of beach so check the tide charts before going. Park along Santa Cruz Blvd or across Shoreline in the neighborhood.

Directions: From 101, take the Carillo St exit. Turn south toward the ocean. Follow the road over the hill which then turns Meigs Rd. Head through the light at Cliff Dr. The road bends and turns into Shoreline Dr. Santa Cruz Blvd is the first right. The steps are at the end of the street.

Pros
You might have this beach to yourself beside the many walkers going by. (Based on Google data, people only spent 30 minutes here.) It is a good place to socially distance unless the tide is high.
This is good for a beach walk or for older kids.
The sand was perfect for sand castles when we were there.

Cons
The slippery stairs end with a large jump down onto the beach (not great if you have very little kids or a lot of stuff).
No bathrooms
There are are only about 8 parking spots on the dead end of Santa Cruz Blvd. It is not restricted but hard to come by.

Entrance to the steps

Steps to the beach

West toward Arroyo Burro Beach

East Toward Shoreline Park and Mesa Lane Beach
Sand Castles


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Spring Snapshot 2020


Life Hack: Like many, I have been doing more gardening in these COVID-19 days. It started with this video on how to increase your basil supply (so successful, it is much healthier than the original plant) and quickly expanded to mint (cut short by a cute caterpillar) and even tried carrots (successful, but they don't grow into new carrots). 


New Product I Love: A friend recommended the book Something Happened in Our Town as a way to continue to discuss racial injustice with our kids. It is a picture book format and follows two children (one black, one white) as they process a police shooting that happens in their town. Although it is a picture book, I shared with my older daughter (almost 10), but I am still deciding when to share with my 6 year old. (I would also highly recommend the book Raising White Kids if this is a topic you want to approach more intentionally with your kids.) 



Last Book I Finished: Small Great Things  5 stars. This book is so good and such a timely read. Three lives intersect when a Black nurse (Ruth) cares for an infant and is then reassign at the preference of the parents. When the baby dies, the nurse is fired, arrested and charged with murder. The public defender (Kennedy) is well meaning, but doesn't understand or take Ruth's life experience seriously.  The father of the child (Turk) uses the child's death as a rally cry for the White Supremicist cause. When Kennedy tries to convince Ruth that making the case about race is the wrong strategy, the two women must struggle to each understand where the other is coming from to win the trial to save Ruth's life and maybe help each other understand life for another person.



Life Project: Educating myself in being Anti-Racist
                     Teaching my kids life skills like cooking and doing more chores

Friday, June 5, 2020

Blackout Tuesday

I encountered this quote this week reading Small Great Things.

I shared earlier this week that my plan was to share a classic beach from our 2016 quest on Mondays, a nature walk on Walking Wednesday and a new lesser known beach on Fridays. Then as protests continued over the death of George Floyd, I felt the need to step back and give space for other voices to be heard this week. I am growing my knowledge and actions over these issues and am keeping a growing list of resources I have come across for me to go through. Feel free to reach out an suggest other resources. 

Follow:
@ibramxk
@hereweeread

Books to Read:
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
* Something Happened in Our Town (Picture Book appropriate for many kids)

Article's to Read: 

Podcasts:

Watch:
Just Mercy (Free in the month of June)
Racial Reconciliation Latasha Morrison
Systemic Racism Explained (Appropriate for Kids!)

Larger Resource Lists:

From FightforBreonna.org: Antiracism Recources
MOPS Resources to Fuel Change: https://blog.mops.org/resources-to-fuel-change/

Campus Point Beach


Campus Point Beach is a surfer's beach. There are rumors that the beach is closed because the place you would normally enter is closed off for repairs. We headed to the left of the normal entrance (facing the beach) and were able to walk in. People with strollers and wagons were having trouble getting in. The day we were there the water level was low but at high tide part of the beach would have been inaccessible.

Directions: From 101, take the 217 toward UCSB. At the roundabout, go through and head left onto Lagoon Road. At lot 6, go left into the lot and look for a coastal access parking space. Alternately, you can find metered parking across the street on Channel Islands Road.

Pros
This can be a great tide pooling beach.
This is well loved by the town's surfers.

Cons
If you are social distancing, this beach still has a lot of people coming and going.
Parking in lot 6 is mostly for faculty with just handful of spaces for coastal access. (During these CO-VID 19 days, as long as you buy a pass it seems to be okay for the parking patrol. )


Looking south toward Campus Point 

Looking north toward Goleta Beach

Normal Entrance is under construction (head left)