Last Nail in John Wayne (Airport)’s Coffin

  1. They raised the price of on-site parking, again. This time to $20. In 2001, it was $10.
  2. They’re closing down one of the four on-site parking structures entirely. They already maimed two of the four (read: removed the 25% of the parking spaces that were closest to the terminal) in an effort to undo 9/11 after the fact. Unexpectedly, seven years later, 9/11 still hasn’t been undone. It still happened. Darn.

The previous changes to parking availability (along with an increase in flights out of SNA) has already resulted in insufficient mid-week parking. I’ve experienced not finding any parking in any of the four on-site lots (yes, I ignored the “Lot Full” signs in order to verify that there really wasn’t any parking available), then driving to the off-site lot only to find that it, too, was full. And it’s not like there are private lots set up around SNA to handle overflow parking. (Yet.)

“Fortunately”, they’re opening up a new “Lot C” off-site. Except that they’re going to charge the new $20 rate, despite it being off site.

The upshot is that my decision-making airport-choosing flow has now changed.

  • If there’s a non-stop from SNA to destination, fly out of SNA.
  • If there’s not a non-stop from SNA to destination, but there *is* a non-stop from LGB, LAX, or, heck, even ONT, don’t fly out of SNA. (There’s never a non-stop out of ONT. That was just me being silly.)

And cops who cause traffic jams on the 5 South at 10:45 on Sunday nights in order to park on the shoulder and spend ten minutes verifying that a stalled vehicle on the shoulder is, in fact, a stalled vehicle parked on the shoulder should be [your favorite violent past-tense verb goes here].

bkd

Wildfires Are Prettier at Dusk

But photos of them are a little blurry (it was a 6-second exposure and I challenge anyone to get that doofy point-and-click to stay still on a flat surface for 6 seconds). This shot was taken from the parking lot in the condo complex where I live. On the drive home there were several folks who’d parked in prime viewing locations and I wondered if they were locals or if they were the ones whose houses are closest to this particular blaze.

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Hiking the OC: Bear Canyon

The good thing about the OC is that you don’t really have to go all that far to get into the boondocks. Went hiking yesterday on the Bear Canyon Loop Trail in Cleveland N.F., about a half-hour drive from here with the trailhead just off Ortega Hwy. Ended up being a fun hike. The first 1.5 miles were uphill, exposed, hot, and scrubby. After that, though, the weather cooled down a little and the scenery got better. I dunno. I always go on these hikes and come away feeling like, well, that was sure a nice hike … for Orange County. You know, kind of like Austin is an absolutely fantastic city … for Texas.

Once I got to the mysterious “Four Corners”, where the Bear Canyon trail loop starts heading back to home base, I was a little confused at finding, actually, *five* corners. I guess if the forest rangers coulda done math, they woulda become rocket scientists rather than forest rangers. OTOH, you’d think they’d still be required to be able to count effectively. Meh. From Four corners, I decided to take the Sitton Peak trail, which led me to Bluewater Canyon:

Bluewater Canyon

Which in its own right was a little confusing given that it was the only canyon I saw on the hike. And, as you’ve noted, it wasn’t named “Bear Canyon”. Just after this photo of your correspondent was snapped, I came onto this prize:

Missing Wing

Hopefully whoever is missing the wing already knows about it. And I guess I was happy not to find the rest of the plane anywhere nearby.

Heading back to base, I took the “Bear Ridge” part of the loop trail back. It was The Big Payoff for the trip, the part that made the whole thing worthwhile — for Orange County. (Note: the hike is technically in Riverside County. And it’s *especially* nice for *Riverside* County.) The ridge gave some nice, broad views over mostly green hills that served to suggest that SoCal might actually once have been a wild, western place. Here’s a token photo:

Some Sort of Desert Vegetation w/ Cloud and Hill

No idea what it’s of, but the artistry is unquestionable.

On the downhill slope, I finally saw the airplane that I’d heard buzzing above me during the last hour or so of the walk. No pictures, sorry, but it turned out to be a P-51, which made me happy enough to salute. He looped the plane right after that, which I suppose was his return-acknowledgment. He was probably looking for a missing wingflap.

And then about a half mile from the parking lot, I all but stepped on this happy little fellow:

Snake, Gopher (?)

Pretty sure he’s a gopher snake. And a right lazy one at that. Every time I see a snake in California I get kind of excited that it might be a rattlesnake. But every time they end up being just gopher snakes. Maybe it’s for the best.

bkd