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Summer Called In January



Summer called in January taking back Aliso Beach.  Is seems to me that days of Santa Ana winds blowing all day long are so far in the rear view mirror of history.  It makes an 89 degree day in South Laguna Beach with offshore winds a real treat. It is a shame with most wind events like this there is a total lack of waves, so while the grooming potential of these warm, northeasterly winds is high, it needs a consistent swell with some size to complete the perfect day for wave riders.  Oops!  Sometimes the waves and winds don’t cooperate.  

Aliso Beach LifeGuard Tower

Aliso Beach LifeGuard Tower

Coming north on Pacific Coast Highway, I could tell that summer called in January with all the girls walking around in bikinis and the complete lack of roadside parking between 10th street and Aliso Beach in South Laguna.  There were people everywhere. I didn’t have a prayer of finding a spot in the coastal lot at Aliso so I flipped around as quick as I could to get the lone parking spot on the hill overlooking the ocean. Naturally as I got there someone had u-turned across a very dangerous stretch of PCH to snatch the spot on me so I had to go back south, make a legal u-turn and come back to the inland lot.  It was worth it.  The sun was shining brightly and the Santa Ana’s were soothing.  Families were everywhere with children flying kites, dipping their toes in the water and enjoying themselves in the playground.  There was more sand on the beach than I have seen in a long which means the north westerly swells were doing a great job of restoring the beach.  To put things into context, there is sometimes a narrow horizontal strip running parallel to the parking lot that has less than twenty feet of sand available for use due to the water line.  The more sand there is, the more beach there tends to be.  The water was this incredible blue-green hue and the offshore wind was blowing the little shore break waves back throwing spray skyward.  It was gorgeous!

Laguna Beach is no longer a secret.  It gets really crowded and the access that Aliso Beach provides with a coastal parking lot is unique to this stretch of the coastline.  I could do without the traffic and crowds now commonplace in Laguna, but over the years when summer called in January, I have always loved being able to go to the beach an activity that many people associate with June through August.  Aliso Beach is one of those special places and it will always be.  I am as fascinated with this spot as I was when I first laid eyes on her in 1987 when the pier was there.  The gift of the coastline of Laguna Beach and Southern California is the ability to go to the beach in the dead of winter.  It was an incredible day at Aliso Beach.

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