Having completed the structural nose repairs after the gear-up landing, Deanie and I took a day trip on Friday down to Oceanside, north of San Diego, on the advice of Mike/Sally Melvill, who had just flown down there for the day the week before.
We waited until about 10:30 AM to lift off from Tehachapi for the 50 minute flight, since the coastal fog was supposed to burn off by 11 AM. We climbed to 9500 ft and then got vectored all over creation while on flight following over LA, none of it necessary as far as I could tell, and although we weren't in the Class B so I could have told them to go screw, Deanie likes being on flight following and they would have booted us had I not complied. It turned out OK, though, because by the time we got to Oceanside around 11:35 AM, the fog was JUST clearing enough to get in - we were the first plane to land on Friday.
We tied down and found our way to the San Luis Rey River Bike Path, which wends its way just west and north of the airport. It's about a 2.5 mile walk (maybe 45 - 50 minutes) to the beach running along highway 76, and is a nice use of an old railroad right of way. The beach was still foggy and overcast, but it was cool (in comparison to the 95 degrees in Tehachapi) and Deanie really likes the beach. We walked out the pier, watched people fish and surf, and listened to aircraft going up and down the coast over the overcast which still extended about a mile inland. We discovered (well, we didn't discover it - it was there all along, but we ran into it) a nice restaurant called "333 Pacific" right at the base of the pier and had some lunch overlooking the beach. A little pricey, but very good - I recommend it.
We then walked a bit through town back to the bike path and back to the airport. The six miles of walking annoyed my left knee no end (age is a wonderful thing), but it was good exercise and nice to see the beach. Around 5 PM we took off, climbed up to 8500 ft. and once again got vectored out to Mars and back. I should have stayed at 4500 ft. and taken the VFR route directly over LAX along the shoreline - would have been a lot faster. But the weather was good, not much wind, and by 6 PM we were back in the hangar.
Oceanside's a nice, friendly little airport - no tie-down fee, and self serve gas if you need it.
3.5 hours by car through LA - less than an hour in the plane. We'll take it.
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