July 26, 2011

Surfing California in the rough

NY Times "The network of state beaches and campgrounds is one of the largest in the country and covers a third of California’s 840-mile coast." By PORTER FOX

Photo by Ann Johansson for NY Times

'In the bluish light the scene looked like a soundstage for a black-and-white movie. In the 1930s it was a stage — for the first surfers in the United States. From San Onofre and Corona del Mar to the Santa Monica Pier, pioneers like Duke Kahanamoku, Tom Blake and Doc Ball introduced the sport to the country.

'Surfing’s popularity grew at the same time California’s newly founded State Park Commission was looking for beaches and waterfront property to protect, and many of the best surf breaks on the coast became parkland. Eighty years later, the network of state beaches and campgrounds is one of the largest in the country and covers a third of California’s 840-mile coast.

'Because most of the campgrounds between Los Angeles and San Diego are accessible by car (and surrounded by the sprawl that nearly connects the two cities), roughing it in Southern California isn’t very rough. Parks provide showers and bathrooms, and most bring everything they can fit in the trunk and put up mini outdoor versions of their homes. '

No comments: