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Coastal Images, Scenic Photos. Beach, Ocean, Scenic
Coastline, Surf and Surfing Photos of Southern California's
Coastal Encinitas, Leucadia, and Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Ca.
and Live Beach Surf Cams.
Photo Images of the California Coastal, Beach Stairs of
Encinitas, Luecadia, Cardiff, Cardiff Reef, San Elijo State
Beach Campgrounds, Swamis Beach, D Street Beach, Moonlight
Beach, Stone Steps Beach, Beacons Beach Trail &
Grandview Beach, Ca. Encinitas Photos by Kyle Thomas, Encinitas Photographer.
Cardiff Reef Beach Sunset. The Thomas Girls, Perla,
Franselica & Casandra, of Encinitas.
Photo by Kyle Thomas Encinitas
March of 2007, I reached the half-century mark. I’m an old
school, Encinitas Local, graduating San Dieguito High
School in 1975, and a fourth generation San Diegan. I grew
up in, smaller, more rural California Coastal San Diego and
Encinitas. When I received my first drivers’ license in
gas was 45 cents a gallon,
and there were
only two stoplights from Del Mar to Leucadia.
They were on the Coast Highway 101 at D Street and E Street
rent for a three story three bedroom with killer view in
Cardiff in 1976
first house that I rented (with the Red Bougainvillea bush)
on my own, in 1976, after graduating San Dieguito, was
three stories, three bedrooms, on the Hill in Cardiff with
a view from La Jolla to Carlsbad. Rent was $375 a month,
which I split three ways with my two
My image of Encinitas Ca, California's scenic coastal beach
community was documented by photographs. I remember hiking
the El Camino Real Trail when I was in the Boy Scouts. It
was a twenty mile hike that began at the San Luis Rey
Mission in Oceanside and ended at the Boy Scout camp at the
base of Black Mountain, at the far east end of Del Mar.
What I remember of the scenery along the "trail" was
nothing like what it would look like today. It was pure
green country, unobstructed wilderness, from Oceanside to
Del Mar and absolutely no civilization in-between.
Photo Image Swamis Beach and Yogananda's Self
Realization Fellowship Encinitas Ca. Photos by Kyle Thomas
I've always been
drawn to nature and the wilderness and it's beauty and
isolation from the rest of the world. this is when I'm the
most at peace and come the closet to experiencing
contentment. I've spent a lot of time over the past years
searching for these areas of wilderness to escape to
whenever I can. Backpacking in the remote High Sierra
wilderness along the John Muir trail was probably the most
removed from civilization I was ever able to experience.
Unfortunately though, that was an occasional rare treat.
Full Moon Setting at Swamis Beach in Encinitas at
5:00 am on Easter Weekend, March 2008. Photos by Kyle
Thomas, Local Encinitas Photographer.
Swamis Beach Stairs Encinitas, 2008 alongside Photo
of Swamis Beach Stairs taken in 1978.
Here in California
coastal Encinitas though, I found my other favorite area to
be able to experience the disconnection from civilization.
This magic area is the California coastal stretch of beach
beginning at the foot of the Stone Steps stairs, north to
the foot of the Grandview stairs. There were periods of my
life when I almost "lived" down there days at a time. The
way I figure it, once on the beach, there are only three
public beach access points; StoneSteps, Beacons Trail, and
the Grandview stairs. To the east you've got the cliffs and
to the west, you've got the coastal Pacific Ocean. This
creates quite an isolation barrier...even in the day time.
Spectacular Photo Image, California Coastal View
of Beacons Beach Trail Encinitas California, San Diego,
North of Cardiff, Swamis and
Stone Steps looking north towards Grandview. Encinitas
Photographer Kyle Thomas.
Stone Steps Beach Stairs, 2007, along side Stone
Steps Beach Stairs taken at the Stone Steps Surfing Contest
1975. Encinitas Photographer Kyle Thomas.
Spectacular view of Swamis Encinitas, from San
Elijo Campgrounds Cardiff State Park south of, D Street,
Moonlight Beach, Stone Steps, Beacons Beach, &
2007 View from D St Encinitas beach stairs north
of Cardiff Reef, alongside 1978 view of D Street Beach
Stairs after it collapsed.
Now at night, that's another matter altogether! You can
spend an entire night down on the beach, especially between
Beacons and Grandview and actually never see another soul.
I've found very few places in San Diego where you could
make this same claim, and have this experience.
Grandview beach stairs north of Beacons, Stone
Steps, D st. Swamis & Cardiff Reef Encinitas
Over the years I spent allot of time of time getting to
know my "secret world". Each individual stair-step leading
from the beach up to the real world became familiar to me.
Each had it's own distinct personality and had it's own
story to tell. Some of the stairs were ancient, dilapidated
and falling down, barely still there, like some long
forgotten memory. Other stairs stood straight and proud,
newly stained or freshly painted. Of course I would always
wonder who or what was at the top of each stair, though I
never did find out or meet anyone from "the world at the
top of the stairs"
Encinitas Beach Stairs south of Grandview North of
Beacons, Stone Steps, Swamis, & Moonlight Beach.
This being the other quality of the
isolation of this special world...no-one from the
"upper worlds" ever seemed to come down
those stairs. This is the other critical factor that truly
makes this area, for all practical purposes, cut-off. Most
off these stairs are at least a hundred feet long or more,
and at a very steep angle, making it on heck of a work-out
to travel down to the bottom and eventually back up.
Encinitas Beach Stairs south of Grandview north of
Beacons Leucadia Ca Kyle Thomas Photographer
Each individual Stair also marks a period in History. These
Stairs below have been my hands down favorite since I was
Fifteen years old. There will never be another like it
because of coastal zoning laws. This is the only structure
having been allowed to be built at the bottom of the
cliffs, at tide level. I can only imagine what It must be
like to spend the night in a little beach shack like this.
The sound of the surf must be deafening at three o'clock in
the morning, the surf pummeling the the cliffs!.
My favorite Encinitas Beach stairs, between
Grandview and Beacons since I was fifteen years old
During the summer of '78 I lived in the Old Encinitas
Aldrich H Street Castle perched high on
the cliffs at the top of "H" Street in Encinitas, with
three other roommates. I occupied the North-West tower of
The Castle which had a view of a sheer drop-off overlooking
the reef. To get into my room, you had to crawl through a
trap door in the floor. It was definitely the coolest room
in the castle. The sound of the waves battering the cliffs
at night was unbelievable! It wasn't for the faint of heart
or a light sleeper. My first night sleeping in my new room
was so intense that I wasn't actually able to complete the
entire night in this room. It wasn't until the second night
that I was able to brave it out. Tell you what...sleeping
in the castle, the waves crashing relentlessly all
night...you knew what was the mightiest force in this
town...the Pacific Ocean!
That was a magic summer, during which time
seemed to stand still. We'd wake up in the morning when the
rising sun sun would come flooding through the cathedral
windows on the east side of the castle. Then we'd make our
way up the stairs that led to the roof where we would stare
out at the reef directly below, which could be easily seen
through the crystal clear, emerald green
mesmerized by the rare beauty of what
was our 'front yard'.
Rare Photo of Aldrich "H Street Castle"Encinitas,
taken 1978. Photo by G. Kuhn, Along side Photo taken in
2007 From the Site of the former Aldrich Castle at the top
Perla Thomas South of Grandview Beach, Encinitas
One thing about the beach, the world at the
bottom of the stairs ...here everybody's equal. Did you
know that there is actually no law preventing a person from
being on the beach at any hour of the night or day...unlike
in the "upper worlds" at the top of the stairs. Here there
is a curfew at ten o'clock p.m. If your found by the Police
in one of the parking areas you could be harassed, issued a
ticket and a fine, or even arrested! Of course if your an
affluent property owner living along Neptune Avenue you
don't worry because for one thing there is no need to be
hanging around at one of the parking lots along Neptune or
at one of it's many view-point areas...your sipping
cocktails on your porch with your own private view. With a
view like that you never even have to actually come down
your private stairs to the beach.
Encinitas Beach Stairs between Beacons Beach and
Grandview Beach, Encinitas
I'll never forget an incident during the summer of '95. I
was feeling extra Huck Finish that particular summer. I
ended up staying down on the beach for two days straight,
spending on night on the beach a little south of Grandview
with a small beach fire. One of the upper world Neptune
residents took offense to my presence drawing the
conclusion that I must be some sort of homeless vagrant. I
guess he couldn't wrap his mind around the concept that I
just wanted to give myself a treat and be a free soul for
two days on "his" beach. What he didn't realize that we
were actually almost neighbors. I was roommates with Candy
Canes brother, Chris that particular summer and was living
at the south end of Neptune near Rossetta Street. II
remember feeling violated and a little hurt that I could be
judged by some Orange County transplant that just happened
to be wealthy enough to afford a house on Neptune Avenue
and felt that I had less of a right to be on "our" beach
than he did. That's actually how I discovered that there
are now laws preventing an individual from being on the
beach at any hour of the night or day. This is because as a
result of this incident I actually called the Sheriffs
Department in Encinitas and asked them about this issue.
They made it quite clear that I had just as much a right to
be on "our" beach as a property owner and that nobody could
force me to leave as long as I wasn't violating any laws.
Encinitas Beach Stairs between Beacons Beach and
Grandview Beach, Encinitas
The seasons also play a great role in the isolation of the
two worlds. During the colder winter and fall seasons,
allot less people are wondering the beach or visiting from
the upper worlds. Then of course, the time of day or
weather or not it's evening or 3:00 in the morning.
The early morning hours are my favorite times, especially
in the summer time. I love taking those 3:00 am swims when
the weathers warm, even in those early morning hours.
Surfers on the Beach Cardiff San Elijo State
Park south of Swamis, D street, Stone Steps, Beacons &
Cardiff Campgrounds, San Elijo State Park Beach
Stairs south of Swamis north of Cardiff Reef