“One Lap Around San Diego Bay” gives San Diegans and visitors a guide to San Diego Bay along with the background to understand and appreciate their experience. San Diego boasts world class attractions: USS Midway, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego Maritime Museum, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, Hotel del Coronado, that every first time San Diego visitor must experience. San Diego Bay has miles of shoreline parks, some with swimming beaches, some with fishing piers, even one with wading pools and fountains for children. Marinas dot the bay, including America’s Cup harbor, the world famous San Diego Yacht Club, and the largest US Navy facility in the world. Art takes center stage everywhere) from the tip of Shelter Island through the murals of Barrio Logan. Much of the art pays homage to great men and women from Juan Cabrillo to Bob Hope to the tuna fisherman who risked their lives to make San Diego the tuna capital of the world. Present too are arts and entertainment, from the performing arts of the San Diego Symphony Bandstand, to Petco Park, voted the nation’s best major league baseball stadium, to the San Diego Convention Center, itself an architectural master piece to an antique merry go-round. Walkers and bicycle enthusiasts have tens of miles of trails to pick from. Museums cover ships from aircraft carriers, to submarines, to sailing vessels to Portuguese fisherman to light houses.
Silver Strand Bikeway
Just across the bay from downtown San Diego lies one of the county’s most secluded beaches, and 12 miles of a classic cycling pathway. Coronado, is best known for its resort hotels and naval aviation, but it is the sandy tombolo connecting the island to the mainland that merits every bikers attention. Here lies the Silver Strand Bikeway, a stretch of segregated asphalt that follows State Route 75 from the Coronado Ferry Landing in the north all the way around the southern tip of the San Diego Bay.
For the most part, the trail is relatively straight, flat and impeccably well maintained, making it ideal for riders of all skill levels. To the west, cyclists are afforded occasional prolonged glimpses of the Pacific Ocean above the native SoCal shrubs and sand dunes, while to the east the calm waters of the city’s National Wildlife Refuge offer a scenic, watery backdrop to the ride. Bikers can even supplement their adventure with a quick saltwater swim, thanks to a pedestrian-friendly intersection at the entrance to Silver Strand Beach.
Once in Coronado, the path continues along the eastern edge of the island, albeit through significantly more upscale surroundings. A series of well marked on and off-street bike lanes guides cyclists past luxurious homes, the city’s municipal golf course, and up close and personal views of the Coronado Bridge along the way.
The biker must pay close attention to logistics on the Silver Strand Bikeway. There is parking all along the pathway for rack equipped cars. In addition, there is a forty mile there and back again loop through Chula Vista. Perhaps the best option is the ferry. Bikes are welcome on board at no additional cost.
Guardian of the Water
The “Guardian of Water” sculpture fountain began as a separate project prior to completion of the Civic Center. Local resident Helen Towle willed more than $30,000 to the San Diego Fine Arts Society, $6,000 for purchasing “works of art of a permanent nature, for the people of San Diego.” The society decided that the funds be used for the creation of a public sculpture. The Works Progress Administration supplied the remaining $14,000 necessary to fund a commissioned sculpture by prominent local artist Donal Hord.
In July 1937, Hord’s studio received a 22-ton granite block from a Lakeside quarry. Hord labored over the sculpture for two years, shaping the block into a figure of a pioneer woman holding a water jug, symbolic of San Diego’s guardianship over one of its most precious resources, water.
Mosaic tiles, also designed by Hord, cover the base of the statue. The mosaic symbolizes clouds in the form of kneeling nudes, who pour water from jars over a dam which flows into a conventionalized citrus fruit orchard. Hord carved shapes of dolphins and fish into the interior base. The circumference of the basin bears a design of sea snails. When asked to explain the meaning behind the mosaic patterns, Hord claimed that it was his idea to produce these different areas almost as though a pebble were dropped in the water; the water first coming from the clouds, giving life to the land, then spilling over into the sea, which was represented by fish forms, and finally ending on a shoreline in the drawing of sea snails. The combined statue and base rise 22 feet, 3 inches, with the statue itself reaching a height of 13 feet, 3 inches. The “Guardian of Water” was dedicated on June 10, 1939, in a ceremony at the new Civic Center.